Selling your house often means an exciting and sometimes stressful event. Your house is valued, the indicative price determined and the realtor takes care of the rest. The FOR SALE sign stands for your home. And finally the moment has arrived. The first viewing is planned.
Most people who want to sell their home often don't pay much attention to the interior of the property. When interested parties, during a viewing, see boxes piled with stuff, a decrepit kitchen or a messy interior, you reduce the chance that a sale will be closed. It may sound strange, but the interior of a house for sale for a major portion determines if there will actually be a sale going to be closed. Of course after the purchase the new owner of the property will set up the interior to his own taste, but the first impression of the interior is more than important. A well maintained property that gives the impression that people have lived there with fun, of course, is more attractive than an outdated or even neglected interior.
So it’s time for you to focus fully on the care of your interior!
What can you do to prepare your home and the interior for the first viewing and sell your house within no time? Read these golden hints and use them for your benefit!
1. Clean and arrange. Space is light and light is space. Potential buyers don't want to buy a house where it seems like it has become too small for you! Ask yourself the important question “Where do I save it for, is it really still necessary?” Maybe you save your stuff for the children or others ... are they really waiting for it? Unnecessary chairs, tables and cabinets? Give them away or put them on sales. 2. Care for a light, neutral decor. No striking colours, but light shades. Just remember that more and more people want a 'ready' home. A few sizable pots of paint make a world of difference! 3. Keep it 'impersonal'; no photos, crazy crafts and specific sets, that will give the potential buyer the feeling that it is YOUR house, viewers are thereby derived and it sometimes gives an uncomfortable feeling. 4. Minimize overdue maintenance. Loose or missing tiles and skirting, holes in the wall, peeling paint work etc. 5. Keep the floor empty, as far as possible, in other words, don't put stuff on the floor, under the table, in the corner next to the sofa (and also consider the wires on the floor, tie them on). 6. Where necessary hang a mirror to do make a room seem optical bigger.
The first impression is what attracts potential buyers to your property. For some a house that looks dilapidated of course has its charm, but most home seekers are still looking for a home that looks as if it needs not too much maintenance. Go to the front of your house, look critically ... what occurs to you? 1. Is it possible to reach the front door without bending over and evasive movements (branches and shrubs that need a meeting with pruning shears, weeding, etc). 2. How does the front of the house look like? Clean facades, up to date paint work, beautiful frames? Everything attached well, no loose screws and tiles, does the outdoor light work? 3. Beautiful (flowering) plants at the front door and in the backyard perform miracles! 4. Is the lock working smoothly and opens the door completely without beeping? Check for a moment all doors and windows that are going to be opened, also the door that you almost never use.
Bring on those viewers!
Golden hints for selling your house.
The lobby (or other entrance space) is usually the space that visitors first see.
1. Care for light colors on the walls in this area. This looks more spacious and neutral. 2. A mirror on the wall also can help. 3. Make sure the floor is empty: all loose attributes, shoes, etc. are neatly stored, preferably hidden behind doors or neatly on racks. 4. A small bench or 2 chairs in the hall is a good idea when you have enough space. Many people associate this with coziness and they feel welcome. 5. Also, make sure there is something on the wall to dress up the space.
1. This I see often: an immense collection of cleaning products on the toilet floor, put them back in your cleaning cabinet. Put the toilet brush and stock of toilet paper away, so the floor is empty. 2. Remove floor mat and close the toilet lid (a white toilet lid is often the best choice). 3. It's a small space so don't hang too much on the wall (pictures, tickets and children's crafts). A simple mirror above the sink is always right. 4. Care for a fresh scent, a clean hand towel and, for some atmosphere, a plant or flower in a vase.
Living room and porch: here's where we live!
In addition to the first impression the living room and porch are the most important areas at a viewing. The living room and especially the porch (the great outdoors!) are highly valued by home seekers in the Caribbean. These are areas in which they will spend much of their time.
1. Did you use bright and striking colors, paint the walls in a neutral, light shade. It's difficult for potential buyers to get an impression of how the space will look like to their own taste in the future, when they are distracted by busy patterns or bright colors. A light color also helps to increase the space optically. 2. Try to restore a damaged or worn out floor. A beautiful rug in the sitting area is a must. 3. Enter the living room or porch within and look at what first stands out. Often there is a sofa or chair in the middle of the room and you look at the back of it. Put furniture that way so that as much as possible floor space is visible at the time you enter the space. If necessary, remove a piece of furniture (or a few). In general I would say “the less furniture, the better”, but don't overdo this. Home seekers must get a picture how the space looks like decorated to get an idea of the possible formats. 4. Many cabinets and shelves give a pretty full impression. Care for space and air and pack some stuff you're not using. If you have packed all the personal things there is space. 5. Are there lots of children's toys or a play-pen in the room or on the porch? This often takes up a lot of space. Remove them before a viewing or while taking pictures. Maybe you can park them at the neighbours (with the children (!) ... this is not a joke: children and pets will distract viewers too much). 6. Keep the space towards the windows free and empty. Potential buyers always walk to a window to look outside, so make sure that this will be no gymnastic exercise. 7. Cosiness should not be missing. Choose for mood lighting, use small pads in the seats and pillows on the couch. Care for beautiful wall decoration. Nice plants in pots will dress up the spaces and give the buyer a homely feeling. Think big, don't prefer 5 smaller jars one by one, but use 2 greater and light colored pots with fresh green plants in 1 species. This provides serenity and brings 'life'.
Cosy dining room
1. This space is subject to the same points as the living room and porch. 2. Too many chairs give the viewers a crammed impression. For an average house four chairs usually are sufficient. Two on both sides of the long side of the table, unless the table is more than 120 inches long. Then you can place 6 chairs, taking into account the space is big enough of course. If not consider a smaller dining room table is an option. 3. A bowl of fruit on the table stands for 'fertility' according to the Chinese energy doctrine 'Feng Shui'. Do it! Or in the kitchen on the counter. 4. The well known (fresh!) bunch of flowers always makes a good impression. Nice fake ones are also allowed.
Care for a homely atmosphere. It often works well.
1. Imagine a picture of a showroom kitchen and make sure that your kitchen is cleaned up the same way. 2. Everything must be clean! Make sure the floor is neat (if possible shiny), the cabinets have a greaseless look and the table is spic-and-span. Smooth, flat and shiny surfaces give a good impression. 3. To make the kitchen more intimate the use of kitchen accessories and herbal plants can help. For example accessories as shelves with small jars with herbs, a nice kitchen machine or a design pepper and salt mill. 4. Do not use a tablecloth. This will distract potential buyers quickly and gives a messy impression. 5. Put away the rubbish bin when it's in sight. 6. Remove or open blinds or curtains, they block the light. 7. Glass kitchen doors? Make sure that what's behind attracts no attention. Put the neutral colored stuff in front. 8. Often the cooker hood lighting is failing, make sure it works. 9. Remember not 'overfeeding' the kitchen cabinets and built-in closets. Leave some extra room .... people want to buy space! 10. Again, provide a plant (or 2). It will just give that little extra.
The most important advice is: furnish bedrooms as you would find in a B&B or hotel.
1. Use a light-warm hue for the curtains and on the walls. 2. Make sure the floor looks well maintained and make it as plain and open as possible, 3. Make use of beautiful bedding or bedspread in a light color and make sure that the beds are made up with almost military precision. 4. Create atmosphere using a few pillows, vase or print on the wall in the same accent colors (up to 2 different colors, otherwise it soon will be too stressed). So you create unity. 5. Clean the bedroom: make sure that there is no 'personal stuff' on tables, cabinets and walls. 6. Care for a luxurious “look and feel” of the bedroom. This always works well!
Clean and spacious bathroom
Whether you have a shower and/or bath, use all the possibilities to make the bathroom look rich and spacious. This gives viewers a pleasant feeling.
1. The best piece of advice is: think of how a bathroom in a show room or hotel looks like and try to match this 'royal look'. For example, place a large mirror on the wall, put beautiful towels down and display luxury care products out on a dish or in an open closet. 2. Make sure of course that everything is tiptop cleaned. Pay special attention to the mirror(s). 3. What about moisture spots and black, dingy caulk edges? Clean them. It's a lot fresher right away! 4. A few fresh towels on the tub rim is a must. 5. Also, a flower on a vase is a good addition. 6. Remove the laundry basket and care for a fresh scent.
Balcony, flat roof and gutters
These are often overlooked at the preparation of a viewing. 1. Clean the gutters and grills at the drain on the flat roof, so water can flow away. Potential buyers always comment about a layer of water on a flat roof. 2. Is there a balcony? Make sure that the (tiled) floor is neatly cleaned (pressure washer) and decorate the balcony by creating a sitting area with nice chair pads and other accessories. Dress it as well with some jars with (flowering) plants/shrubs in various sizes. Even though the house might have a garden, viewers must consider it a 'plus', that they can sit down on a balcony and enjoy.
Flirt with your garden
1. Pruning and clean tiles. It does make the picture looks a lot fresher! 2. Put away clotheslines. 3. Put away empty pots, garden tools, leftover tiles, children's toys and other stuff as much as possible or carry it off. 4. Remove the garbage pail (trash can) out of sight and give it a place as unobtrusive as possible. 5. Care for a fun and comfortable outdoor set, cosy decoration. 6. Fill pots with bright bloomers or beautiful cacti and succulents if you already live no longer in the dwelling or you don't want much work anymore.
Barn or storage shed
1. Arrange visible floor surface as much as possible. 2. Did you cleaned up and also packed some stuff into moving boxes? Do not try to fill the whole barn with it, but consider whether it should really be kept. Is it never been touched over the years and is throwing away maybe an option? 3. If you, for example, carry off a sofa or cabinet temporarily before a viewing (because the room is just that little bit too full), ask the neighbours if it may stand in their barn during the viewing.
General tips for a viewing
1. A few hours before the tour open all windows and doors, so your house smells nice and fresh. 2. Make sure that pets are 'not at home or inside' during the viewing. Accomodate them somewhere else. Remove all visible animal stuff. You are used to the smell and don't notice it anymore. Potential buyers who do not have pets, however will smell it. Pets distract. 3. Are you going to clean the house with the vacuum cleaner? Before you going to clean, you vacuum a little washing powder (no liquid detergent) in an empty vacuum bag: this will give a fresh scent. 4. Mop hard floors (tiles, concrete, laminate, etc.) with all purpose eucalyptus cleaner to achieve a fresh scent. Inspect the doors, door frames, handles and kitchen cabinets on (dirty) fingerprints. 5. Should the refrigerator be opened, make sure that there is no dominant fish or garlic air coming out. 6. Don't forget to empty and clean the dishwasher (food scraps), should it be opened by the viewers. 7. Open curtains and blinds as far as possible. Shutters up. Light is space! 8. Turn on the lights in storage and filing closets and other dark corners and spaces before a viewing. It gives a nice impression. 9. Care for a comfortable temperature in all rooms if it's possible (air conditioning and/or fan). 10. Are all doors that should be opened unlocked? Any cobwebs and other iniquities removed? 11. Check out the toilet: be sure the toilet smells clean and fresh (after cleaning a dash of toilet cleaner with eucalyptus smell) and put the toilet seat down (!). 12. Do you have a coat rack and is it full? Fine ..... but not at a viewing! Get everything off, except for 1 jacket or shirt, and put it in your car in the back seat. 13. Do the flowers and plants look fresh and is there fresh fruit in the bowl?
You are ready for it, so bring on those viewers!
Oh yeah, 1 more hint: if there's too little parking space in your area, make sure you drive away your own car, just before the viewers arrive. So at that time you prevent the annoyance of not being able to find a parking spot.
Using these tips selling your home will become a lot easier. The purchase of a home is often a matter of feeling what determines a buyer. Often the little touches give a potential buyer a certain feeling so that he decides to cross the line to close the sale. It's often about the small changes in the interior that gives a dwelling just the appearance where a buyer is looking for.
Are you looking for help & advice with the sale of your house?
I can help you with the sale of your house, apartment, villa, studio, holiday home, business or shop by
* styling and (re)decorating the interior of your sales object, making use of the existing furniture and accessories to the extent possible;
* making a photo report and/or video presentation for websites, magazines, brochures and social media.
Please feel free to contact me for learning about all options. You'll be surprised!