Laura Rigby from 9th Avenue Interior Design and Home Staging is here to offer her top 3 tips for getting your home ‘SALE READY’!
So you’ve decided to sell your house and make home somewhere else. Congratulations!! But before you put up that FOR SALE sign, there are a few key things you need to do to get your house looking “shmick”. Ultimately, you want to start your sales campaign with your best foot forward, and here are a few ways you can do that;
As much as you love your display of Queen Anne Bone China, or that collection of snow globes from every country you’ve ever travelled to… or your daughter is a One Direction fan and her room is covered head to toe in their faces… surprisingly, the future owner of your home, may not. (I know, who doesn’t love a good snow globe collection, right?) Detaching from your home is a key element to becoming “sale ready”. As much as possible, you want people coming through your home and imagining themselves living there. They can’t do that if they can see you and your family still taking up residence.
This also includes any photos and memorabilia you might have hanging up or sitting on bedside tables. Pack it all away and start thinking of how you can lovingly display it all again in your new home.
The way I see it, you’re eventually moving out anyway. Why not get a head start with your packing. If you’re going to be living in the house until it’s sold, keep the bare minimum you require. For example:
Linen Cupboard: How many sheets and towels will you need over the next few weeks? (I’m anticipating a quick sale for you). Anything you won’t use, box up and put into storage. Spare doona’s, cushions, bean bags… and all the other random stuff that hides in our linen cupboards. It all needs to be hidden away (or boxed up for storage).
Kitchen Cupboards: How much crockery and Tupperware can you survive on in a few weeks? Do you need 8 saucepans? Will you honestly use the 7 in 1 food processor in the coming weeks? Be realistic with yourself, and if you won’t use it, pack it away. The less you have in the house, the bigger the house will appear. It’s a home staging technique we term as “smoke & mirrors”, but it will look like you have way more storage than you need, which is a great selling point to any home.
Kids Rooms: This one should wait till the kids are at school or visiting Granma. Pack away as many toys as you can. Leave as many as you can fit in 1 box per child. (And not a refrigerator box!) Pick a box that will fit nicely into a cupboard, so on “Open Home” day, potential buyers are not jumping and krumping around because of the Lego or Matchbox cars that were left out.
Bedroom Cupboards: You should be hoping for a reasonably quick sale, so pack away ALL the clothes you won’t need. It’s just come Spring here in Australia, and realistically, you can get away with one, just one, “just in case its cold jumper or cardie”. So, pack away ALL the winter gear. Also put away extra shoes, handbags, and scarves… everything that is taking up residence in your cupboards that will not be required in the coming weeks. (I also have a range of shoeboxes with my kid’s drawings and ‘gifts to me’ stored in my bedroom cupboard…. if this is you too, send it to the storage shed).
Bathrooms: With all rooms, and bathrooms are certainly no exception, LESS IS MORE. Can the kids go without bath toys for a few weeks? If not, keep a small box handy that can be packed away into a cupboard easily. Pick your compulsory few makeup products, moisturisers and fake tan, and pack the rest away. If you haven’t used it in a few months, it’s likely you won’t again for another few months. If you’re unsure, pop it into a small box that can neatly be put away for inspection day. Also, nobody wishes to see what brand of toothpaste, shampoo or conditioner you use. And toothbrush holders are just plain ugly. Hide it all. It’s not difficult to get them back out of the drawer or cupboard for use each day.
You get my drift…. Keep telling yourself with every room you go into, “LESS IS MORE”.
Cleanliness is paramount. And I’m not talking about the Saturday morning whip around the house kind of job. This one may require some professional help. Seriously!!! You want to do this well. I’m talking oven sparkling, grout scrubbing, wall sugar-soaping, window runners shining kind of clean. Top to bottom and nothing missed. Every corner of the house will need a wipe or scrub of some sort. Unless you’re getting new carpet (what a beautiful gift for the new owners may I add!) you will likely need your carpets professionally steam cleaned. Even the outdoors will need attention. If you don’t own one, borrow a high-pressure hose and give your house the once over, including the roof, driveway, back patio, window screens, awnings…. Everything.
Think of it like this…. The last thing potential buyers want to see (or feel) is a house where the previous owners didn’t care enough to keep it clean. Even if it’s not true, they’re thinking it. So clean it anyway.
So those are the main principles in getting your home “sale ready”. As a home stager, it’s wonderful to walk into a home for a consultation and see that these steps have already been taken. (Your Real Estate Agent will be thankful too). It makes our job so much easier (and quicker!!). You’re also setting yourself up for a great sales campaign.
Of course, if this sort of stuff doesn’t come easy to you, and you’re struggling with ‘what is personal ?’ and ‘what is clutter ?’, then by all means, give me a call * and I’ll pop around and give you a hand. That’s what us Home Stagers are here for.
About the author- Laura Rigby and 9th Avenue Interior Design and Home Staging are based on the principle “designing a house to become a liveable, functional and loveable home”.