Over the past year (happy business birthday to meee!) it's been a privilege to be asked into peoples' homes to work with them to create interior design schemes to suit their taste, needs and budget.
I've got 2 VERY exciting projects on the go at the moment (more on these in my next newsletter!) and I'm about to start working with the winner of my Christmas charity competition, who won a free interior design day with me. And the timing couldn't be more perfect - Tis the seasons to get your home market ready!
How can I get the highest price for my house?
Thinking about listing? Here are my top 10 tips for presenting your home for sale...
1. It all starts with kerb appeal... So get out there in the garden and spruce it up a little! You don't need to have green fingers for this one. Just a little love and attention, a therapeutic weeding session and a few bedding plants - Voila!
2. Clean the windows - inside and out! It always amazes me how much more light is let in, even by just cleaning 1 side of the glass. But remember, don't do it on a sunny day #streakywindows
3. Declutter: Find the balance between a house and a home. It's important to make a property feel homely so that prospective buyers can imagine themselves living in the space, but too much of YOUR home life on display can be distracting. so start by decluttering. And for those items you need to use daily that don't look great for viewings, put them out of sight (or even in your car!) before people arrive!
4. Depersonalise: This relates to the above point. The aim of the game is to help people imagine themselves in the space, so if you have bold artwork (that perhaps isn't to everyone's taste) or a huge number of family photos, consider just keeping a few. If people feel that it's overwhelmingly your space, they may feel less of a positive emotional attachment. It's a fine balance!
5. Do a furniture audit: Have you made the best use of each room? Too little furniture, and the room will feel empty and unloved, and people won't be able to imagine how they'll use the space. Would your room benefit from a little more breathing space? Furniture placed around the perimeter of a room can give a waiting room vibe, so try moving one of the sofas away from the walls. Even just by a few inches can give the room a more sociable feel. Game changer!
6. Make. Your. Beds!. And make them beautifully. Especially in the main bedroom. People can't resist the chic hotel vibe. Borrow some throws and cushions if you don't want to invest, I promise you it'll be worth it. Check out thewhitecompany.com for bedspiration.
7. Don't panic about colour! It's not essential to strip back to bland neutrals. While it can be useful to offer your buyer a 'blank canvas', if colour is really your thing, consider keeping it. Us humans evolved in nature where colour and pattern is everywhere and we crave colour to some level.. While maximalists may need to tone it down a little, I'd urge you to remember that colour brings warmth and a welcoming feeling, which is EXACTLY what you're after!
8. Get your green on: Remember what I said about humans and nature? It applies again here! One of the comments I often hear about my property staging is my use of greenery. When I rent kit out and style a home, I use faux plants. I'm not talking jungle vibes, but one or 2 plants, in most rooms, will make the world of difference. And it's easy! In an ideal world, you'll have a mix of sizes, at different heights, dotted around in smart pots.
9. Appeal to the senses: Keeping your property clean goes without saying, and if it smells delightful, you'll create a positive emotional feeling that will put you onto a winner! Get some diffusers, throw open windows.. There's a reason why people bake or brew coffee before a viewing! Do whatever you need to do to delight all the senses when people walk through the door. Us humans buy because of how something makes us feel, and we subconsciously land on that feeling within a few seconds. Once that decision is made, it's difficult to reverse it - so make it count!
10. Hire a professional. Property stagers will work with your furniture, bring their own or use a mix of the two, and there are also professionals out there who can help you to declutter. If you find this really challenging, as many do, it could be the answer to your prayers!
I always focus on making sure buyers feel a positive emotional response as soon as they set their eyes on a property. If you can do this too, you won't go too far wrong! Good luck!