Staging your property to impress will ensure that you sell it quickly, and for the price you are looking to achieve
You never get a second chance to make that all-important first impression. It will take prospective buyers just a few seconds to decide whether or not they are interested in your property. So it is vital to present your flat in the best possible light.
Buyers may have several city centre properties of a similar size to choose from, so you need to ensure that yours is the one they fall in love with instantly? Staging your property to impress will ensure that you sell it quickly, and for the price you are looking to achieve.
Target your buyers
Tastes vary as do buyers’ priorities. Before staging your property for sale, you should identify who your buyers are likely to be and what they would be looking for. A city centre apartment would probably be most attractive to young professionals, who would favour contemporary décor, a minimalist look and all mod-cons.
Tackle the basics
Buyers will never fall in love with a home unless you demonstrate that you love it too. Poor maintenance and dirty interiors make a property feel uncared for. Your makeover won’t be successful unless you clean the flat thoroughly. Don’t forget to clean the windows before showing people round.
You should also tackle any little blemishes, such as cracked tiles, dripping taps and damaged paintwork. Poor maintenance is always a red flag and will leave buyers wondering what else they will have to deal with after they have moved in.
Smells are a big turn-off so, if you can, relocate your pets after your clean-up and until the property is sold.
Enhance the light
Buyers vary in their priorities, but you can be fairly sure that most will value light and airy rooms. Maximise the natural light, which floods into your rooms, by replacing heavy drapes with lighter curtains or blinds. Fully open curtains and blinds before viewings and hang mirrors to reflect more light into darker spaces. If you remain concerned about the amount of light, leave the lights on when you or your agent are showing people around.
Define every space
You will find that many buyers lack the imagination to see beyond your flat’s current layout. There may be rooms or areas, which you don’t currently use, or which you use in an unconventional way. For instance, a spare bedroom might be your sewing room. It is important to present that hobby room as a bedroom and to clearly define every space in the flat.
Demonstrate that there is room to feature a dining table, even if you don’t need one, and dress any recesses or spare spaces as useful study or seating areas.
If staging your property requires the addition of furniture, you can save money by borrowing or renting the pieces you need.
Lose the clutter
The longer you own a property, the more clutter you acquire. You might even be selling your flat because you need a larger home to accommodate your possessions. But you don’t want your buyers to worry about space. Clutter makes rooms look smaller and suggests that your flat lacks storage. Your bits and pieces could even prevent buyers from imagining how they will use the rooms.
Clear your flat of everything that you don’t need, at least while you are selling the property. If you don’t have anywhere to hide it, ask family and friends for help or rent a storage unit until the flat is sold. Don’t forget that clutter could include furniture. Strip back your rooms to feature as little furniture as possible, while still defining the purpose of every space.
Strike the right balance
Your personal items, including photographs and collections, could prevent your buyers from visualising themselves living in your property. On the other hand, a completely depersonalised interior could feel cold and unwelcoming. Strike the right balance by removing your bits and pieces, but leaving a few appealing details, such as a vase of flowers or bowl of fruit to create a lived-in feel.
Decorate in neutral shades
Neutral tones will enhance the sense of light and space in your flat while ensuring that the décor appeals to the widest possible audience. Your sophisticated neutrals may not be everyone’s favourite look but won’t offend anyone either. Those neutrals will also create a unified feel and a pleasing flow from room to room.
Spruce up your kitchen and bathroom
Buyers’ priorities will vary but most will be seduced by great kitchens and bathrooms. Fitting a new kitchen can be expensive but you can achieve a similar effect by replacing the doors of the units. The latest appliances will appeal to young professionals and research consistently demonstrates that granite worktops are on most buyers’ wish lists. You can give your bathroom a swanky face-lift by simply replacing the wall tiles and flooring.
It isn’t difficult to stage your flat for sale. Simply identify your target market, research what they are looking for and rework your interior to reflect their wish lists. Decorate in neutrals and create the illusion of light and space. Lose the clutter, repair blemishes and define your rooms. Complete the makeover by cleaning everything thoroughly and your flat will sell in no time at all.
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