17 December 2014

Setting the stage: simple tips to make your home more valuable

Staging is the process of preparing your property for sale with an aim to render it as appealing as possible. Though the culmination may result in you debating whether you even want to leave such a pleasant abode, it can help sell your property faster and increase its value.

Whether you’re thinking of selling soon, or considering the possibility several months down the line, the following simple tips can provide a real boon.


Clear the way
During staging, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that it’s all for the prospective buyers. You might think your living room exudes a cosy ambience, but to a fresh pair of eyes it might look like clutter-central, population: “not me”.

Decluttering is an easy and inexpensive first step that can boost your property’s value and help you enjoy it more in the meantime. After all, as well as putting off realtors, bank appraisers or viewers, clutter has been reported to cause negative psychological effects like stress.

If the task ahead looks beyond the abilities of Mary Poppins, you could hire a professional clearance company. With a considered choice you can get an affordable clearance made possible through waste
recycling contacts. The South East based Clearance Solutions can “clear your property in a day, store your items to be kept in secure storage and reduce the overall clearance cost by selling the unwanted excess through community networks”. So in other words you get to pat yourself on the back for both saving money and helping the environment by keeping items out of the waste stream.


...but not too much
When you’ve finished moving all of the superfluous items into storage, you should survey the space again. With a clear space, it will be easier for people to imagine what they could do if they were living there. But it’s still important for it to have some personality. A room that looks like it has leapt out of a department store catalogue can be just as off-putting as a room brimming with a miscellany of items.  


Fixing up and looking sharp
Pretend you’re viewing your property like it could be your dream home, what would you change?

Limescale, cracked grouting, chipped painting, murky wooden floors, windows and mirrors, and old towels. Tackling these visual signifiers of lacklustre luxury might not be an ideal part of the day’s schedule. But in the grand scheme of things, none are particularly costly to fix, and they will make a significant difference.

When buffed to a sheen, reflective surfaces in particular can contribute to a highly coveted light and airy effect.

Remember that most people would like to move in and not have to make many changes. Cleaning everything until it sparkles and replacing unsightly threadbare carpets, cracked tiles, walls and door knobs will make a huge impact.

As Rebecca West said, an insect appearing out from a skirting board can introduce ugliness to the day. The same is true for an immaculate home featuring frayed carpets.


The kitchen
Don’t underestimate the power of the kitchen in a house sale. As Sunny Sandhu from Acton based estate agents iProperties says: “it’s always going to be one of the most important rooms in the mind of a prospective buyer”.

Scrubbing and polishing where possible will make for favourable features, but not if there’s a terrain of dents and scratches. Unfortunately, the shabby chic look will never apply to the kitchen - so if your worktops are in a bad way, you might have to do something about it.

In terms of furnishings, your options will be dependent on the size of your kitchen. So if you have a small kitchen, use minimal furniture and try to ensure there’s breathing space. If you have a large kitchen that can host a dining area, a small but practical table can give the impression of spaciousness.

Like a bathroom, it’s a sanitary space that will need to reinforce ideas of cleanliness. However, in stark contrast to the bathroom, it’s also a communal space. This means injecting a gentle personality and creating a hospitable atmosphere. A bookcase (large or small) with cooking books or ornaments could achieve this nicely.


On the day
When you’re actually expecting people to look around, there are some simple ways for making your home extra appealing.

Introduce some favourable smells of your own. Smells can transform a space, for good or bad. Some people may think of houses primed for viewings as sterile. Using pleasant aromas can change your property from a product into a home.

Brewing fresh coffee and baking bread in the oven before arrivals is sure to create a cosy atmosphere. By associating good, homely smells with your home, people will feel more positive towards it.  

Visuals are equally important. Fresh flowers and fruit in the kitchen or living room are always a good idea. Other more intimate touches can include a tempting art book or magazine lying open on a coffee table.

When your property is inviting, people will want to interact with it, will imagine themselves living in it and will hopefully find it difficult to leave.


A parting thought: don’t just renovate to compensate
In the context of house renovations, overcapitalisation refers to a property that has been improved beyond the point where it will make any reasonable return on the investment.

Of course, if you’ve got the worst house on a great street, renovations can make perfect sense and will almost certainly make you money in the event of a sale. But for an average house in an average area, investing in expensive fittings or expansions will cost you money that you probably won’t make back.

There are great ideas for home modifications. For example, the garage conversion is becoming a popular way for families with small homes to make more room for the kids. It doesn’t even need to be for the kids, expert AV installation company Mayflower International have made their clients the envy of the neighbourhood by transforming garages into home cinemas, rigging whole house audio integration as well as other home enhancements: “Whether it’s a cinema setup in the converted garage or integrated hi-fi systems running throughout the entire house, we can make the dream home; but it’s always important to remember that dreams are different for everyone”.


Please feel free to rival the local movie theatre. Just don’t expect to be compensated for it if you sell the house.


Have you got any tips to share that could increase the value of a home?




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1 comment :

  1. When we were trying to sell our house, we'd had loads of viewings but no interest. We then decided to decorate the hallway, we wall papered one wall and painted the rest, withing 1 week we had sold it. On reflection we feel the hallway looked tied and shabby which gave the impression the rest of the house was going to be like this.

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