Staging your home, Selling, photography

Take Centre Stage: Preparing your home for sale

By Tom Edwards.

You’ve decided you want to sell and you’ve sensibly instructed Coulters to do the marketing for you. It’s time to get this show on the road – our professional photographers are on their way so what can you do to make sure your home takes the limelight?

It doesn’t matter what is going on backstage, you need to bring down the house – the key is to de-clutter. And if you have a property with little to no furniture, be it because you’ve recently renovated or perhaps inherited the property, there are still steps you can take to present it at its potential best. Here are a few of the basics that will help.

UNFURNISHED PROPERTIES

We now offer a service whereby we can actually ‘digitally stage’ a room which can be a very cost-effective way to dress your property without having to buy or rent new furniture. It can be hard to envisage scale in empty rooms in particular, so it is much easier for buyers to imagine themselves living in a property if they can see how furniture might fit – it gives it much more of a ‘real’ feeling.

 

FURNISHED PROPERTIES

Outside:

We will always take an ‘external’ shot of your property so it’s important that it looks its best. Do you have a large car parked right out front that can be moved? Make sure you give the garden a little spruce – if there is a lawn that needs mowing or a bush that needs trimming then a little work will go a long way. And in these autumnal months, are there lots of leaves that could be raked up? Small things, but they make a big difference.

Entrances and hallways:

Again, the de-cluttering is crucial – are there any coats or shoes that can be removed? If not, make sure they are sitting nicely.

Kitchen:

I know it sounds obvious (but you’d be surprised how often it happens) but ensure your surfaces are clean. Are the dishes not only clean, but put away? Make sure the sink is empty and the draining board is clear and tea towels aren’t hanging on door handles. Also, if there is a washing machine on show, it looks terrible if it’s full of clothes.

Reception rooms:

I’ve said it twice before, but I’ll say it again – de-clutter; make sure coffee tables are clear (a candle, some flowers and a well-placed book can be great additions, mind you). Fluff the sofa cushions and make sure any wiring from TV’s or sounds systems is tucked away out of sight.

Bedrooms:

Make the beds! Even if the property is vacant and the bed isn’t in use, if there is one thing that makes a huge difference it’s made beds. No clothes on the floor or even in the laundry basket if it doesn’t have a lid. Also, don’t hide things under the bed – people will see them.

Bathrooms:

Remove as much as you can. This includes toothbrushes, shower gels (yes, even Aesop) and shampoos. Close the lid on the loo and make sure grouting in the bath or shower is ok; even going over it with a grouting pen will make a big difference.

General tips:

Make sure to replace any and all lightbulbs. Clean the windows (the dirt can really show up in photos) and ensure curtains and blinds are as far open as they can be.

It may sound a bit contrived, but this is your house’s first performance and you want the audience to fall in love on first sight. If you follow these tips you can rest assured you’ve done everything possible to upstage the competition and steal the show. And don’t forget this is just the dress rehearsal – you’ll need to follow the same guidelines when potential buyers come for viewings, but if you’re getting it right at this stage you’ll know your house will be a tough act to follow.

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