Whether you are contemplating to sell or let, or you have been on the market a while, considering how your home is presented should be top of the agenda. Yes, the new occupants may change what was your home into their own, but before they get to doing that they have to see themselves living there!
With Agents battling to market in innovative and informative ways, so much information is available online regarding your property that when people come to look at your house, more often than not, it's more like a second viewing! Selling property is partly a numbers game and the trick is to get as many people through the door as possible, and whilst a good photographer can help by making your space look bigger and brighter, they aren't miracle workers!
So here are some top tips for getting those feet through the door:
1. Communal areas and entrances
If you live in a shared building, the presentation of the building and communal areas can often be challenging as responsibilities can be vague and schedules for decorating works extensive. These areas can often be overlooked by sellers but are the first faced by potential buyers or Tenants. Peeling paint, stairs gathering more than just dust and unruly wheelie bins can leave a nasty tint on even the rosiest of viewings.
Solution: Grab the vacuum yourself, give the front door a wash down, label up some post trays for everyone to use and consider a covered area for your bins. Perhaps strategically place some planters or window boxes to brighten up the facade. We are often secretive about our property plans but if you let your neighbours know you are marketing your property they might be willing to help keep things orderly! After all, the nicer the place looks, it's likely that the nicer their neighbours will be too!
2. Clean, clear and clutter free!
Space seems smaller with more stuff! Viewers often have difficulty in using their imagination and if they cant see the wood from the trees (or the walls from the floor in this case) around piles of post (even tidy ones!) or overflowing drawers, they will strugggle to see how they can live there.
Solution: If you are short on space, or no matter how tidy you are you just cant hide your life, consider hiring a storage unit and ship out the unnecessaries. Its not forever and the cost may be a small price to pay for a quicker and higher priced sale!
3. Style over substance!
A bold palette or clinical white? Each to their own. More important than your colour scheme is how well styled your home is. Whilst everyone has their own taste, a home can be admired for its style nonetheless - even if it's one to be changed!
Solution: A neutral colour scheme is the most appealing but if stripping your home bare of your style fills you with fear, you can either tone it down or style it out! It needn't cost you a fortune and whilst i'm no interior designer, I know that a throw, some colour co-ordinated cushions and good wall art can go a long way. And if you can't afford an interior designer to define your style, take inspiration from the many online platforms showcasing style such as Houzz, Architectural Digest and Pinterest.
4. Compensating for compromises
Think about the compromises you made when you bought the property - there will always be something! No doubt they may be the very reason you are moving now. So pre-empt your buyers profile and seek to provide solutions on show to eliminate or compensate for these.
Live on a busy road? Plant a hedge at the front, ensure your windows are insulated, if not double glazed, perhaps install plantation shutters or attractive blinds and maybe leave the radio playing when viewers arrive!
So you have only small or separate outside space? If you have a balcony, put more than a pot plant on it! Show how best it can be used. If your garden is via separate access, make it a space worth the walk with a summer house, deck or a bbq area.
Walk to the station? Cycling has fast become a popular alternative to public transport. Is there somewhere you can engineer some bike storage, inside or out?
5. Vacant property
Marketing a vacant property, especially if its completely empty, can be as tough as viewing a property which is unclean or cluttered. There is nothing better than that lived in feeling to feel like home. It can raise questions as to how long its been on the market and heighten awareness of demand and whether its on the market because nobody wants it! It can shout 'MOTIVATED', and whilst that may encourage offers, they are less likely to be at the level you want!
Solution: Do you have any spare furniture? No? then consider looking into hiring furniture. Many companies will offer monthly deals, but more likely quarterly (which is the average time to sell a property anyway!)
We may be in uncertain times, but one thing is for sure; potential buyers and tenants often take things on face value, so whilst there may be more than meets the eye, top rate curb appeal is essential when it comes to marketing your property!