Updated: Apr 10
Let’s start with decluttering. I know….nightmare! You’ve accumulated years of “stuff” which you now need to wade through, making the hard decisions on what should be kept and what should go.
So here goes. Whilst we are all at home, why not take the opportunity to have a sort out. Divvy up different jobs to different family members. Ask them to choose what they would like to keep and what could be donated to the great charitable causes that will be in your area. Selling items on Facebook Market Place or Gumtree can be a great additional income and will likely help fund some of the maintenance and repair work that will likely need doing around the house.
Now you have decided what is to be kept and what needs to go, store the items that will be sold or donated in the garage or shed where they can be kept out of the way, but together. This will mean that when we come out of our lockdown they can easily be moved.
For the items that are to be kept, it’s really important that they are stored in your home in an ordered, accessible and aesthetically pleasing manner. It makes for much easier tidying when the house does get listed and potential buyers flood your home.
For a potential buyer, especially a family, storage is everything. You need to make storage areas seem as large and as plentiful as possible. If storage areas are full to the gunnels, buyers will perceive spaces as smaller and insufficient for the current owner’s needs, and therefore their own. The garage can be a prime example of this, stacking boxes down both sides of the garage will make it a appear smaller, where as stacking boxes down one side but higher will give the illusion of more space.
As I mentioned previously the process of home staging is to depersonalise, that means that some of your much loved personal items will need to be removed before photographs and viewings. It is entirely up to you if you choose to remove these for the duration of the time the house is on the market, or just before viewings. If it is the latter, you will need a well-oiled process, a list and a place to easily sore the items at short notice.
Here are some examples of what will need to be removed.
Personal information – Paperwork, mail, business documents; not only does removing these make the house less messy it also protects you from people knowing your personal details.
Personal Photographs – As much as you love these, sadly buyers don’t, it creates a barrier to them being able to visualise themselves in your home. The odd baby pic is ok, normally most babies look the same, but any adults will need to be removed. Removing childrens art work and pics that may be stuck to the fridge is also a good idea, it looks far less messy and again less personal.
Personal Care Items - Even though you are still living in the home, you really want to give the illusion that you are not. Seeing someone else's toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush and hair gel will all conjure up the idea that the home is "used" or belongs to someone else, again preventing the potential owner from seeing themselves living there.
Personal collections - Anything taste specific should also be removed. It will stop potential buyers from drifting off point and stay focused on seeing them selves living there. As soon as they are distracted they will envisage the current homeowners, not themselves living in the house.
A few other things to consider would be to pair back small accessories, they can make places look small and cluttered. A table top or shelf with one larger accessory will look far less cluttered and give the illusion of space. Remove unattractive items - when I say unattractive, I mean to the potential buyer. I'm sure everything you have in your home means a great deal to you. It is important however that you understand that taste specific items are exactly that and they may not appeal to everyone.
Check out my next blog on home staging where I talk about repairs and maintenance and the massive impact it can have on the impression it gives a potential buyer.
Don't forget, if you are looking to sell your home and would like my help, please don't hesitate to get in touch via email on firstname.lastname@example.org