When it comes to selling your house, despite what some might say, first impressions do matter.
Potential buyers will judge the look of your property from the moment they walk up your driveway and if you fail to meet their expectations, it can affect your sale price.
What’s the solution to nailing that first impression? Property styling.
Styling your house is about highlighting all the things you love about your property, creating a sense of the lifestyle that comes with it and showing the potential of the space to interested buyers.
Most importantly, a strategically styled house can result in a quick sale and a great sale price — earning you more than expected in many cases.
Also known as ‘property staging’ this process doesn’t have to break the bank, but it will make all the difference when it comes to the numbers count — turning that For Sale sign into a Sold.
Here are my top tips for how to stage your home for sale on a budget.
Start with street appeal
A potential buyer will see the outside before they see the inside of your property, so make the exterior of your home a priority. Buy a new ‘welcome’ mat and hang some shiny house numbers. Keep your front lawn tidy with the grass mowed and the weeds pulled. Plant simple blooming flowers that require little maintenance and are affordable, but eye-catching to onlookers. Give your front door a fresh coat of paint to really draw in the suitors and wash any front-facing windows so that it is crystal clean.
Clear away your clutter
Serious property styling involves clearing away the mess. If your home is full of knick-knacks, consider storing them away temporarily. Open spaces and decluttered areas show the living potential to potential buyers, so it’s vital you make your property as neutral as possible. Take advantage of the time you spend cleaning to cull unnecessary items. You can sell unwanted possessions on Gumtree or eBay to make a bit of extra money, or you can donate them to charity.
Your home and your style go hand-in-hand, so it’s an irony of property styling that you need to take away references to yourself, your family and your decor to help make a sale. Remove pictures of you and your family and replace them with something neutral — landscape images always work well. You want potential buyers to imagine themselves living in your home, so setting up a neutral vibe is the key.
This goes for cupboards too. Storage space can make or break a property, so aim to have at least 30 per cent of each individual cupboard cleared with space available. A neutral wardrobe with space on show will put the image of a welcoming and liveable space in the mind of your potential buyers.
Implement easy home updates that make a BIG difference
You don’t need to splash out on a full renovation to transform your home. Easy updates here and there can accumulate into something meaningful. Updating the colour of your bathroom or living room in particular can make a huge difference to the value of your home. Aim for neutral colours, which have broad appeal and help to create a spacious and light feel.
Bring in a handyman to fix those leaking taps, reseal the bathroom, and replacing chipped door knows is also worthwhile before any inspection. You might consider updating your kitchen and bathroom door handles — you’ll be surprised how something so simple can modernise your home.
Focus on the little details
Selling property is a competitive business and there is always someone else looking to take your sale. This makes the little details all the more important.
Take time to go room to room and tweak one or two things, for example, in the bedroom you need to have fresh linen on the bed and that the bed itself is made, mimicking the effort you find in display homes; in the bathroom have fresh towels laid out and folded and spritz some air freshener to clear the air before an inspection; in the kitchen make sure your dishwasher and garbage bin are empty, and dishes are put away. A simple bright bunch of flows and a beautifully scented candle can finish the effect.
Staging your home and encouraging a quick and profitable sale does not have to come at a great cost. A little savviness can go a long way.
This article first appeared on StartsatSixty.com