Even though a house should really be purchased solely on the merits of its less superfluous qualities, it can’t be denied that a well-decorated, well-maintained house is far more likely to sell than an unloved shack, even if said unloved shack is in a fantastic location, is built well and has a layout that is just about perfect. It seems irrational (and it is really) but the fact of the matter is that if the house looks a certain way, potential buyers have a vague idea about what is possible. People these days generally don’t have much imagination, everything needs to be spelled out for them in black and white (probably a bad analogy come to think of it, as black and white is a terrible colour scheme for a family home). This means before you even think about putting your house on the market you should seriously think about improving your home in a manner which will entice potential buyers. Calling this ‘home improvement’ is a bit of a misnomer considering taste is subjective and it’s likely you may have to take out some bank loans in order to afford these renovations, but the final sale will be worth the money and effort.
The housing market is in dire straits right and you’re going to need every upper hand you can muster. Below we’ll examine just a few of the factors that underline just how important first impressions are now that we’re operating in such a deflated housing market.
What are People looking for?
Even if you’re perfectly happy with the way your home looks, remember that’s your personal preference and it might not be compatible with conventional tastes. It’s important that your design fits into a ‘neutral’ bracket that can appeal to a variety of potential buyers. Sticking with neutral colours is a good basis to work from, as these will not only make your home seem brighter but will create something of a ‘blank canvas’ effect. Beige might be a ‘boring’ colour (or lack there-of) but it’s also attractive and easily painted over.
Your furnishings don’t need to be overly extravagant to draw attention. In fact (unless you’re in a real bind) most furniture can easily be transformed with a fresh lick of paint or repurposed entirely with the right know-how. Although most homeowners would hate to admit it, there is a general ‘template’ that most homes work from with the three-piece suite in the lounge (or ‘sitting room’), the dining table in the dining room and the double bed in the master bed room etc. etc. Making sure you stick rigidly to this template of ‘what’s expected’ from a conventional home is vital if you’re aiming to appeal to as large a market as possible.
Clear the Clutter
Not all the steps you’ll need to take in order to ensure your properties sale require you to take out exorbitant bank loans or make a dramatic home improvement. Although I shouldn’t have to really say this (surely it’s self-explanatory), it’s crucial that sellers prepare for each viewing seriously. This means making sure all the vacuuming and dishes are kept on top of and that there is nothing left lying around that could look in any way unattractive. This is especially important if there are lots of similar properties on the marker as you want your home to stand out in any way possible.
The most vital home improvement you can undertake is fixing anything that’s damaged. This should be a priority even if it means turning to loans or savings to afford them as even minor problems can look like potential deal breakers in the eyes of a nervous first time buyer. Next set about trying to depersonalise your home, but don’t go too far, make sure you concentrate and capitalise on first impressions. So paint the front door a fresh coat, tidy the front garden and make sure the first room in your home is the most impressive.
Hold Your Horses
Of course there’s no need to go overboard. You don’t need to redecorate your house completely and it can actually be detrimental if you’re trying to second guess exactly what the buyer wants. For example, why buy a new carpet when you can get your current carpets professionally cleaned for a fraction of the price?
Everything else is really down to you and your estate agent. It’s a tough market but with the right attitude, you could be settling into your new home by the end of the year. Good luck!
Bob Emerald is a home owner who doesn’t intend on moving anytime soon and is more than happy with his home so won’t need any home improvement loans to pay for improvements, but when the time comes, he’ll be ready.