I’ve recently listed for sale the home owned by the lady who stages our properties ready for ‘media day’ (photography and video). And what a treat it was! We walked in to a perfectly presented, beautifully staged home, just so and ready to go.
Fiona tells us how she prepared her home for sale, in just two weeks!
We weren’t planning to move, so we were nowhere near ready to go on the market. However, my husband retired and on a whim we decided to move to the coast. We immediately saw a property we really wanted, so getting ours under offer quickly was imperative.
Preparing my own home for sale was actually really hard! I do this for others all day, every day but it’s hard to be objective about your own home. However, I took a big step back and looked at it through a buyer’s eyes as much as I could.
My 4 goals were:
- Clean & tidy
We packed 57 boxes of our things including 22 boxes of books. We love our things but I know they’ll look like clutter to others and distract them from seeing the space the house has to offer, so off they went to storage! I really don’t mind the cost, it means I’ve got a head start on packing and when I open up all those boxes of books in our new home, it will be like seeing old friends again!
The only things on display now are beautiful furnishings and absolutely essential items.
Clean & tidy
If it stayed still too long I painted it, if it moved I scrubbed it! Every nook and cranny was scrubbed, descaled, buffed and polished so the whole house now gleams. It smells so fresh too, free of the smells of cooking and everyday life.
Curb appeal is crucial so I scrubbed the porch step to within an inch of its life and re-arranged pots and plants so they looked tidy and ordered. Gardening tools and bikes were put away.
We’ve always kept up to date on DIY so there wasn’t much to do. However, the hallway had scuff marks on the walls and banisters so I repainted the whole hallway, then touched up scuff marks elsewhere in the house.
We had a lovely stained glass window we’d designed ourselves and wanted to take with us so we had it removed and immediately replaced with a new glass panel. It was important to me to get this done before the photography, so the house was accurately represented.
As with all homes I stage, I gave each room a purpose and a colour scheme. The 2nd bedroom doubles as an office so I staged the desk as an office area. The dining chairs don’t match our new blue feature wall so I swapped them with chairs that complement the colour scheme. Then I added cushions, throws, flowers, coffee, snacks and magazines as lifestyle touches all over the house.
Our garden has several nooks with seating which are quite charming so I staged these with throws and cushions too, to show them off and add colour and texture.
On media day, I packed my husband off to the golf course. He was a bit discombobulated from all the tidying, and unshaven – I’d put his razor away and he couldn’t find it! Still, the house looked great, I’m very proud of the home we’ve created and really pleased with how it’s presented for sale. The photos look amazing.
It was hard work getting this all done in a short space of time, especially as I have a full time job. But I know it translates to more appeal and ultimately, a higher price for the house, so it’s worth it.
An important footnote
We’re now viewing houses to buy and quite frankly, most are a sad reflection of the estate agency industry. They’re often dirty, cluttered and with badly arranged furniture that makes it hard to appreciate what’s on offer. If what we can see is in disrepair, we wonder what horrors we’ll find underneath.
Even for probate properties, they’re worth cleaning so they’re a bit more inviting. I can see past these things but I know most buyers can’t.
When we move house it’s easy to take the focus off where we are and put it on where we’re moving, but this is an oversight. It’s well worth the effort to present your home to its best advantage. I may be biased given I do this for a living, but it speaks volumes that I do make a living from it!