House hunting is exciting, and that feeling can come from envisioning yourself living in the house you’ve dreamed about for so long. However, it cannot be easy imagining the place to be yours when it still feels like it belongs to another.
Buyers will feel the same when they see your house during open inspections. They can be turned off by clutter and excessive personal belongings, leading to reduced competition and offers.
Most agents, including me, will recommend getting rid of clutter and styling the home using furniture to showcase its most attractive features.
Moving out completely while the house is on the market may not be for everyone, especially sellers who haven’t found their next home yet. But freeing the home of items that might turn off buyers will let a sale happen and ideally result in higher price.
- Noticeable Clutter
The first step is decluttering and this should be done weeks before listing the home.
These can be easy tasks like clearing kitchen counters of cumbersome appliances like blenders and microwaves to make the area appear bigger, or emptying the hallways and entryways of coats, shoes and bags to create a sense of space.
- Odd homewares
Styling your home sometimes means that your tastes may not fit that of some buyers.
“Keep it vanilla,” is what I recommend. This means anything quirky or odd for the house, any item that makes buyers pause will distract them from the features of the property.
When a property is styled well, it can help sell a property quickly.
- Photos and personal belongings
Buyers want to envision themselves living in your house. But that is not easy when your photos are hanging on walls and fridges.
Family photos scattered throughout the home will show too much of your personality to buyers, and this makes it hard for them to establish a connection to the property.
De-personalisation should be implemented in every room of the home. Too many personal items in the bathroom can turn off buyers, so the best thing to do is keep the toothbrushes and medicines away.
- Cupboard items
Buyers tend to open wardrobes, linen cupboards and the pantry when viewing a property, which gives a literal meaning to the phrase “open home.” But a wardrobe bursting with clothes and whatnots won’t help sell a home.
To make a property feel more spacious, I suggest using a minimalist strategy while the home is on the market. Imagine that you’re taking a holiday and are living with just the items you can take. In other words, pack away all the seasonal clothing you are not wearing, books, vases and linen that you want to take to your new home too and store them off site if you have to.
- Pet items
Half of Australians have at least one pet, but it’s still best to keep away of any sign of pet occupancy during open homes. Not all buyers love pets, and pet items can make a property disorganised and distract buyers.
- Home offices and studies
A sale price can be impacted by the number of bedrooms. Thus, sellers are advised to convert home offices and studies into bedrooms before sale.
It’s important to make it clear what each room is used for. Buyers might not be able to visualise a room when they see a study.
- Backyard junk
It is just as important to declutter your backyard. Left-over construction materials like bricks and timber should be thrown away, while garden tools should be stored properly.
Changing trends means some outdoor features that were once disliked are now popular. Ten years ago, people didn’t like vegetable gardens. Today, they’re a selling point, particularly with younger buyers.
If you are thinking of selling anytime in the next few months and are seeking advise, just ask Annette!