We’ve all been there - scrolling through lists of homes for sale on zoopla & rightmove, telling yourself “you're just looking”. Well maybe it’s finally time. Whether it's finding somewhere bigger for your growing family, or just looking to move to a new neighbourhood, getting your home ready for the open market probably fills you with dread.
In London, many have turned to professional home stylists to ensure a quick & profitable sale, or to get their place ready for the growing airbnb market. With that trend, home staging companies have flourished but not all of us have the luxury of hiring professional help, and I don’t think you need to.
As with any big task, the easiest way to tackle it is by breaking it down into manageable smaller sizes. I’m here to help you get your home “show” ready without the professional price tag. By ensuring that your home is presented in the best light will help you draw in the highest bids. Here are my top 5 tips on how to style your home to get the best sale price quickly.
1. Deep clean & declutter
Remove all the mess from each room to ensure the space is clear. This does not mean you have to de-personalise the space, but everyone loves a clutter-free home. If you tend to fill every inch of your space, it might be a good idea to off-load into a storage facility off site (or if you’re lucky, at friends’ & family’s!) The buyer wants to see the house, not your stuff - so move out any oversized bits of furniture and keep the space open.
Potential buyers will also look in your cupboards to see how much storage space there is. If they can’t see the back of your cupboards, they won’t really know if the home lacks storage or just that you have (way) too much stuff.
Lastly, cleanliness cannot be overlooked. Ensure you deep clean your whole home, from the windows (inside & out) to the kitchen & bathroom. No one wants stained worktops, hairy bathtubs or smelly loos. Get it clean & keep it sparkling.
2. Repairs & touch-ups
Dud light bulbs in the downstairs cupboard, handles loose on the kitchen cabinet door and scratch marks on the wall - now’s the time to fix them. They’re small jobs, but will make a big impact on the buyer.
Kitchens and bathrooms are areas that show the most wear. If your grout and sealants are stained, it would be worth resealing and touching up the grout with a grout pen. If you can afford to spend a bit of cash, it could be worth painting your internal walls to instantly lift the space. Opt for light colours to brighten things up and if you're unsure, white is best ( it’s the cheapest option too!)
3. Intended use
If your home is being marketed as a 2 bedroom flat, but you’ve been using the spare room as a laundry room/storage space, it might be a good time to rejig it to fit the original brief. Move all your clutter out of the room and make a quick trip to Ikea to get a cheap double bed and mattress. If you’re strapped for cash, check out Gumtree or Facebook marketplace for cheap second-hand beds near you.
4. Style it up
If you're unsure of how to style up your home, the best place for inspiration is Airbnb. It strikes the perfect balance of home decor but with an air of hospitality. Do a quick search for flats within your city of a similar size and look through the listings that have “superhost” badge - these are the homes with the top ratings and for good reason. They will have been decorated and styled by a professional - the perfect way to steal some free professional styling tips.
Most of the homes have similar traits - they’re neutral in tone, have limited decor items on show and have beautifully dressed beds. Keep your styling to a minimum by removing everything and slowly reintroduce your favourite pieces back into the space. Aim to only put 50% off it back to allow you to see which items you really want vs the ones that were just hanging on. Whatever is left on the floor that you don’t love or can't find a place for elsewhere should not go back. Donate or sell it. If you're unsure, always air on the side of less is more.
5. Finishing Touches
From buying fresh cut flowers, fruit for the centre of your dining table or a scented candle for the living room, the final touches will bring your home together. This is especially important when you have lots of viewings booked in. Ensure your home is always looking its best - make the bed every morning and add some stylish touches with decorative cushions and a throw over the top. Keep dust at bay, put away items you have taken out during the day and tidy up as you go along to keep your home as neat as possible.