So you’ve made that monumental decision to downsize from the lovely home that you have lived in for many years. It’s scary and you have many conflicting emotions running around in your head – excitement, nerves perhaps even dread. You are contemplating getting ready to sell and there is a lot to consider. One aspect that may not immediately spring to mind is personality. If you have lived somewhere for a while you will have filled it with things that reflect who you are, your interests and your family. We make a house a home and we are proud of it. What might not occur to us is that when we sell the buyer has to be able to envisage themselves living in the property and if the property reflects us too much then that can be a hindrance. This isn’t a reflection on us rather it is simply that buyers may (without necessarily being aware of it) feel that it is someone else’s home. So here are three things to do to avoid the trap.
The way you decorate reflects who you are and your tastes. There is no doubt one of the popular trends in interiors at the moment is for exotics and bold colours which may be right up your street. The problem arises if your choice of décor is too distinctive. Apart from the impact on the sense of space, a highly individualistic décor can overwhelm buyers and prevent them visualising themselves living in the space. It may only be a question of paint but not everyone wants to do work. Make it easy for buyers to picture themselves placing their furniture and enjoying living in your home with their family.
Just as with décor we all have our own tastes. If your family has flown the nest and you are downsizing (perhaps to free up capital to buy a holiday home) you may well have lots of family photos proudly displayed on the walls and shelves. You could even have had a professional family photo shoot. Family photos are lovely and they do give a home a sense of being lived in but if there are too many and/ or they are too prominent then they can give the message “this is OUR home”. There is a very strong sense of ownership. There are privacy issues too, as images of your home will be on the internet. You don’t need to remove all photos, I would recommend removing those that are hung on the wall and maybe just have one or two discreetly positioned on a shelf or bedside table. The same applies to artwork. When selling your home you don’t want artwork to be distracting – landscapes, seascapes, botanical prints – these are all calming yet still add interest. A framed offcut of a statement wallpaper in the accent colours of the room is a very cheap but effective option.
A lot of the ornaments in my home are items that I have been given or that I have bought on holiday. They have personal significance but won’t appeal to everyone. Again, too many ornaments are a distraction so limit it to just a few. A group of three pieces together on a shelf work well or one larger item on a hearth. If you have a wood burner then a basket of logs at the side is a nice idea. Ornaments are another example of how you use an accent colour/s to add interest to a neutral backdrop.
To recap, when selling you don’t want your personality to overwhelm your property otherwise buyers won’t feel able to project their personality on the space. Tone down flamboyant décor, remove all the personal photos and replace with more generic artwork and pack away the holiday souvenirs in favour of a few ornaments/ vases.
Need help to depersonalise your home for sale? Call me on 07745 876182 or e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to chat. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire and the North West.
When downsizing it can feel a bit daunting, after all, you perhaps haven’t moved for many years and you don’t know where to start. You know that your estate agent will take photos and that people will come to view the house but you aren’t quite sure what you should be doing. My advice when in any situation which feels a bit overwhelming is to take things one step at a time (and make a cup of tea!) You might have heard the expression “kitchens and bathrooms sell houses” , these two rooms are generally considered the two most important rooms. With a bathroom I wouldn’t advocate spending vast sums on a refurb because everyone’s taste is different although a white suite is a must in my view. Focus on cleaning. In this blog I am going to share some quick and easy tips for sprucing up a bathroom.
Clear The Space
The starting point is a thorough clean. Before you can start giving your bathroom a good clean you have to take everything out – remove anything freestanding such as a bin, stool, laundry basket etc, clear surfaces and remove towels. This gives you the blank canvas against which you can start your blitz. It’s also an opportunity to consider whether you can get rid of any clutter. The fewer the items the more spacious the bathroom will feel and it will also be easier to keep clean in the future.
The grout between tiles can easily become dirty and discoloured which is off putting but it’s probably not something you tackle every time you clean the bathroom. It is very easily dealt with. For any spots of mould an old toothbrush dipped in bleach does the trick or in awkward corners dribble a few drops of bleach and leave for a short while. For a natural and cheap way to clean the grout between tiles, apply a paste of three parts bicarbonate of soda and one part water, leave for 15 minutes, scrub and rinse. Proprietary products are also available. You can use a grout pen to refresh grout that has become faded or discoloured. They come in different colours so you can modernise plain white tiles by using a colour such as grey.
Limescale deposits are unsightly and build up quickly especially in hard water areas. Remove as much as you can using a small cleaning brush or old toothbrush (who knew toothbrushes were so versatile!). Vinegar is a natural way to remove limescale but use white not brown. For taps and accessories such as mug holders wrap a cloth or paper towel soaked in vinegar and leave for about an hour before removing and rinsing. Don’t forget the shower head and shower screen. For the shower head, unscrew it and place in a plastic bag filled with equal parts vinegar and water then leave for about three hours. Check to see that the water is flowing easily through the head. If you have a shower cubicle, invest in a shower track cleaning brush to clean the track of your shower and again use vinegar to remove limescale.
To summarise, when cleaning your bathroom first remove everything from the bathroom, clean the grout between tiles and remove limescale from taps, shower heads and shower screens. Obviously, you should give your bathroom a complete clean but the above are a few tasks that you probably don’t do on a regular basis. New taps are a good way to update a bathroom and of course some gorgeous new fluffy towels that you bring out for viewings.
Downsizing and struggling to sell your home? Call me on 07745 876182 or e mail me at email@example.com. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire and the North West
According to website Statista, in the UK ” The pet population peaked in 2013 at 71 million, but as of 2018 is estimated to be around 51 million.” Given this statistic, it is highly likely that if you are selling you will be a pet owner. Perhaps you are downsizing with a pet and are struggling to sell. If you are selling and are a pet owner there are a few things to bear in mind. You love your pet, which means that you might not realise that not everyone shares your enthusiasm. Some people are allergic to animals or certain kinds of animal. Some people are scared of animals or particular animals, others simply don’t like animals. It doesn’t necessarily solve the issue simply to take the pet out when viewings are taking place, because things that provoke an allergic reaction, such as pet hair, may still be present. In extreme cases potential buyers won’t view or they take a quick look round and don’t take time to really consider the property. So if you want to downsize and have a pet, here are a few tips.
Pets have a lot of stuff just like us – beds, litter trays, food bowls, toys etc. These take up space, are distracting and are likely to be seen as clutter. Take advantage of the downsize to declutter some of your pet’s belongings as well as your own. You may have old beds, carriers or toys that are worn or no longer used. Food and water bowls may also be regarded as unhygienic if kept in places such as a kitchen or even on a worktop. Even if you are scrupulous about cleaning up buyers don’t know this and may think the worst. Tidy away toys just as you would with your children’s toys or your own belongings. If you don’t already have some storage then get some.
If you ever watched the programme Secret Agent with Phil Spencer, you may recall that this was a frequent theme (along with dog mess in the garden). He would enter a property and immediately make a comment. If you have a pet or pets you may be unaware of odours (and friends are probably too polite to tell you). Ask your agent, a friend or a neighbour to give you a frank and honest answer to the question “can you smell Fido/ Flossie ?” It is always a good idea to have carpets or rugs cleaned and also upholstery cleaned. It is easy to hire carpet and upholstery cleaners. Wash your curtains or have them dry cleaned. Cover furniture with throws that can easily be removed for viewings. Throw open the windows and keep your property well ventilated. It can be tempting to use room sprays, I’m not a fan because firstly, they can be a giveaway and secondly, they can be overpowering.
Have a routine for your viewings. Always take your pet out when viewings are taking place. I have found that whilst dog owners usually take the dog out, cats tend to be left in the property. Admittedly, they are less intrusive but bear in mind people’s allergies and attitudes and also the fact that they are a distraction whether it’s because the viewer wants to stroke it or the agent is trying to keep an eye on it and prevent it getting out so it is worth considering taking your cat out. Remove litter trays, food and water bowls and tidy away toys and beds, I recommend slinging it all in the back of your car. Whip off the throws and substitute some smart nice ones instead. Check your outside space for any “presents” and remove.
To summarise, remember that not everyone is a pet lover, declutter your pet’s stuff, make sure your home smalls fresh and be ready for viewings. Make sure that your agent is aware of your pets and if you do have to make specific arrangements agree these in advance with the agent and ensure that all relevant members of staff are aware. If you are downsizing and would like some help call me on 07745 876182 or e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I cover Wirral, Cheshire and the North West.
If you are downsizing this could be for any number of reasons, for example, the children have left home and you no longer need such a large property, you no longer want the expense or hassle of maintaining the property or perhaps the garden is too large. One consequence of children flying the nest is that you have bedrooms that you no longer use or that you have converted to a different use such as a home office, a hobby room or maybe even just a junk room. Why is this a problem? The difficulty is that viewers struggle to visualise how a space will look. It may seem easy to tell potential buyers that a room that is currently used for a hobby will be emptied and will be perfectly usable as a bedroom. It may be that the room dimensions are on the estate agent’s particulars so that buyers know the room sizes. However, some people aren’t able to translate room sizes into actual spaces so you need to do it for them. So here are my top three tips for making each room work when it has been repurposed.
What is the Room’s Function?
What is the room meant to be? This may be easy because you are probably going to turn it back into what it was before. Nonetheless, it may be worth taking a moment just to think, particularly if you have lived in your home for a long time. The way we live our lives has undoubtedly changed over the years – just think about the fashion for kitchen/diner/family room instead of kitchen and separate dining room and living room. Consider your target market, who is likely to buy your home and what are they going to want in the property they are buying? One word of caution here. If a room is intended to be used as a bedroom then reinstate it as a bedroom. The number of bedrooms tends to be a key criteria in people’s search and will be used as one of their filters when looking online. It also tends to be a determining factor when it comes to price.
What Should The Room Contain?
A room doesn’t need to be fully furnished, the less cluttered the better. What it needs to contain are the key elements for that particular type of room? A bedroom needs a bed of the appropriate size (a double if it is a double bedroom, if you have a super king size and it takes up the whole room swap it for a king size or even standard double) storage and a side table or bedside shelf. Storage doesn’t necessarily have to be a traditional wardrobe, it could be a hanging rail or fabric covered metal framed wardrobe can suffice as long as it demonstrates that there is space for storage and where it would go. If you are presenting a dining room it needs to contain a dining table and chairs and a sideboard or console table. A study should have a desk, chair and storage and/ or shelving. If you have got rid of the original furniture from the room and won’t need it at your next property then borrow, use online sites such as freecycle or many charities now have furniture outlets.
Dressing the Room
Finally, the room needs to have the right ambience so you need to dress it using accessories such as lamps, cushions, throws etc. For a dining room, I am not a particular fan of an overly laid table – it can look overdone – but a couple of place settings with a few pieces of attractive crockery and glassware will set the scene. A study should have a few files and a desk set etc.
In summary, each room needs a function, it needs to contain the key items of furniture and be dressed to engender the desire to buy in your viewers. Let me do this for you. Call now on 07745 876182 to book an appointment or for more information e mail Judith@homestyle4u.com. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire and the North West.
If you are upsizing then you may be lacking outdoor space, perhaps you live in a flat and only have a balcony or you live in a terraced property and have a courtyard. Whatever your situation never underestimate the importance of outside space. We all want somewhere where we can sit out and enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and preferably look at some greenery, perhaps have a barbecue. You only have to reflect on this week’s heatwave to understand the significance of outside space although admittedly you might want to enjoy it early in the morning or later in the evening. A friend once talked to me about her morning routine – getting up early making a cup of coffee and enjoying it while sat outside or wandering round her garden. It struck a chord with me. Your space might be limited and there may not be much to walk around, if anything, but there is always something you can do to create that special space. Here are a few ideas.
A seating are is a must have in any outdoor space. Even a balcony is likely to have room for a bistro set or chair. Consider the style of your property and chose a style of furniture that compliments it. This will link your outdoor space to your indoor space – bringing the outside in. So if your property is modern choose something in a contemporary style and material such as steel or aluminium whereas if your property is more period then go for something more traditional such as teak. If you opt for a chair rather than bistro set then consider one that comes with a footstool which means that you can use it as a recliner but also use the footstool as a side table.
Greenery and plants are essential to an outside space as they create that connection to nature and help us feel calm. In a small space don’t be afraid to go bold and add drama with small trees and foliage plants such as palms. With a balcony, pots and toughs are the obvious starting point but it is important to consider weight, will the structure be strong enough to support the weight of the container and its contents. A courtyard gives you more scope both in terms of the landscaping materials you use and the structures you place on them. Again bear in mind the style of your property. Landscaping materials include gravel, paving, decking or even artificial grass. Mindful of the increasing temperatures we are experiencing it’s a good idea to incorporate some shade using a pergola, awning or simple parasol. Make the most of a small space by introducing height using plants, trellis or hanging baskets.
There is nothing more relaxing than the sound of running water so if you have space then I would include a water feature and this doesn’t have to be big. It’s more about the sound and the feeling that it generates although you can make a water feature the focal point of your outdoor space. Some water features require connection to the mains but some are solar powered which means that they are easy to install and can be taken with you when you move. I like the fact that that this buddha water feature can be tucked away among your plants to introduce an element of mystery.
In summary, you want to create a seating area, introduce greenery and if possible a water feature. Now you might have a modest budget but research consistently suggests that outside space is a good way to add value to a property. Research by Sellhousefast.uk discovered that homeowners who improve their garden could reap the rewards when it comes to selling. In a list of ten improvements that can be made to outside space, installing a decent quality patio came in second to top (behind a garden shed), with 76% of respondents saying that it is a feature they look out for. Overall, a nice garden could add as much as 20% to the value of the home according to the study. So improving your outdoor is definitely worth the investment and garden furniture and planters can move with you.
I hope I’ve given you some ideas as to how to create an inviting outdoor space when that space is limited. Call me on 07745 876182 or e mail me at email@example.com if you’d like some help. I’d love to help you sell. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire and the NorthWest.
Lots of us work from home these days, whether it’s running our business or, if you are an employee, you might work from home a certain number of days each week. Depending on what exactly we do, our work space needs will differ. In this blog I am concerned with the most common scenario, namely where you need a computer or laptop and perhaps some storage.
Needing more, or more functioning, work space is a common element in why we look to upsize but how do we address the problem of selling but still needing to work while our home is on the market?
Define Your Work Area
If you are upsizing in order to obtain dedicated work space or improved work space, then it’s likely that you currently use the dining table or perhaps a corner of a living room or bedroom. One of the most important things to do when presenting a multi functional space is to avoid confusion as to the purpose of a space. A lot of buyers struggle to visualise how a space or a room can be changed so make it easy for them and show how it can be done. This doesn’t mean that a space can’t be used be for more than one purpose, simply that the space needs to be demarcated for each function. For example, in a living room or dining room that is also used as a work space, identify where is the best spot to create a dedicated work area, preferably in a corner, an alcove or under the stairs. I recommend starting by analysing what is the basic workspace you need bearing in mind that this is a temporary measure e.g desk, work station, storage. Can you reduce what you need as this may make it easier to create your work space? Having done this, consider rearranging your furniture or even relocating your work area to a different room. In an open plan space, zone the work area using a rug or painting an alcove a different colour. In a small home you don’t need to remove all evidence of a work area, in fact, having a work area can be beneficial as it demonstrates to buyers that there is an area that can be used to work from. On the other hand, if you have a bedroom that is used solely for work and have squeezed two beds or bunk beds into another bedroom to achieve this then change the office back into a bedroom and create a new work area elsewhere in the property or even rent some office space short term. Buyers usually want a certain number of bedrooms and need to see them as bedrooms.
Clearly the type of office you need depends on what you do. If the nature of your work is “office based” i.e somewhere for a computer or laptop and printer plus space to set out paperwork etc then it will be quite straight forward. However, consider the environment in which you are working. If it is a multi functional space then try to use furniture that will fit in with the other furniture in the room and the style of the room rather than traditional style office furniture. A wooden desk or table can easily be transformed with a coat of paint and can you utilise an existing dining chair rather than an office chair? In a living room you may prefer to use a workstation that closes up and looks like a cabinet, it can be left open or partially open on viewings to show what it is.
If you work from home you may well need storage. Again, think laterally, if you have filing cabinets can the contents be transferred to a cupboard and the cabinets stored elsewhere (this may course depend on whether the contents need to kept securely) or could you simply move the cabinets and continue to access them elsewhere? Can storage be made to blend in with the other furniture and consider storage that doesn’t look like office furniture. An ottoman can contain a lot whilst at the same time serving as a coffee table.
In summary, when looking to upsize when working from home, define your work area, select appropriate solutions for your work station and choose storage. remember that anything you buy can move with you to your next home. Need help when preparing your home for sale call now on 07745 876182 or e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and book an appointment. I cover Wirral, Cheshire and the North West.
When you are upsizing for the first time it’s all a bit of a mystery and you are not sure what you need to do, if anything, other than instruct your estate agent. Your agent is part of the marketing process because, after all, when selling your home you are selling a product just like a car, a dress, or a sofa. Infact you are selling a dream – a dream of what life is going to be like for the buyer.
Think about looking through an interiors magazine. You read the story about how the homeowners transformed the property and you see the photos. Those images will demonstrate the home owners life – a line of wellies lined up in a hallway, a cosy corner with a comfy chair draped with a throw, a tray with tea things on a coffee table. It’s similar with adverts for luxury cars. Who are your target market and what kind of life do they aspire to? One area of the home where you can create this aspirational feel is in a bedroom. With people traveling widely even for mini breaks the “boutique hotel style” has become increasingly popular. For these tips I’m taking inspiration from this Superior Grade room at the London Mandarin Oriental.
The décor is understated with soft grey walls, grey curtains and wooden flooring which provides a neutral backdrop against which the other elements stand out. This works perfectly when selling because the neutral setting allows your buyers to imagine themselves living in the property and can easily be changed to suit their tastes. These Compton eyelet headed curtains from John Lewis have a textured finish with sheen that gives a fabulously glamorous feel. In the Mandarin Oriental, gilded mirror artwork has been used to form a feature behind the bed, but a wallpaper would give a similar feel and when a design has been discontinued a couple of rolls can be bought cheaply. The rug softens the wooden flooring for walking on and introduces an element of colour for interest.
This particular room features a desk with chair. You might not need a desk but a console table and chair which could be used as a desk or a dressing table is a nice touch if you have room. A small occasional chair is somewhere to sit and relax. A feature of the hotel bedroom above is the statement headboard and matching bench style seating. This teal blue upholstered headboard by Mercury Row at Wayfair has similar impact. However, one very cheap and effective trick is to use a piece of stunning fabric such as the Velika Velvet range by Harlequin pictured below to cover a plain headboard using a staple gun. Use the same fabric to cover the lid of an ottoman at the foot of the bed.
A beautifully dressed bed is an essential component of the look. Start with plain white bedlinen of a good quality (remember you will be taking it with you so it’s worth investing, I like The White Company) and dress with a bed runner or throw. I think cushions stacked at the head of the bed are a nice finishing touch although they haven’t been used at the Oriental. A pair of bedside tables with lamps provides symmetry and positioning a book and small bud vase with a few flowers and perhaps a scented candle creates the lifestyle, viewers can picture themselves relaxing with a good book before going to sleep.
Although the bedroom at the Mandarin Oriental is definitely at the luxury end, it is certainly possible to develop the same ambience on a more modest budget appropriate for when you sell.
Like what you’ve read and need some help? Call now on 07745 876182 or e mail email@example.com. I cover Wirral, Cheshire and the North West
Are you looking to upsize for more family space? Life has moved on since you bought your current home – you’ve married, got a partner, had a child and the family is growing. In short, you’ve outgrown your home. Selling with a young family is difficult particularly if you are upsizing. There are the practicalities of day to day living combined with the fact that it may be obvious why you are selling – toys, play pens etc. So here are a few tips to manage selling when you have children.
We all know that children have a lot of belongings and that they seem to get everywhere. If you are moving because the house isn’t big enough you don’t want to advertise the fact. If viewers see toys, games consoles etc all over the place they will conclude that the property isn’t big enough for them either. Remember, clutter prevents potential buyers seeing the true space on offer. Decluttering children’s toys is difficult because children might not understand why they can’t have all their things out. Enlist their cooperation in whatever way is going to work with your children. Involve the children in the adventure of the move and explain that you need to sell the house in order to have the adventure. Start by seeking to pack up as many items as you can, this will also help towards the ultimate packing up that you will have to do anyway. Whilst doing this see if you can persuade your children to part with at least some of the toys they have grown out of and donate them to a local children’s charity. If your children are engaged in the current debate on the environment this is a great tool for encouraging them to donate. Store the resulting boxes out of the way.
Having reduced the amount of items find appropriate storage. Create extra storage capacity by, yes you’ve guessed it, decluttering existing storage either by getting rid or packing up. Bear in mind that viewers are likely to be nosey and open cupboards so don’t cram them so full that things on them. Cupboards need to be tidy otherwise that will give the impression that you don’t have enough storage. If your property is likely to attract buyers who will want to start a family then it’s fine to show that it is a family home, for example, coloured storage baskets.
Be Viewing Ready
Some vendors like to be present during viewings, they feel they know their house better than the estate agent or they like to be on hand to answer viewers questions. If you are one of those vendors and you have children do try to arrange for the children to be elsewhere during viewings. However well behaved the children are they are likely to be a distraction and you don’t want the potential buyers to be distracted. Have an action plan and, if the children, are old enough, assign them certain tasks such as putting toys away (in that storage we created earlier) when they go bed or finish playing, hanging clothes up, making the bed etc. It’s handy to have a large storage crate that you can pile things in and then put in the boot of the car.
In summary, selling your home when you have children isn’t easy but reducing clutter, having storage and being ready for viewings make sit a little less stressful. If you would like some help then call today to book a decluttering session. Call 07745 876182 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire and the North West.
If you are moving in order to achieve a change of lifestyle then it’s likely to involve a change of area. Prices may be different in the area you are moving to – cheaper or more expensive. Indeed, you may be moving to a cheaper area precisely in order to move to a bigger property or have more money left over to enjoy other activities. What if it’s the other way though and prices are higher in the area you want to move to? Clearly, finding the right mortgage is crucial but so is maximising the sale price of you current property, that extra £5,000 or £10,000 may make all the difference. We all want to make as much money as we can when selling but when every penny counts it is even more important. Getting the best price for your home is all about maximising the appeal of your property to get lots of viewings which lead to offers. Here are a few suggestions.
Buyers love space. Look around your rooms and ask yourself “is there anything here that isn’t necessary?” – a table for example. Apply this to ornaments as well, it is surprising how a lot of “nick nacks” (if you’ll forgive the expression) make a space seem cramped and they are a distraction. Are there pieces of furniture that impede the flow of the room and make it difficult to walk around or move from one place to another. If so try moving them around or remove them. A useful tool is to take the furniture out if you can, cut a template from a piece of pieces of newspaper, place them on the floor and move them around. This will give you an idea of how much space they take up and it is much easier to move paper around than actual furniture.
There is connection with space. If your living space is open plan then it can be difficult for buyers to work out how they would use the space. It is important to create definition whilst at the same time keeping that feeling of space. There are several ways of doing this. One is to use different flooring in different areas, for example, wood or laminate in a dining area and carpet in a living area. Alternatively, use rugs. Another option is to use different wall colours or a combination of paint and wallpaper. You can also use room dividers, a low storage unit or console table or sometimes simply rearranging the furniture is enough. These are all cost effective options. After all, styling your home for sale isn’t about spending lots of money.
I think we are all aware that colour has the power to influence how we feel. Colours such as blue feel cool while yellow feels warming although it also depends on the shade and tone of the colour. Refreshing your décor with a coat of paint is a very easy way to make a space feel more appealing. When selling remember that it’s all about attracting the maximum number of viewings so if you have walls decorated in strong colours that aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, tone it down. You aren’t going to please everyone, and it is true that most buyers will want to put their own stamp on a property but you want them to walk in and think that they can live with what is there in the meantime. Off white, pale grey or a pale sage green are good neutrals.
To sum up, if you want to make that lifestyle changing move and need to maximise the budget then create great space, zone that space and think about the use of colour. Are you stuck on the market and need some help? Call me on 07745 876182 or e mail me at email@example.com and book a no obligation Fact Finding session. I cover Wirral, Cheshire and the North West.
Friday the 21st June is the Summer Solstice which marks the longest day of the year. If you have planned that life style move it means we are half way through the year and perhaps your property has been on the market for a while without selling. If you have children you probably want them to start their new school in September so time is getting tight. One of the tell tale signs of a property that has been on the market for a long time is photos that were taken at a different time of year – the classic example is the photo that features the Christmas tree or snow in Spring or Summer. Dressing your home in a way that is appropriate to the season and having fresh photos taken is an excellent way to generate more interest. Here are some easy ways to update the look of your property and some suggested pieces.
It is always important to ensure that you get as much natural light into your property as possible. In contrast to winter months you want a fresh airy feel rather than that cosy hunker down feel. For Summer, substitute heavy drapes for curtains in light fabrics and colours. Opt for simple treatments such as an eyelet or tab top style rather than swags and pelmets. This change will instantly make a room feel bright and airy. These Kaolin voile panels in Natural from John Lewis would fit the bill perfectly, although they are plain they have an attractive weave.
Soft furnishings such as cushions, throws and bedding are a very simple and cost effective way to make seasonal changes to your décor. If you already have a property in mind choose pieces that you would like to have in your new home. If you are not yet sure of the style of your property or colour scheme then chose accessories that aren’t going to break the bank. My “go to” brands for budget accessories are Dunelm Mill, The Range and Matalan. When styling your home in summer look for lightweight fabrics in natural fibres such as cotton and linen. You want a summery colour palette and at the moment ochre, grey and blush pink are very popular. This Alisha duvet set, cotton dot throw and Balmoral thistle cushion are all from Dunelm.
I also recently found a fabulous selection in Marks & Spencer which I have my eye on for my next project. Check the condition of any houseplants and get rid of any that have died. Treat yourself to some new ones and a bunch of seasonal flowers is a final touch.
When styling your home for summer don’t neglect your outside space especially your entrance, first impressions really do count. It’s time to refresh your hanging baskets and any planters. Any garden centre will have a selection of plants for tubs and hanging baskets. Petunias, geraniums and begonias are all very colourful and you can either go for a basket planted with all the same plants to create an impact or use a mixture of colour and foliage. It’s great fun creating your own but if you don’t have time or aren’t sure how to put one together you can buy them ready planted. Architectural shrubs such as box or bay trees are always stylish but replace them if they are looking past their best. Such shrubs are an investment but remember then can always move with you.
In summary, swap heavy curtains for lighter ones, add accessories in summery fabrics and colours and refresh the outside space. Once you’ve made these updates don’t forget to ask your estate agent to arrange for some new photos to be taken so that your property’s listing can be refreshed and generate some new interest to get you sold and on your way. Still not sure? Call me on 07745 876182 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do it all for you. I cover Wirral, Cheshire and the North West
The two things that I would always prioritise when selling a property are cleanliness and clutter. If a property feels dirty then viewers will feel uncomfortable and will want to leave no matter how much the property may suit them in other respects. You don’t want viewers leaving with a sense that they need to wash their hands. That may be an extreme example but when you’ve made that momentous decision to change your life and move somewhere else you want to sell quickly either because you’ve already seen the dream home or because you are going to move into rented so you are ready to pounce. The kitchen tends to be one of the most important rooms when people are house hunting and it’s a space where hygiene is important so you want to get it looking good and thereafter easy to keep clean for viewings.
Having as little as possible on worktops has two advantages. First, the amount of workspace available tends to be a major consideration for buyers. People like to have plenty of space for preparation and to rest pots and pans, plates etc. Secondly, the less you have out the quicker and easier it is to keep worktops clean. So consider all the equipment and gadgets that you have out. How regularly do you use them, can they be put away? If there isn’t room to store them in cupboards and you use them frequently can you create space by taking out other items that you use infrequently, boxing them up and storing them in the loft of garage. Even better, can you do without them and dispose of them? I also advocate having as little as possible on window ledges as it can impede the light, perhaps just a pot of herbs.
Having reduced the number of items on your worktops it’s time for a serious cleaning session. My approach is to take everything off the worktops and put it elsewhere such as the dining room table. I then clean the oven including all the racks and trays, the inside of the oven doors (if you can remove the internal glass to clean then do so) and hob. Don’t neglect the extractor hood this can easily be overlooked, wash and/ or change the filter. If cleaning the oven isn’t something you enjoy doing then employ a professional oven cleaning company. I wipe down all the cupboard doors with hot soapy water and check the edges of the doors. similarly wipe down splashbacks and tiles. If the grout between tiles behind the cooker has become discoloured use a specialist grout cleaner. Clean the sink and taps, not forgetting underneath the dish drainer. Clean those worktops. Finally I mop the floor and leave it to dry. Again you may prefer to employ a professional cleaner to come in to do that first deep clean and thereafter say once a week while your home is on the market.
Do keep all washing up out of sight and don’t leave it in the sink. If you have a dishwasher get into the habit of putting things straight in there when they have been used. If you don’t have a dishwasher wash up immediately after each meal, dry and put away. The paraphernalia of the kitchen such as brushes, washing up liquid and dishcloths can look unsightly so have a basin or caddy under the sink that these items can easily be thrown into. Wipe down worksurfaces and the hob after every use. Being organised like this means you won’t have to panic if you get an unexpected call from your agent requesting to do a viewing. Keep a clean tea towel handy to put out when you are going out. Always be prepared!
In summary, declutter your work surfaces, give your kitchen a thorough clean and keep on top of it. Need a kitchen session? Call me on 07745 876182 or e mail me at email@example.com. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire and the North West
I am a big fan of the series Escape to the Country. You get to see some lovely parts of the country and see a variety of properties which is of course fascinating. However, I also enjoy hearing the participants’ stories – why they want to move and why they have chosen their destination. There are mixture of reasons for moving and of course the underlying theme is people wanting to move from busy towns and cities to a more rural location. Often it is young people with families who feel that a more rural environment will be better for their children, they may even have enjoyed that kind of childhood themselves and want to give their children the same experiences. Or it might be an older person who, freed from the ties of employment, wants a more relaxing lifestyle. Whatever the reason, the participants are moving for a change of lifestyle. Sometimes, those taking part in the show find their dream home but it emerges they lose out because they haven’t sold. So if you are moving for a change of life and need a quick sale what can you do that will increase the appeal of your property? One area to focus on is the garden.
Consider if there are any maintenance tasks that have been neglected. It’s easy to overlook a hedge that hasn’t been pruned, a fence that has rotted or not been painted for several years, or patio that needs cleaning. Fence panels are simple to replace and using a spray is a quick and easy way to paint if you don’t want to use a brush. Use a power washer to spruce up a patio the difference can be amazing. These can be hired if you don’t have one or can’t borrow one. If hedges have got a bit too high they may be affecting the amount of light that is enjoyed by your garden, something that could impact on how buyers feel about the outside space. If necessary engage a professional to do this.
The outside space is often hugely important when buyers are choosing a property so this is certainly an area that is worth expending time and effort on. If you have a young family it’s highly likely that you will have children’s toys in the garden such as a swing, slide or perhaps even a trampoline. It may be an inconvenience but it is worth putting these things away, or at least some of them, in order to enable buyers to appreciate the space especially if your potential buyer may not have children. Do the weeding, cut the grass (and don’t forget to edge the lawn), get rid of pots where the plants have died and if you do have a large number of planters and pots scattered about consider grouping them together. Once you have carried out the initial tidy it should be easier to keep on top of things for when you have viewings.
Another important ingredient to an attractive garden is a social area. This will obviously depend on the amount of outside space you have whether it is a little balcony or courtyard or a large garden with patio or deck. A simple bistro table and chairs for a small space or in a larger space a sofa, chairs and coffee table or even a dining set. The aim is have somewhere where buyers can imagine themselves and their friends enjoying a glass of wine or cup of coffee.
If you’d like some help call me on 07745 876182 or e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire and the North West. For more inspiration why not follow me on Twitter @JudithHomestyle
If you are downsizing you have probably lived in your home for a while, you have created lots of memories – good and bad. You have become used to it and all it’s little quirks – the tap that drips, the cupboard door that doesn’t close properly so you have to wedge it shut with some card. They are little things and you are comfortable with them, your home is like the well worn pair of slippers you gratefully put on when you get in at night. Nothing wrong with that – until you come to sell. Why is that? The problem is that a prospective buyer will come in and notice those little things. They might be little but they can add up and the totality may put buyers off. So time to take off the rose tinted spectacles and put your nosey buyer’s hat on. Here are a few things to look out for.
Walk round your home, including the exterior, with a notebook and pen and really scrutinise your home as if you were a buyer. I recommend doing this with a trusted friend and give them permission to be brutally honest. Make a note of all the things you notice that need attention. Examples are scruffy paint work, dripping taps, broken handles, double glazing units that have “blown” and include all those things that you already had on your mental or physical “to do” list.
If you have ever watched any of the property programmes you’ll probably have noticed how often the participants comment on the space, whether they include a sense of space on their wish list or they comment that the property feels small or feels spacious. Many people struggle to visualise whether it is when they are viewing or assessing a property from a floor plan. So consider the space in your property and ask yourself how you can maximise it. Is there any furniture that you can remove either permanently or temporarily. Are there things on the floor that can be put away. Even reducing the number of ornaments or changing window treatments can make a difference to how spacious a room feels.
I referred above to the difficulty people can have visualising. This applies also to the concept of purpose. Does each room in your home have a clear purpose so that a buyer entering the room immediately knows what it is meant to be used for. This is one reason why empty properties can be difficult to sell. It may seem obvious and you might think that it doesn’t matter how a room is presented because a buyer will use a room for whatever they want to use it for. However, making it easy for buyers to see how they would live in your home is key. So if a room is a bedroom, for example, present it as a bedroom (and as a double bedroom if it is meant to be a double bedroom) not as an office or storage room. In an open plan space the equivalent is zoning i.e. creating clearly defined areas for different purposes.
In summary, when selling approach your property from the perspective of the buyer do all those little repair jobs, create a feeling of space and give each room a sense of purpose. Want some more tips? Download my 10 Top Tips For Selling Your Home. For further information or an informal chat, call me on 07745 876182 or email me at email@example.com. I cover Wirral, Cheshire and the North West.
So you’re ready to downsize, you’ve decluttered and you’re ready to instruct the estate agent. Fantastic! But what if you haven’t moved for a long time. The way people buy and sell houses has changed considerably in recent years. Choosing the right agent is vitally important if you want to sell for the best price and quickly.
Different Types of Agent
Historically, estate agents all had premises on the High Street and buyers would visit all the local agents, collect brochures and then decide which ones to view. Nowadays, so much house hunting commences online that in addition to High Street Agents we now have agencies that operate purely online and some that are hybrid. Fees vary widely as does the involvement of the seller who may be responsible for arranging and conducting viewings. What are you comfortable with? In my experience most buyers prefer to view with the agent. They feel less inhibited about discussing changes they would make to the property. After all, most of us are polite and don’t like to criticise a person’s home in front of them and it can be very helpful to buyers to be able talk about options and how they might make a property work for them. Sellers often think that they know their home better than the agent and this may be true, your agent should be primed to answer the questions buyers are most likely to ask but you never know what information is important to a particular buyer. If you like to be present then let the agent introduce you, the agent shows the viewers round while you remain in one room and the agent can bring the viewers back for you to answer any questions.
Who’s Going to Buy Your Property?
When selling it’s essential that you understand who is likely to buy your house because in order to generate interest and offers you need to get the right people through the door. You might be selling the family home which has four bedrooms, kitchen, dining room and a good sized garden. The people who are most likely to buy your property will be families. Visit local agents to see what type of properties they are selling – are they similar to yours. Look online at who is selling what because, as explained above, not all agents are on the High Street. You probably have a vague idea of what your property is worth so choosing your price bracket, search in your area for similar types of property. This may give a feel for which agents are selling your type of property.
Styling For Your Property
Your home needs to appeal to the type of person who is most likely to buy it. Coming back to the example of the family home, your home needs to be presented to attract families. Demonstrate that the house has the requisite number of bedrooms by putting beds and some bedroom furniture in them. If you have been using one or more bedrooms for other purposes such as a hobby room or study turn them back in to a bedroom. This is because a lot of people struggle to visualise so you need to show them that there are the specified number of usable bedrooms. If you have got rid of the beds, buy a second hand one or borrow one. One trick is to create a “bed” of the correct dimensions using boxes which you can then dress with bedding – just warn your agent so that no one sits on it!
Need more on presenting your home for sale? Download my free guide 10 Top Tips for Selling Your Home. Call now on 07745 876182 or e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire and the North West.
So you’ve carefully considered the pros and cons, put your business hat on and made the decision to downsize. As referred to in my previous blog, one of the perceived disadvantages of downsizing is the fact that downsizing, by its very nature, involves moving to a smaller property but it also represents an opportunity. It is an established fact that having too much around us can make us stressed and anxious. Now it might not feel that you have too much in your current home, but it is possible that you have things that you no longer use and have forgotten about. On a very practical note the more contents you have to move the more you have to pack and the higher the removal costs are likely to be especially if you are putting things in storage. When I was moving recently, I was forced to go through boxes in my garage that I had not unpacked from a previous move and was not only astounded by the amount of things I got rid of but also by how satisfying it felt. Now I’m going to use the dreaded “D” word – Declutter. Here are some tips to get started.
So when should you declutter? Undoubtedly, the best time is BEFORE you go on the market not when you packing for the removals. Not only will it enhance the appeal of your home but there will be less to pack. The prospect of decluttering can be overwhelming and it can be particularly hard to get started. It very much helps to tackle the task in manageable chunks. You can approach this from the angle of setting a certain amount of time for each session or focus on a specific area such as a drawer, a cupboard or a room. Marie Kondo advocates tackling the whole of a particular class of item, for example, clothes, books, paperwork. What you want to avoid is simply moving items from one place to another so tidy up first. Do not underestimate what you can achieve in a session, not doing as much as you planned makes you feel demotivated and feeling tired can impact on your decision about what to do with items.
Decide what possible options there are. I like the following
- Donate to a charity
- Sell either for money or on a free recycling website
I prefer not to have a “undecided” pile. If you aren’t sure then by all means put an item on one side but for no longer than 24 hours. If it helps have someone to assist, it can be beneficial to bounce your thoughts off but not if it will cause arguments and at the end of the day it’s your decision. Donating to charity or selling on a website are a fantastic opportunity for recycling and doing your bit for the environment, plus the recipient will have the chance to derive pleasure from the item.
Sometimes people incentivise the process of decluttering by buying some attractive storage – a unit or storage boxes. While investing in attractive storage which you can take with you to your new home is a good idea, wait until you have decluttered as it is only then that you will know how much storage and of what type you will need. Plus, if what you are considering is in the nature of furniture, unless you know it will suit your next property you are probably best waiting.
I would love to help you declutter ready for your next adventure. Call now on 07745 86182 or e mail email@example.com to book a session. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire and the North West
I think most of us are aware that the colours we use in our homes has a major impact about how we feel and therefore the importance of colour when decorating our homes. Yesterday I had a great time attending a talk entitled Masterclass in How to Choose Colour with the top interior designer and architectural historian Edward Bulmer who has created a range of natural paints. The event was held at the stunning Knutsford store of renowned interiors brand Oka where we were welcomed with tea or coffee and delicious Florentines.
The talk began with an explanation of the history of paint, its formulation and how various colours represented a certain status owing the cost of creating them which was fascinating and continued with an explanation of choosing colour by reference to the various paint colours in the range. Here are a few things I learned and wanted to share.
The starting point of a paint is pigment. Originally these came from the natural sources – the earth, minerals or plants and then chemicals. As some pigments were expensive to create they became associated with status, for examples, cardinals wear red. Pigments are combined with a binder and a dilutant. Binders were originally plant oils or resin and subsequently crude oil.
You may already be familiar with the colour wheel, if not it’s it is a very useful tool and I would recommend obtaining a copy. The version shown is the Prismatic Colour Wheel, from Moses Harris’ ‘The natural system of colours’, London [c.1785]. Mr Bulmer explained that you use the colour wheel to guide the selection of colours in combination. Opposite colours on the wheel can be used in a balanced relation to each other. The colour wheel is a guide but colour is a personal preference underpinned by the right tonality. Colours are divided into the primary colours – red, blue and yellow and secondary colours formed by combinations of primary colours – green, orange and purple.
As mentioned above the key determinant is the tonality which comes from the use of the earth pigments which help the colour settle down. Reds can vary from dusky pinks which are a current fashion and interiors trend. According to Mr Bulmer one of the most popular in the range at present is Jonquil a yellow pink that I think would make a great neutral
At the other end of the spectrum dark reds can be used in small rooms, or where the is no natural light, to add drama. If using reds use those on the brown spectrum rather than a “pillar box” red which lacks tonality. Blues can range from the blue grey of Cerullian through to greeny blues such as Aquatic. With yellow Mr Bulmer advised that we should consider what we are putting with it and that paler shades combine with more colours. Ochre pairs well with grey.
Currently, it has become popular to make a feature of our entrance halls, after all it is the first space in our home that people enter so it is perhaps not surprising that we want to show it off. I was therefore interested to hear Mr Bulmer’s view that such spaces should not be challenging. The hall is a transitional space that we pass through on to the other rooms in the house and he made the distinction between these areas that we pass through and the dwelling rooms.
Finally, a few words on the paint range. We are all conscious of the environment and the damage that plastics are doing. The paints are all plastic free including microplastics. Increasingly, people are suffering reactions to chemicals including those used in the manufacture of modern paint and the range is chemical free and made from ingredients of plant or mineral origin. I am certainly keen to try them out..
I had a very enjoyable time and hope you have enjoyed this blog, a slight diversion from my usual format. Cal me on 07745 876182 or e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire and the North West.
So you’ve decided that it’s time to downsize – maybe you’ve come to the realisation yourself, an event may have occurred that has made you consider that it would be a good idea or perhaps the family have been dropping hints. Whatever your reason, it’s a huge decision and not one to be taken lightly and you may not even be sure that it’s the right one. Take your time and maybe view a few properties to get a feel. If you are downsizing it’s likely that you haven’t moved for a while so here are a few things to consider.
Pros and Cons
If you aren’t quite sure, or even if you just want clarification that yes it is the right thing to do, draw up lists of reasons for and against. Positives could be things such as
- Reducing outgoings – running costs should be lower on a smaller property and moving is an opportunity to have a home that is more energy efficient
- Less maintenance – this could mean either of the property itself and/ or the garden
- Less housework – even if rooms aren’t being used they will still need to be kept clean. Less housework frees up time for other activities
- A more practical layout – it could be that you want single storey living
The disadvantages are likely to include
- Having to get rid of furniture and possessions
- Fewer rooms for guests
- Smaller rooms
When we have lived in a home more many years it is bound to contain many memories, good and bad. It was your home with a loved one who has passed away, it was where you brought up a family. Any move is going to be difficult but you will always have those memories and you can take those memories with you in the form of a favourite armchair, photos and ornaments. I have recently been reading Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy and one element I took from it was expressing gratitude to the items that you discard (there will be more on the topic of decluttering in my next blog). I think this is a tool that helps generally when downsizing. It’s natural to feel sad but it is also a tremendous opportunity to recall all the good times and once you feel that gratitude then you are ready for your next adventure! I will explore the topic of emotional attachment in a later blog as it is so important.
When you have lived in your home for a period of time you get used to it. You live in it in a way that feels comfortable to you and that suits your lifestyle. However, this can mean that you overlook what a stranger would see, such as scuffed paintwork, an unfinished DIY project or a spare bedroom that is where you keep the ironing board set up. It’s fair to say that some of these things are very insignificant and buyers can see past them. Unfortunately, consciously or unconsciously, these minor points can add up to an overall impression that is unfavourable. An outsider can come in and identify these little niggles so that they can be addressed. Let me take the strain. I can either give you the tools to do what’s needed yourself or do it for you.
Call today on 07745 876182 or e mail email@example.com to book a fact finding session to learn more about how I can help. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire and the North West
When you are looking for your next home you will probably look at loads of images – in estate agents’ windows, in property brochures, online, in magazines or perhaps even on Instagram. You might even have created a mood board of your dream house or maybe it was a picture of a property that prompted you to think of moving in the first place. But have you ever thought about the importance of photography when selling your home? So much of the home searching process these days is undertaken digitally that it means your photos are vital. Images lead to interest which lead to viewings which leads to offers and the more offers you get the higher the selling price. Here are just a few thoughts to get you started.
The Lead Images
When you search for properties on a portal such as Rightmove, you enter your search criteria and a list of properties comes up. Normally, in that list you will get two images (unless the property has what is termed a premium listing in case you see three images). You tend to scroll down and if you like a property you click through to see more images and read more information about the property. If those lead images aren’t appealing then buyers may not bother to click through and potentially you have lost an opportunity. You will often hear the phrase “kerb appeal” and it is so important. The lead image tends to be the front of the property and the living room or kitchen. Therefore the front of your property and it’s surroundings need to be attractive so that buyers are lead to click through to see more. Kerb appeal includes factors such as exterior maintenance, rubbish/ clutter and aspects that are attractive such as a nice porch, smart door and door furniture, flower beds or hanging baskets etc
The Remaining Images
Having created great kerb appeal so that buyers are attracted by the lead image and have clicked through, the remaining images need to continue the good impression and encourage them to book a viewing. It is important to convey a sense of the space that each room has and the purpose of the room. If a room is cluttered then buyers will assume it is too small. If the buyers are unable to work out what the room is used for then this may similarly put them off. Bear in mind also that buyers may not pay much attention to the description in the property particulars or the room dimensions. You want to create an impression that will enable buyers to imagine themselves living in your home. I would also caution about having too many photos on your listing, people get bored and sometimes you just can’t see the point of a particular image. Having said that if your home has any stunning features such as a feature fireplace that make your home stand out then it is worth including those. It is worth considering what made you choose the property when you bought it because that may be a clue about buyers will be drawn to.
I am a firm believer in using a professional photographer and I would always check with the estate agents who give you your valuations if they use a professional i.e. external photographer. You never want photos to be misleading because when buyers view they will be disappointed and react negatively. However, a professional photographer who is experienced in property photography will have the quality of equipment and necessary skills to show your home at its best.
If you are moving up the property ladder and this is the first property you have sold then I hope this information has been helpful. If you would like to chat then call me on 07745 876182 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I cover Wirral, Cheshire and the North West. Why not follow me on Twitter @JudithHomestyle
We all lead busy lives. As a former solicitor I know all about the long hours and weekend working – the sense that you barely have the time (or the inclination) to do other than flop in front of the television with a glass of wine when you get in, it’s a rush to get the laundry and the shopping done. It can feel like you are on a hamster wheel. If you are looking to upsize your home I guess there are additional calls on your time such as children. So when you decide to sell it’s probably as much as you can do to actually find an estate agent and get the property on the market yet you still need to maximise your sale proceeds which means presenting your home to its best advantage . That’s where enlisting the services of a property stylist helps.
As the homeowner you are familiar with your home, perhaps over familiar. You are comfortable with it. Obviously, if you are upsizing you realise that you want something bigger but you might not be aware of precisely why your current property feels small or you overlook little things such as a dripping tap. Perhaps you have never even paused to think about it. As an outsider, I am able to come in with a fresh pair of eyes and see the home from the perspective of a potential buyer. I offer advice on what you can do to make your property appeal to buyers.
Knowing What Works
If asked, you probably have some ideas on what buyers will think about your property when they view and what changes are worth (or not worth making) but would they be right? For example, home owners tend to assume that there is no point decorating because whoever buys their home will want to put their own stamp on the house. Whilst most buyers will want to decorate according to their taste, that doesn’t mean that they are not concerned with the current décor. I trained with the House Doctor® which was formed by Ann Maurice, TV’s House Doctor® from channel five and am now an Associate member. This, coupled with experience of buying and selling property and time spent in estate agency means that I understand what buyers are looking for and what puts them off. I know how to create the impression that buyers are looking for.
Getting It Done
Too much going on? If you haven’t got the time or inclination to think about the presentation of your home let me handle it. I offer a variety of services from a verbal consultation that gives you the knowledge to implement appropriate changes to a full hands on staging where I do everything for you. There is an option that will suit everyone and it includes a simple fact finding session if you just want to learn more.
To find more tips and advice why not visit and like my Facebook Page . Future blogs will address a range of topics to help get you on the move.
Contact me on 07745 876182 or e mail me at email@example.com. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire and the North West.
When you are looking to upsize, every penny counts. You have probably been saving hard, investigated the costs of estate agents and solicitors and researched the best mortgage deal. What you may not have considered is maximising the selling price of your current home. Your home is the asset you are selling so it makes sense to get the best possible price. After all, an extra £5,000 or £10,000 could enable you to buy the dream house you’ve just found. One analogy I often use when talking to clients is that of selling your car. If we are selling the car, we usually wash it, vacuum the interior or even have it professionally valeted – why? We do it because we expect to get a little bit more on the trade in value. The same principal applies when selling your home only more so. What you are aiming to do is maximise the space, give each room a purpose and create the right “feel”.
We all value space no matter how large or small our homes are. When I’ve conducted house viewings I’ve very often heard comments such as “it feels cramped” “We couldn’t fit our furniture in here” or “I want something light and airy”. These are all indications that space is an important factor to house hunters. You need ensure rooms are presented to show the true space available i.e. not crammed full of furniture or cluttered.
It is very easy to assume that buyers can visualise what a room can be used for. For, example, if you are using a bedroom as an office or junk room then it may seem obvious that it functions as a bedroom and the room dimensions may be on the property’s listing (beware, not all buyers bother looking at the dimensions). The issue when buyers view is that they struggle to picture precisely what space the bed will take up and whether they can fit storage in. This is the reason why I always take a tape measure and why you often see Kirstie Allsopp lying on the floor flapping her arms up and down as if she is making Angel Wings. So if you selling it as a bedroom furnish it with a bed and bedroom furniture. In reception spaces that are being used for more than one activity then try to minimise the number of functions and zone the areas so it is easy for buyers to see exactly what the space is being used for. This may sound like you are spoon feeding buyers but what you are doing is making it easier for them to imagine themselves living in your property.
How often do buyers talk about the “feel” of a property when they are viewing? A house might tick all the boxes but they don’t go for it because despite that it doesn’t grab them. There is a balance between head and heart and very often it’s the heart that wins. So when you are selling you want buyers to walk through the door and just know that it’s the one. It’s those little touches that will make the connection and that’s why presentation matters.
So a quick reminder – if you want to maximise your budget and be able to afford to take that next step up the ladder then your home needs to have a sense of space, every room (or area in a room) needs a purpose and the home needs to touch the buyers. If you are selling then I have a free E Book with my 10 Top Tips so visit my home page, click on the link and down load today. For any further information call 07745 876182 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org. I cover Wirral, Cheshire and the North West.