For the latest in our series of blogs looking in detail at staging your home for sale, we thought it might be a good moment to consider five common mistakes that sellers make when preparing their home for listing.
Never ignore small details - It really is imperative to sweat the details when you're prepping your home for sale. The simple truth is that most buyers will forensically examine your home, specifically with the aim of looking for faults. Yes, it might just be a dripping faucet or a light bulb that's dead but, as we've said earlier in this series, it's estimated that potential buyers will assume there are perhaps another 10 faults for every one they find themselves. While it almost goes without saying that the big ticket problems must be dealt with in advance of viewings, don't leave it there. It's a great idea to go around with a clipboard and note anything that could be seen as negative, no matter how small. Why not role play that you're the person buying the house.
Never over-fill rooms - We devoted the first blog of this series to decluttering and we're not going over the same ground again today. Instead we're focusing on a common fault that, even when rooms have been cleared of lots of clutter, they can still contain too much furniture. Sometimes this gets in the way of creating an airy and spacious flow to rooms, which could even be perceived as being somewhat claustrophobic. Again, it's time for some careful analysis and action in terms of deploying a minimal amount of furniture. Back, once more, to your new best friends at the local self storage facility - the perfect venue for excessive furniture while you list.
Don't inadvertently impose your personality on your rooms - We've covered this one before, to a large extent, but it is important to re-emphasize just how vital it is to take your personality out of rooms. The issue is that you've become so used to items such as family portraits and religious paraphernalia, for example, that you almost don't see them, and certainly not as a stumbling block to selling your home. Articles like these need to be hidden away, as they serve to prevent most buyers from imagining themselves in a home that's ultra-personalized to your tastes. As ever, neutrality is the way to go in order to appeal to the widest cross-section of buyers.
Don't show evidence of pets on viewing days - Pets make many a house a home, of course, but there really needs to be no sign of them indoors when buyers view a property. This means that you need to create a scenario, as far as is possible, that doesn't make your pets a negative factor in attracting interest. Pet hairs, odors etc., need to be effectively dealt with. It really is a great idea to ask a family member or friend to look after them when someone is coming to view.
Never fail to make a last minute home inspection - Even if you've ticked every box on your checklist, it's so important to make that last minute check on the day of the viewing. If you have children and/or pets, for example, they are going to carry on their lives as if nothing is different about the day in question and they can create all manner of messes and clutter just at the wrong moment. It could be that a little more final elbow grease is needed before you're ready to wow your viewers.
We hope that the above advice is of use and, as ever, we encourage you to contact us if you have any queries on any aspect of real estate, including staging.
Next Friday, we'll focus on how to handle staging when you don't have the luxury of a lot of preparation time.