From time to time, I am asked for advice on how best to present a home for selling purposes - so I thought it would be a nice idea to share a few ideas and style tips with you.
First off - this might seem a 'no brainer' but it is vital that you choose the right Agent !! Not only is it a case of finding an Agent with a good track record in your area - but you want someone who 'believes' in your home and whom you feel you can work well with - selling a home, as beneficially as possible, is very much a team effort !!
When we sold our last home (images below), I smiled when Neil (Templeton) from Templeton Robinson walked in ..... he looked up at the vaulted ceiling - and immediately said - "I really like this house Marie - it reminds me of something you would see in Cape Cod" ...
Light neutral decor tends to work best in a selling scenario .....
A comfortable yet practical working area is a real 'plus' for many people ....
A fresh 'calm' bedroom tends to appeal !!! ....
Whatever your style of bathroom, a few nice accessories can make all the difference ...
In just over two weeks, we had more than 40 viewers; several bids and had agreed a price above asking - so, a big thanks to the Templeton Robinson team !!!
I am not going to witter on about the importance of clean windows, a tidy garden, a sparkling bathroom and such like .... I reckon that anyone who is serious about getting the best price possible for their home will know to do these things!!!
Instead I would like to give you a few styling tips which could make a huge impact to your home.
And because I have worked for the last 12 years as a magazine stylist (25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes and Interiors, Ideal Home and many more), you will see that much of my advice is linked to how the home will appear in photographs. Given that the brochure is effectively your 'shop window', that's perhaps as good a place to start as any !!
The big problem is that we all stop noticing things in our own home - the broken garden gate, the shelf we always meant to put up, the bare bulb in the box room etc etc etc
Sooooo - I am going to offer one very useful tip that has always worked for me ....
Before you even invite an Agent in - take quick snaps of each and every room !!
The camera can be cruel - but this begins to let you see how a stranger might view your home and how it will look photographed. A good Estate Agent will have a team of professional photographers - and their images will no doubt be much more professional and flattering than those taken with your MOB - but this tip is such a good starting point - trust me :)
Once you have taken your quick snaps - study them carefully .... I think various things will become evident ...... these are just a few to watch out for .....
- Are there items peeking out from under the bed ??? When you walk into a room you may not see them - but the camera will !!
- Do curtains need pulled further off the window and draped carefully ??
- I personally love a coffee table in a room - but does it make the room look a little bit 'tight' for viewers to walk around - might it be worth removing or placing under a window ??
- Do the beds look pristine ?? I couldn't urge this strongly enough - if needs be, buy a white bedspread to place on top of the duvet and add stylish cushions and throws - there is NO better way to present a bedroom than a beautifully made and styled bed - after all, it's the biggest item in the room and therefore has the most major impact!!
- Are there too many family photographs ?? You want viewers to be able to visualise themselves in your home - I don't mean that the home should appear soulless - it's finding the right balance in terms of warmth and 'lifestyle'.
- Are the cushions in the living room sitting properly - when looking at photographs, it's amazing how the eye misses the actual 'features' in a living room shot and instead is drawn to higgildy piggildy mismatched cushions !!!
- Are the towels in the bathroom perfect ?? .... personally I think there's nothing to beat brand new fluffy white towels for photography purposes.
- Flowers, flowers and more flowers - there is no better way to re-fresh a room !!! They don't need to be expensive or overpowering - I often just pick up modestly priced bunches in the supermarket - then break them up into small vases and add snippets of greenery from the garden.
- I don't tend to do an actual table set - it strikes me as 'trying a little too hard' - but do add a little 'lifestyle' - be it flowers or candles or whatever.
- Do those bookcases need 'thinned' a little ??
- Would the fireplace look much better with a big mirror above ?? Make the most of that all important focal point.
- If you have coat hooks in the hall, remove most of the coats and simply hang a nice bag and/or brolly.
- Make sure your kitchen cupboards are thinned out and gleaming inside - you would be amazed how many viewers open cupboard doors !!!
- Keep your kitchen worktops relatively clear - but don't overdo it - nice accessories will enhance any kitchen!!
- Even for daytime viewings, don't be afraid to put a few lamps on - little pools of ambient lighting is so inviting ...
As you study your own 'recce' pictures, I think you will begin to notice things you hadn't previously spotted and will want to tweak things - so that when the Agent's photographer comes, everything will be looking its' very best !!
It goes without saying that having made your home look as good as possible for the photographs, you need to keep it that way for viewings !!
Well folks, I hope that has given you a few ideas to think about - I mentioned the importance of pristine bedding so I shall leave you with one of our most popular blog posts - here.
I am delighted to say that we shall shortly be stocking our very first 'Natural Calico branded' range of pure white Portuguese Matelasse bedding - watch this space :)
And finally - with thanks once again to Templeton Robinson ..... and here is a link to their site .... www.templetonrobinson.co.uk