When you are selling your home and getting it inspection-ready, it is important that you assess your home with an objective mindset. In this regard, it is not dissimilar to purchasing an investment property.
Whether you’re buying a property that needs to appeal to tenants or selling a property that needs to appeal to buyers, it’s important to make decisions with the head, not the heart and ensure you appeal to the widest possible cross section of your target market.
According to leading property stylists, the following are the 10 most common mistakes people make when presenting their home for the market:
1. Not having a house number prominently displayed – it may seem trivial to you, but to a prospective buyer, it’s essential! The last thing you want is a frustrated buyer who couldn’t find your home and ended up buying one down the road from you.
2. Loud, non-neutral bed linen on display – again this may seem trivial, but because the bed is generally the most prominent feature in a bedroom, anything but classic neutral decor on the bed is distracting and can make the room look smaller and less appealing. Make sure your linen is neutral and mainstream.
3. Overcrowded rooms – Having too much furniture in the house will make it look smaller. If you have this issue at home, consider removing some furniture while the home is on the market. Remember to allow for foot traffic and good flow from one room to the next.
4. Pet odours -this can be a real and instant turn-off for buyers. When you live with your pet on a daily basis it can be difficult to detect any unpleasant odour yourself because you get used to it. Ask a friend who doesn’t have any pets (or your agent) to walk through your home and be brutally honest with you. Putting your pet outside on inspection days, opening windows and lighting a few scented candles can work wonders to eradicate and mask any unpleasant smells.
5. Heavy window treatments – Leaving heavy window treatments like drapes and curtains in place can make your home look dark, cluttered and old-fashioned. If the window and outlook permits, it may be best to remove them altogether.
6. Lack of cleanliness – contrary to what some people think, buyers find it hard to ignore unswept floors and a dirty kitchen and bathroom. To buyers, uncleanliness is a sign of a home that has not been well-maintained. Make sure your home is spotless for your home opens.
7. An empty house – believe it or not, but empty rooms actually feel smaller than rooms in which furniture is well placed. As a seller, you want buyers to be able to imagine themselves living in your home and they find it hard to do so when the home is empty. If you have already moved out, property staging is highly recommended.
8. Over de-cluttering – some sellers take the suggestion to de-clutter their home to the opposite extreme, de-cluttering it to the point where it is devoid of warmth and ambience. Find the right balance between space and style and heart and soul.
9. Over-staging – by this we mean doing things like setting the table, complete with linen, fine china and glassware. Setting the table is where creating that inviting, lived in look crosses the line. You don’t want your beautifully set table to be the last impression a buyer leaves your home with.
10. Roadside collection – while buyers understand that you’re getting ready to move house, it doesn’t look good when they arrive and the first thing they see is a mountain of discarded items out the front of your property. Remember, first impressions count.