I talk often about the difference between a house and a home. It’s a crucial difference in real estate and presentation is the key.
When showing a house it’s important to highlight with furniture and styling how comfortable and flexible the property is. I don’t think it is officially a word but I like the idea of promoting the ‘livability’ of a property.
Which is why a vacant listing is a tricky listing. It is much more difficult to sell a house when it’s empty because potential buyers may struggle to imagine how furniture will ‘fit’ within the rooms. Is the bedroom really big enough to fit a queen bed and a wardrobe? Will the living room manage a three seat sofa and a dining table? Furniture needs to help tell the story of the possibilities the house offers.
But it’s equally important not to get carried away. Aim for fresh, clean and uncluttered. It’s a fine line between ‘homey’ and ‘someone else’s home’.
By that I mean inspections should not leave potential buyers feeling like they have just intruded on another person’s private space. A property needs to be styled to allow potential buyers the opportunity to envisage making the property their own home.
In practical terms that means removing the most personal elements of your home styling. Take down the children’s drawings, the notes and shopping lists off the fridge, put away the family photographs on the mantelpiece and the cleanser in your bathroom.
It sounds like a no-brainer but I don’t just mean make sure the floors aren’t muddy. Consider getting carpets, windows and blinds professionally cleaned. And don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s okay to stuff everything into cupboards. If you do it is almost inevitable that someone will look and a cluttered cupboard can ring warning bells that the property lacks sufficient storage.
It’s all about colour and fragrance. Aim to maximise the light and airy feel of the home. Consider a strategic pop of colour with scatter cushions or a throw rug, some fresh flowers, a perfumed candle in the bathrooms and in the garden some potted colour and freshly mown grass. (I do think the smell of fresh baked bread might be taking it a bit far and burning incense could be overwhelming.)
It doesn’t have to be expensive nor time consuming but the presentation of your property should be well considered.