Don’t underestimate its importance or mistake it for a chore. Home staging is a way of preparing a property for sale to make it more appealing to buyers, which can help it to sell quicker. The idea is that you present the property in a way that allows potential buyers to picture themselves living there – think of it this way, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
When preparing to sell your home, staging can involve big jobs like redecorating, but it can just as easily be a case of simply removing clutter to create more space, clearing the way for a potential buyer to visualise their belongings in each room.
Martin Grainger, Valuations Manager from WeBuyAnyHouse.co.uk says of staging:
“Home staging is one of the key ways to really help your home make a great first impression. And we all know first impressions count. Selling a property is tough and making sure that potential buyers can envisage themselves living in the property you are trying to sell is key.
“This doesn’t mean leaving your house sparse and looking like nobody lives in it, but freeing up more space by removing clutter and presenting a home that is ready to move into. This can reap huge rewards when it comes to the saleability of your home.”
As well as helping with home staging, clearing out the clutter can also help you prepare to move house and, in some cases, earn you a bit of extra money too.
A head start on the packing
Getting rid of clutter can seem like a grueling task. However, not only can it help you to sell your property, it also allows you to get on top of your packing. Consider these tips:
- Go through your house, room by room, and identify what items are absolutely essential – things you use every day like furniture or key pieces of decor like mirrors
- Every item you’ve marked as non-essential you should pack away, throw out or sell on – see below
- Items you never use – toys and games the kids have outgrown, for instance – are key things to keep in mind when you’re decluttering
- If you’ve a lot of extra soft furnishings it can be worth moving them out of sight when viewers visit your home. Better yet, pack them away until after you’ve moved house
- Leave the items you’ve packed with a friend or family member, or put them in storage to save space
Declutter to donate or sell on
As well as creating more space in your property, decluttering gives you less to pack and then transport when you move house, while freeing up storage in your new home.
But rather than just throwing out those non-essential items you realise you no longer need, consider donating them to a charity, or try selling them on to earn yourself a bit of extra cash.
Clothing you no longer wear and takes up too much wardrobe space, or clothes the kids have outgrown, could all be donated to charity.
Alternatively, there are many online “clothes for cash” services, which will pay by the kilo for clothing donations.
You can also raise some extra cash by selling your other unwanted items – an impressive CD, DVD or video game collection, for instance, can be downsized using online services like musicmagpie.co.uk or eBay. While this might not yield a large amount of cash when selling a handful of your things, a larger number of items can net you a surprising amount of money.
You could then put the money you’ve raised towards new furniture or to make home improvements in your new home that you’d originally planned for further down the line, or to just ease the financial burden of moving house.
“It’s important to create good habits in the home, in particular the places that can become magnets for clutter. Each room will have its own storage needs for items that need to be kept out of sight, creating more space to display the items that mean the most.” Darryl Brunt, UK Sales & Marketing Director at Fellowes UK
No more clutter, what next?
Once you’ve decluttered you can concentrate on the task of staging your home. As mentioned earlier, this can be simply getting rid of clutter, but sometimes you need to go a bit further to create a great first impression for your potential buyers. Try these tips:
- Present your home as a ‘blank canvas’ by painting walls a neutral colour.
- Replace or repair any fixtures and fittings that have seen better days.
- Scents are important and trigger memories. Some people swear by the age old baking bread or fresh coffee, but this can feel a little insincere. A good-quality floral scent is a real winner.
- Make sure the garden’s tidy and looks its best. As well as the inside of your property, every aspect of your home should be geared towards impressing a buyer.