One of the major differences between “big-box stores” and upmarket boutiques is the way they package their merchandise.
Big-box stores basically just take the products out of boxes and dump them on shelves under lighting which is hugely practical but not necessarily very appealing. Upmarket boutiques, by contrast, take great care in how their present their products to make them look as appealing as possible.
Big-box stores compete on price. Upmarket boutiques compete on experience. When you’re selling your home, you want to achieve the best possible price for it, therefore it makes sense to follow the example of the upmarket boutiques and take great care to present your home so that it is attractive to buyers.
Remember that you only get one chance to make a first impression
These days, a buyer typically sees your home online first and then visits it in real life. Hence, you need to make sure that your sales photos/videos look as good as they possibly can.
If you work with a high street estate agent, they will often help with the photography/videography, but it will still be your job to make sure that your home looks its best. Therefore, you ideally want to have your home in sales-worthy condition even before its listing is created.
Make the outside of your home look as good as possible
If you never have time for proper gardening, then the moment you decide to put your home on the market you either need to find the time or to invest some money in having someone take care of it for you.
Similarly, if you don’t have the time/energy/inclination to keep up the good work with regular maintenance, until your home is sold, then you’ll need to make sure that someone else does, even if they need to be paid.
Regardless of whether or not you have a garden, you will have a front door, presumably with a number or name on it. You need to ensure that this entrance area is in absolutely pristine condition as it will form a key part of your viewer’s “real-world” first impression.
Contain children and pets
Unless you have reliable information from your estate agent that your viewers love children and pets then it’s a good idea to keep them both well out of the way during viewings.
Ideally, keep them out of the house completely. If that’s not possible, try to keep children in one room and pets in cages or travel carriers. If this seems cruel, then remember that neither young children nor pets are necessarily going to be thrilled about having complete strangers marching through their territory and may become nervous or, worse still, aggressive, even if they are usually docile and friendly. Give them a safe space out of the way and if you need to show it to viewers, ask them to treat it with respect, generally, they’ll understand and appreciate the effort you’ve made.
Declutter and clean to the max
This may be old advice, but it really is crucial. When selling a home, decluttering means decluttering, not sticking stuff into boxes and putting it somewhere out of the way like the loft.
There’s a good chance that buyers are going to want to see into all possible storage areas precisely because they will want to know what sort of space they really would have available to them. If you’ve filled your “overflow” areas to the max then you run the risk of sending a message to buyers that, actually, the main home doesn’t have as much storage space as they thought and that therefore they might be better looking elsewhere.
Similarly, cleaning means deep cleaning. By the time you’ve finished, there shouldn’t be a stain visible anywhere in your home.
Repair and refresh everything you can
Some buyers look for “fixer-uppers” but they expect such properties to be priced to reflect the work which needs to be done. Most buyers just want to move into a house and get on with their lives with minimal hassle. Even minor repairs could be a turn-off for them.
They also, generally, want the property to be in reasonable decorative condition so they do not feel that they have to rush to redecorate the place to their own taste. When selling a home, it is common practice to give it a fresh coat of paint in a neutral colour. This is a good start, however, depending on the state of your home, it may not be all you need to do.
Carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture are all likely to benefit from a proper steam clean. If you don’t have a steamer with which to do this, you can hire one or just hire a cleaner. If you’ve never had a carpet steam cleaned before (or not for a long time), you could find yourself amazed at the difference it could make.