Anyone that reads my blogs every week, knows how I’m always saying about de-cluttering the home, before you list your property for sale. But there are occasions when people can take this to the extreme, and remove every last piece of “life” inside the property. Just because your house is on the market for sale, doesn’t mean to say you can’t still live comfortably.
I once saw a home that the owner had cleared away every sign of existence, and to say the lounge furniture looked like they were sitting on tea chests, is mild compared to how it really looked. It gave the impression of living in a warehouse, not a home. So imagine what a buyer would think.
You need to make sure the property remains homely. It’s ok to think that the buyer will want to put their own stamp on it later, but you’ve got to tempt them first, and presentation will do it. Buyers are willing to pay more if they feel emotionally connected to a house – on average staged homes sell for a 5-10% higher price.
It’s always harder to sell a home that is empty, but I do understand that sometimes this just can’t be helped. So under these circumstances, you need to make sure that everything is up to scratch, like freshly painted walls and cleaned thoroughly. Buyers won’t have any furnishings to fix their eyes on, so they will automatically be looking for any defects in the home. Make sure the house is bright and if you’re leaving curtains, they must be clean. If at all possible, ask a few friends if they have any extra pieces of furniture, that you could borrow, just to help stage the home. Pictures, flowers in vases on tables, a clean rug on the floor, always makes a warm welcome.
It’s not just about the inside of the home, you need to focus your attention on the outside too. Make sure the pathways are cleaned, maybe they need pressure washing. Sweep away any fallen leaves, and trim back any overgrown plants.
Buyers – if you’re looking at empty houses, you need to bring your imagination with you on the viewing appointment, as this could be your future home you’ll be looking at. It can be difficult to imagine where furniture could be placed, and if you can even fit all of your favourite furnishings in the room. All valid questions, but with a little planning, you can easily work everything out. Did you know that Ikea have a “design your room” programme online, that lets you place your furniture within a “virtual room?” All you need are the room sizes!
So just be open minded when viewing an empty property, it may not just be a contender, it could be YOUR next home!