Clear Any Clutter
Clutter kills Equity. When you live in a house for a while, clutter naturally builds up, piles of paperwork in the study, a fridge adorned with children’s art work, bookshelves over flowing with dusty books, magazine racks full of last years womans day magazines. For most of us we don’t even see it, but potential buyers do and it distracts them from what they should be seeing! Your home! It all has to go, even if it is just to storage, your home has to be fresh, clean, clutter free and as neutral as possible while you are selling. And don’t despair it’s only while you are selling, remember it’s “not how you live, but how you sell!”
Get rid of the photos!
What you are selling is your home. Never forget this, so you don’t want potential buyers gazing at your wedding photographs and then associating you with the home, you want them to imagine living in your home, their new home! As a general rule all family photos must go, as much as you love having the grandkids on the wall or the lastest school photo pinned on the notice board, it does not help sell your home in fact it hinders it. If the walls look bare, buy (or hire) some art work that complements your decor and looks great in the photos on the real estate website. It is money well spent!
Clean out the cupboards
We will make this nice and simple… No cupboard/bookcase/linenpress should be more than %60 full, that way when buyers walk through your home they have the impression that there is ample storage. An overflowing wardrobe with piles of messy clothes says “there is not enough room in this house.” This goes for children’s toy baskets, bookcases, kitchen pantry and bathroom/laundry too! Clean it all up, make it look neat and spacious, it will be worth your while.
ROOM SPECIFIC ADVICE
The kitchen is one of the biggest selling features of any home, some homes have brand new chef quality kitchens, some are classic country and others a renovators delight, but the rules are the same! Keep it clean, really, really clean and the benches clear of everything! A bowl of nice red apples, a cookbook on a stand (and maybe a feature tea towel and a canister or two are all you need). If your kitchen is neutral a hint of red or green really stands out in the photos, so maybe a little red coffee peculator on the stove and some apples on the bench. But in the kitchen, less really is more. Get rid of the kettle, knife blocks, toaster, cutting boards and other clutter, keep the pantry very neat and have the fridge free of all those holiday magnets, school notes, bills and photos, it won’t take long to do but it will mean your photographs look amazing and your house will sell quickly and for the best price!
The rules in the bathroom are easy to follow! Basically make it look like no one uses it … So no towels on the floor, no shampoo bottles in the shower, no razors, hair straighteners, toothbrush collections, kids bubble bath or toys. Clean it all out, if you need to, put it all in a basket/bag in the cupboard and take it with you when the house has an open for inspection. Use fluffly towels, vanilla candles, maybe some small artificial green plants, think resort luxury, buyers love it.
Make it sumptuous! A beautiful master bedroom can sell a home. Create the oasis that we all want. Beautiful bed linen, exquisite cushions and throws, bed side lamps giving out a soft welcoming glow next to a perfect little floral arrangement …. This is your most important room after the kitchen/living area, make it memorable!
Clear that clutter, my little pony, Barbies dream house, star wars Lego it all has to go (well for the 4-8 weeks you are selling the house). Just one shelf or basket of toys in the corner of the room is enough to show it is a great children’s room without the toys taking over. It will be much easier to keep clean each day and potential buyers will see the size/functionality of the room without seeing 30 soft toys staring at them. Once again go for contemporary bed linen and one coordinated picture/stretched canvas on the wall. A bed side table and lamp is a must but that is it!
Don’t leave the spare room empty or with the clothes horse and the dusty treadmill taking up valuable space. Style it! Buy/Borrow/Hire a bed, pop an arm chair in the corner and a bedside table with a lamp. Lots of people find it hard to visualise a space when it is unfurnished. Every room should tell the story of your home. You want buyers to see what a great home you are selling. The cost of buying or hiring a few key pieces of furniture compared to the asset that is your home is so minimal. But so worth it!
Okay, so this is a bit tricky sometimes, but our advice is this. Make it look like you don’t really use the study. Just a PC/Laptop a desk and chair, some art maybe a desk lamp and you are all done. Hide all the paperwork/bills/school fees and let the buyer see a ‘stress free environment.’
Set the table! Not just for the photos, but for the open’s and if you can leave it set every day just in case your agent brings someone through when you are out at work. For those with little children this can be impossible, but whenever you can set the table. White crockery works best with a place mat and a feature colour napkin. You don’t need cutlery but a wine glass and a nice feature in the middle of the table add to the mood you are setting. Candles once again are great, and if you get ones with a nice scent all the better! It may seem over the top but it really works and makes your home look loved, inviting and functional all with some crockery!
Once again, make sure there is not too much in this space. It’s easy to have a lot going on but take a step back and really look at your living room. We recommend some nice cushions and throws these can be a cost effective way of modernizing the space without buying new couches! Get rid of the old beanbags, and DVD/CD towers, hide all that away. A fluffy rug and a coffee table with some “home” magazines, two or three candles or if the space allows a coffee plunger with a couple of mugs can really make the room sing. Go get a large stretched canvas and see how much it improves the space, with very little effort this room can look amazing.
The laundry is another room, where buyers just want to see the room and the space. Get rid of the soccer boots that need washing, put all the washing powders away if possible and have no dirty washing when there are open for inspections. Some days this means taking the laundry basket with you when you go, but so be it.
In Australia we all love a BBQ, we love to eat outdoors and alfresco eating areas really sell a home. If you have anywhere that is paved or under cover then “dress it up”, if you have a table already then make it look amazing it will probably end up being photographed so have it looking its best. It can be as simple as a table runner with a wine basket and 2 bottles of wine, or you can set this space in a similar way to your dining table inside, it depends on the weather and if your space is water proof … but hire or borrow a table if you don’t have one, outdoor living is a real selling point!