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Home Staging Techniques – Top Tips To Get Your Home Ready To Sell

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I’m not going to ramble on about baking bread and brewing coffee…lets get right down to business.

This Home Staging Advice will get you on the right path to getting your house sold. It’s not Rocket Salad and it doesn’t have to cost you money.





Home Staging Techniques 1 - Get Going Now

Don’t wait until your house in on the market and not getting any viewings or offers. This is the biggest mistake buyers make. You want to get the maximum price for your property don’t you? YOU DON’T!

Well come on even Estate Agents will knock off a few thousand pounds if they think that your property will be a ‘Hard Sell’ so don’t start off with a lower asking price than you could have got.


Home Staging Techniques 2 - The ‘D’ Word

Do I even need to say it…..’DeClutter’ It may not have been in our dictionaries before Ann Maurice stormed our shores but boy we’ve got used to hearing that word. Well funny thing is she’s right. As we’ve got wealthier as a nation, we have acquired more and more. Our little British homes weren’t designed for a TV in every room, let alone the DVD player, the ’X’ box, and every sort of gadget you can think of…well I won’t go on. But having every surface covered with your everyday ‘necessary’ items makes the place look untidy and worse…smaller.


Now in a later article I will go into this subject in a little more detail. It really is quite fascinating and I often learn a lot about a client from what they hoard oops I mean treasure.

Start in a neutral room like the bathroom or kitchen…or the downstairs loo. While the kettle boils for that cup of tea…work on just 1 drawer. Over the course of the evening you could have tidied out quite a lot of rubbish. The aim is to create ‘space in your place’ so don’t just shift it to another spot. If you don’t use it, loose it!

The great thing about this first tip is ITS FREE and it cost you nothing more than time and effort.


Home Staging Techniques 3 - The ‘C’ word

No one likes the idea of living with other people’s dirt…so get cleaning. Seriously if your home smells and looks clean you are creating a great environment for those viewers. Think about it. Kitchens, Bathrooms and Toilets should all do Aggie & Kim proud. You want your viewers to be thinking about buying your home…not Cleaning it.

Cleaning your home goes hand in hand with decluttering it. So get the bin, bags, dusters, sponges and rubber gloves out and get cleaning.

Like DeCluttering, tackle a room at a time. Get everyone to give a hand. The kids can do their bedroom.

Don’t forget to clean windows, they will let in a lot more light, and make the place feel brighter and bigger.

Polish door fittings, taps, sinks and anything that will add a gleam to your home.

Fantastic bonus number 2 THIS IS FREE to do as well.

By both decluttering and cleaning your home you will have done 2 of the most effective things you can in preparing your home to sell. Don’t underestimate their importance.

What next?


Home Staging Techniques 4 - The ‘K’ word – Kerb appeal

First impressions count…oh the clichés are coming thick and fast here. But yes people do make long lasting judgments by what they first see.

Come on if you were off to an interview then you would give some thought and time to your appearance wouldn’t you?

Give your hair a brush, maybe even get it cut, shave, put your best clothes on and practice what you are going to say.

Well think of the viewer as your potential interviewer…they will be looking to see how well your home is turned out, does it pass the ‘first reaction’ test?

Even before those viewers have got out of their cars they will have begun judging your home, and they haven’t even set foot inside your driveway yet. All those viewers will have passed your neighbours before reaching your front door.

How does yours compare? Take a wander down the street and be honest. How good does your home look compared to the others in the street? Does the gate work? Is it missing? How about the front wall, is it half falling down? Are the beds looking good or full of weeds? Is the pathway clear or does it resemble an obstacle course, full of odds and ends, wheelie bins, the recycle box and the kid’s toys?

All these little details matter. They add up to a picture in the viewers mind…is this house welcoming, well looked after, appealing or is it a disappointment! Your neighbours may not be selling, but you don’t want your home to be seen as a disappointment to the viewer because it doesn’t compare well with the neighbours.


Home Staging Techniques 5 - Do That DIY

One of the biggest mistakes that sellers make is to think that they can leave all those little DIY jobs that they have been meaning to do for ages, undone because they are moving. Sellers assume buyers won’t notice but I say that viewers come with ‘Magnifying Glasses’ not ‘Rose Tinted Glasses’.

Viewers see everything. They see the cracked tiles in the kitchen, they see the loose coving around the ceiling, and they see that odd patch of damp. And every time they see an unfinished job or a problem that needs sorting they mentally reduce the value of the property in their opinion. Viewers always overestimate the cost of putting a problem right.


Don’t give them an excuse to reduce the price of your property or worse dismiss it as ‘too much work to put right’. Do That DIY…NOW.


Home Staging Techniques 6 - The Other ‘D’ Word – Depersonalise

This really goes hand in hand with de-cluttering and cleaning, however I like to wait until the place is a little tidier before I get to grips with an over-personalised home.

Well I often get asked ‘surely if I take all of my ‘things’ out of the property it will look bare?’

When Home Stagers talk about depersonalising the home they don’t mean striping it of all its personality…just yours! Well to clarify, not really taking all of you out of it, just the more ‘in your face’ personality.

Although, for you, the process of selling your home is a great invasion into your life, people poking around your very personal space. Remember that it isn’t their personal space.

Also remember why they are looking around. They are not there to admire your wonderful collection of Dickensian plates on your walls, but your walls. Don’t distract the viewer with all of your bits and pieces.

So take down the ‘BAGA’ & ‘Grade 4 piano’ certificates, replace that funny poem about farting in the bathroom, and thin out the photos in the living room. All these will end up distracting the viewer, they will concentrate on looking at things that tell them about you and not the house.

Keep bathroom personal care products out of view.


Home Staging Techniques 7 - Keep It Tidy, Put Away Your Smalls!

I know I talked about keeping the place clean. But remember to keep it tidy too.

Selling is hard work because you have to be ready for ‘that’ viewing at any moment. This means that you really have to get into the habit of tidying away as you go along.

Washing should be in the laundry bin, in the machine or away in the cupboard. Don’t let your viewers have to negotiate a clothes airer in the bathroom or bedroom, it won’t leave a good impression. Likewise don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or a pile of clean dishes on the draining board…clear it away.

Get everyone into the habit of putting away stuff after they have used it…this may be a bit of a battle with the kids or the other half, but don’t give in. Make your life easier by getting a few toy boxes for chucking in all the loose toys and invest in a remote control tidy for the end of the sofa.

The hallway is often a wonderful dumping ground, try and find space to put away all those things that have been abandoned over the last few months. If it is summer then weed out the winter coats and shoes and put them away.


Home Staging Techniques 8 - Make Each Room Count

It’s simple really. When buying we tend to look for a 3 bedroom house, a 2 bedroom apartment. I.e. we buy by the number of rooms.

What you want the viewers to do once they leave your home and go away to think about it and talk about it with their partner is to remember each and every room.

Often I see properties with rooms that are general dumping grounds, or confused because there is no obvious use for them, like a dining room piled high with office equipment and filing cabinets, or the second bedroom empty but for a set of drums and a wardrobe.

This is a real mistake because if a viewer can’t see what the room is for they may well dismiss it as unusable or worse forget it.

Make each room count. Give each room a purpose or use so that your viewers can see how they could use it.

Property is expensive, make sure that yours offers the viewers good value for money.


Home Staging Techniques 9 - Grow the Space – Start Fertilising Now!

Seriously, buyers are buying space. Space is a premium so you want to make the most of yours.

When selling your home think of ways of making the rooms look bigger. In later articles we will take a look at using lighting and colour to help increase the feeling of space. However you can do a number of things just by moving furniture around.

Firstly in your main rooms try and thin out the furniture. If you have a number of side-tables and footstools could you move one or two out of the room.


Tip - the more floor that can be seen the larger a room will feel.

So get everything you can off the floor and into cupboards or into the garage, loft or shed.

Try and keep the lines of the room clean. Clear away stuff stored on top of kitchen and bedroom cupboards, these make a room feel over stuffed and suggest a lack of storage space.

I like to suggest that if you are selling, consider renting a storage unit for a couple of months. Pack up all those things you wont need for the next few months like last seasons clothes, holiday stuff that you don’t need and any long term stored items that you will have to pack up before the move. The great thing about this is not only will your home feel larger but also you have tackled some of the packing before the big day.

So get packing


Home Staging Techniques 10 - Light = Space

Think about trying to get as much light into your home as possible. Pull back the curtains and give the nets a wash…or better still get rid of them, if you can bare it.

I also like to change light bulbs in all the appliances. Increase the wattage in those lights that illuminate internal spaces like hallways and bathrooms. (Don’t overload the appliances though). Even on bright days I like to have a little artificial lighting on to add some depth to the rooms.


Home Staging Techniques 11 - Will That Smell Help You Sell?

I won’t linger on this one too long, stale cigarette smoke, last nights take away, the cat litter tray, that damp musty smell in the back bedroom, the cooker hood filter, the drain outside the back door….Does that smell help you sell? Get things smelling fresh…open the doors and windows and let the air circulate.

Now although I have set you quite a list of jobs to get started, and there are many more on the road to preparing your home for the viewing market, none of these cost a fortune to do, and most cost nothing at all.


Once you have started on the process of getting your home ready you will feel a lot more positive. Remember that you are not only preparing your home you are also getting yourself ready for the move as well.

Come back for more advice and ideas on getting your home ready for those picky viewers.

Need more help Now?

Give The Property Coach a call or take a look at the Home Staging Services

Home Staging HandbookThere are loads of good ideas on how to 'Be Your Own Home Staging Consultant' and get your home ready to sell 'Home Staging Handbook'.

Take a look now and see how you can get your home into shape for yourself or for those potential buyers.

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