As British homeowners, we consider our home as our castle and assume that everyone will fall in love with it. Well, unless it’s a clean, bright and beautifully presented castle, that’s not very likely. They won’t fall in love with it and they won’t want to pay top dollar for it. Regardless of the state of our own homes, when it comes to buying a new home, we have the potential to turn into the clean police. We are looking for somewhere mess free and spotlessly clean. Check out these 7 key focal points when preparing your home for sale.
1. Entrance hall
Once through the front door, the hallway can often feel narrow and claustrophobic rather than serene and inviting. All manner of clutter and personal belongings get dumped there, including shoes, bags, coats, keys, unopened letters and half-eaten packed lunches, offering something more akin to a mini explosion than a welcoming invitation to enter. To create a lasting first impression, keep the hallway trip and clutter free. Offering viewers a beautiful vista of light and space.
Many say the kitchen is the heart of the home and the no. 1 focal point when selling a home. So make sure your kitchen reflects a heart full of love. All surfaces, fittings and appliances should be sparkling clean, including the insides of your units, fridge and oven. Yes, people do check and may mistakenly assume they will have to spend money replacing the kitchen if it isn’t shown at its best. Check there is no washing up left in the sink or on the draining board and that the work surfaces are free of all but essential items to maximise the feeling of maintenance-free space.
It’s a widely held view that the no. 2 focal point when selling the home is the bathroom. So make sure your bathroom isn’t the reason for losing a sale.
Ensure baths and sinks are scrubbed and taps are brightly polished. Cleaning mouldy or discoloured grout between your tiles can give your bathroom an instant facelift. Buyers will assume the whole house is unhygienic if they are presented with a dirty bathroom. Towels must be fresh (and white, if possible) and hung neatly on hooks or towel rails. Everyone loves a hotel style bathroom, so why not buy a set of fluffy white towels to put out on display, just for viewings. It’ll definitely be worth the expense. Apply a strong toilet cleaner (that will also remove limescale) to abolish unsightly stains and smells and replenish toilet rolls. Ensure toilets are flushed and lids are down for viewings. Why do I have to say this? You’d be surprised!
The bedroom is the place we escape to for warmth and comfort, our haven of tranquility, so make sure that’s what the viewer feels when they step into yours. Remove all signs of mess from the floors and surfaces and make sure all clothes and shoes are stored away neatly. Make the beds with freshly laundered bed linen and, if you have them, arrange cushions and throws attractively.
5. Living room
The living room is another key focal point for home buyers. Other than the kitchen, this is where people spend most of their waking time and this is where they entertain. Hence it holds particular importance in terms of aspirational appeal. As with the bedroom, make sure the floors and surfaces are mess and clutter free and arrange any cushions neatly on chairs and sofas. Not only does a mess and clutter-free living room feel more loved and cared for but also more bright and spacious and far more likely to appeal to a potential buyer.
Dirty carpets are very off-putting and can make the whole house feel neglected. If the carpets are dirty and marked but not too worn, it’s worth getting them professionally cleaned. If viewers are under the impression that they might have to replace them, they will want to deduct the cost from the price of the house. Needless to say, ensure they are vacuumed before every viewing.
Dirty windows not only make the house feel unloved but they can also make rooms appear darker so make sure the windows are cleaned inside and out. Windows can be the first thing the eye is drawn to in a room and can give a dismal first impression if dirty, particularly when the sun is shining.
You’d be surprised by the high standards people can have when it comes to other peoples homes, so it’s worth going over everything with a duster, not forgetting the tops of your skirting boards!
Preparing our homes can be a daunting and overwhelming task when it comes to selling a home and we often become oblivious to our own mess and dirt. A fresh pair of eyes is more likely to see what a potential buyer will see, so why not employ the services of a professional cleaner or home staging specialist to lend a hand.
Take a look on the Houzz website to get ideas on the sort of aspirational rooms and homes that influence home buying decisions.
Janine Shalev is a professional property and home stager at JS Property Staging. She transforms properties into spaces that prospective buyers or tenants would love to call home. Call or message Janine if you would like to discuss home staging tips and strategies for your property.
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