You have outgrown your family home and it’s time for your next chapter – but is your family home ready to attract buyers?
Remember back to when you first purchased your home. You spent weekends trawling antique markets for beautiful, individual pieces to make your home a reflection of your own unique personality and style. Coming back to now, when you spend Saturdays between the farmers’ market and the playground, your two bedroom flat has filled with all the happy chaos that comes with family life. Your fridge is covered with children’s art, there are scooters in the hall and brightly coloured toys are everywhere. It’s time to sell, and you may wonder how to ensure a wide appeal, and present just the right amount of family flavour, speaking to buyers who may or may not have children. Happily, the sales experts at London property group Kinleigh Folkard and Hayward have some tips.
Never underestimate the power of curb appeal
Ensuring the exterior looks inviting is often overlooked when preparing a house for a viewing. Some people may have already made the decision not to buy before they’ve even stepped foot inside your home. Ask yourself, how does the garden look? Does the front lawn need mowing? Does the fence need of a lick of paint? Is the entrance to your home tidy? These are all the questions you need to ask yourself – put yourself in the buyer’s shoes when preparing your home for sale.
Quick and cost-effective ways to freshen up your home’s exterior include planting seasonal flowers in tubs and making sure the lawn is mown. You could even jet wash the driveway and re-paint any woodwork that has aged over time. You want the exterior to be inviting to give potential buyers the best first impression possible.
Make your entrance inviting
The next step is to make the best use of the space you have in the entrance to your home. Adding large mirrors will give the illusion of space, and it will also reflect light to make it feel airy. Make sure the entrance and hallway are clutter-free – we cannot stress this enough! A small shoe cabinet and and a coat rack will go a long way in making the entrance and hallway feel inviting, and if you wanted to go the extra mile, a console table by the entrance will define the space and make it a little more attractive. Top off the table with fresh flowers and scented candles.
Declutter, Declutter, Declutter!
Decluttering will help the buyer envision themselves living in the space. Pippa Warren-Evans, mother to one-year old Hugo, and Sales Manager at KFH Kingston says:
“It’s common for sellers to outgrow a property, especially if they’ve extended their family. What is normal to them might feel like clutter to others. Decluttering can have a huge impact when making first impressions and can be the difference between a buyer putting forward an offer or not. You might need to put a few things into storage – or even most things – to find the balance between presenting a home and a busy house”.
You may also want to repaint the walls with neutral tones, and add cushions, throws and rugs to introduce hints of colour and texture where necessary. Also, ensure lighting is crisp and sue lamps to illuminate drab corners. These are simple and affordable measures that will go a long way in providing an appealing blank canvas for the potential buyers.
Make it gleam
Kitchens and bathrooms are key to successfully selling a home and they must be spotless. Clear the kitchen work tops as much as possible and use a few simple props such as attractive bottles of artisan olive oils and pots of fresh herbs. Dress the dining table to add a touch of glamour to what is ordinarily a functional, utilitarian space. You should always remove any stickers or post-its from the fridge or cabinets and ensure there are no leaking taps or broken cupboard handles.
Behind the scenes
One common mistake when selling a home is to neglect the storage. A discerning buyer will look in the cupboards. If it is unorganised and bursting at the seams, your buyer will assume your home does not have the level of storage required for easy living. Invest in stackable plastic boxes to organise your belongings. Label them clearly and this will help you when you move too.
Remember every little helps…
David Moreton, father-to-be and Sales Manager at KFH West Hampstead says:
“While we have the industry knowledge to get the vendors the right result, we also pride ourselves on bringing that human element to the job”. He recalls a very unique instance where some vendors had rushed to the airport with kids in tow and didn’t have time to prepare their house for an open day. “They called us in a panic, so a member of my team and I rallied to help them out. We went straight to the property and put some of the kids’ toys and family equipment in our company cars in order to have the house looking as wonderful as possible in such a short time frame. The clients made it to the airport, the house showed very well, and they received two strong offers.”