Nail the entrances and exits of potential buyers so you’re the player nobody hates.
Staging your home is a fine art, one that is key to piquing interest and max buyer appeal. Injecting some investment into presentation can help usher in the sale that your home deserves. The amount spent should be in proportion to the asking price but as a general rule of thumb, €2,000 is the magic number for an average size property.
How to do it like a pro? Detach yourself emotionally, take tips from an outside eye and take it from us, these six simple steps will dress your home for success.
Don’t Curb their Enthusiasm
First impressions count. Trite but true. Kerbside appeal is paramount. The house’s exterior is the very first thing your potential buyer is going to see, so make sure it shines. Get ready to steam and power wash – start with the window sills and onto the driveway and bottom of the exterior of the property. Prune, paint and power-wash. Tidy up any unsightly weeds or hedges and add a fresh lick of paint – if you preen, they will come. Eliminate anything that may detract from the house itself – leaves, rubbish and any seasonal-inappropriate decorations. Park wheelie bins and move your car out of sight temporarily. Keep windows clean and visible; if it’s good enough for Neighbourhood Watch, it’s good enough for you. If you fought the lawn and the lawn won, hire someone to mow and weed – you’re not in an urban pastoral now (or ever), so keep it neat and sweet – we recommend TheGardener.ie (they’ll even do the windows, and don’t forget to tell them Moovingo sent you!).
Easy Does It
Make the location process as painless as possible. The buyer has seen the house online but if this is the first time they’re seeing it in person, you don’t want them traipsing around feeling lost in Suburbia. If you don’t already have one, hang an easy-to-read house number. Make sure flowers and potted plants are in bloom. Your house needs to look exactly how it does online because nobody likes being cat-fished. The easier the experience, the better. Your porch should look inviting; a welcoming mat (minus the cheesy pun) can add a homely touch while porch lights should illuminate the doorway in the winter months. Create ambience by replacing any blown light bulbs throughout the interior and exterior of the property.
Fight the Dust
Look not at what your house does for you but what you can do for your house. If time is a luxury, hire a professional. There are a myriad of speciality cleaning companies who can do the job for you. Expect to pay about €300 for the average three-bed semi; that’s approximately €50 per hour for six hours to wipe the slate clean – winning! Rather go it alone? The steam cleaner will be your new BFF so use it liberally – you can pick a good one up for about €150. Get into those hard-to-reach places like the grouting around your kitchen and bathroom tiles – it will look good as new in no time. Stains are a mortal sin; if you can’t get rid, cover up with a rug – as long as it doesn’t resemble a crime scene, you’re laughing. Get deep down and dirty in the bathroom; replace unsightly shower curtains, bath mats and toilet covers. No surface should be left untouched – polish door handles, surfaces, mirrors, banisters and appliances and don’t forget inside the oven and any other integrated fixtures. Shoe-gazing is encouraged – ensure that carpet and flooring is glistening. There’s a reason why the I Have This Thing With Floors Instagram account has over 842K followers – our eyes are drawn to a jaunty carpet or a gleaming wooden floor – sanding and varnishing old wooden floors is highly recommended and costs about €17 m2.
Everything must go. That kitsch kitten ornament you bought in Mosney circa ’99, the ever expanding mountain of Vogues you’ve been hoarding since the age of 15, the extensive paraphernalia of your county colours – rein it in. Phone a friend, ask the in-laws, rent some storage; get rid of it. You don’t want the viewers to feel like they’re intruding on your home. Try to strike a balance between lived-in and liveable. Prospective buyers want to visualise their own tastes coming to fruition. Make that vision as seamless as possible.
Space is a make-it-or-break-it selling point for buyers so capitalise on this. De-cluttering is tantamount. If you’re a fill every nook and cranny type of person, get working. The large storage unit shoved into the corner of your hallway? Say bye-bye to your little friend. More space = more light = more interest. Remember you put those wall shelves in your bedroom for framed photos and tasteful art? Now, they’re a hot mess with every cosmetic, coins, receipts and anything else you accumulated in your pockets – clear them. Find a neutral ornament or some tasteful books but don’t overdo it. If in doubt, leave it out. Buyers open doors, so clear closets to present order. Freeing up space can create the illusion of more space – a highly covetable draw for any potential buyer. Mirrors are your ever-faithful wing-man, as are see-through furniture and floor-length curtains, all creating the illusion of space.
Establish separate zones in your house that have a distinct purpose. Forget the box room that currently acts as a free-for-all for coats, shoes, shopping, DIY utensils etc. Think about the activities you do and tailor the space to each activity. Even if it’s just for the viewings, this is a tried-and-tested strategy to spark potential and interest in your potential buyers. A small box room or study can pose as the perfect home office space – a highly attractive draw for millennials who frequently work more and more from home. You can rent out furniture for short spaces of time but sometimes a suggestion is enough. Evoke a mood in a room by a strategically placed chair, desk and laptop. Use mirrors and soft lighting to brighten up dark areas and scatter neutral-but-nice scented candles throughout the rooms. A lit candle in the fireplace cultivates warmth and cosiness for viewings. Invest in some crisp white bed linen – nothing looks more delectable than those cool, clean lines.
Take it from us; staging your home needn’t be a major drama. Unless you’re home is a theatre, then embrace the show.
If you would like our “Dressing Your Home For Photography” guide just ask!
Moovingo, the Modern Estate Agent with No Commission or Complications. Book your free valuation here and let us guide you.