Estate Agencies are opening, and viewings can now take place. However, this is a very different world we now inhabit, and very careful thought needs to happen before you get your house ready for sale and viewings. In this article, I wanted to share some interior design tips that will not only help your home sell, but also prepare it for the new guidelines and requirements for viewings, to help you prepare. All the usual steps to get your house viewing ready apply as they ever did:
- Kerb appeal
- Deep clean
- No nasty smells
- Tidy garden
- Tidy wardrobes
Keep a neutral scheme if you have not had the interior of your home designed by a professional designer. Do not try and be your own Interior Designer if you are looking to appeal to a buying public. I was looking online recently at homes for sale and there was a beautiful house for sale which had been newly renovated by the builder or property developer. This home was a decent size with open plan living and the entire ground floor had been laid with very shiny black sparkly tiles. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with this, but the rest of the interior did not work with this very strong look and it would have cost a lot of money to change. If you are going to narrow your potential market with a scheme that is very different, then make sure the scheme is cohesive. This is your USP.
We have all seen homes advertised as ‘Architect Designed’ or ‘Professionally Interior Designed’ What this tells the purchaser is that the house is highly designed and specified, and is likely to command a premium price. If you do not want to go down this route, then keep everything nice and simple, people will then be able to see how their own stamp on the property could be.
When you think about ‘staging’ your home for sale, take a step back and think how the buyer will perceive the space. Do you have a lot of oversized mis-matched furniture? Think about putting some of your furniture and possessions into storage for the duration of viewings. Children’s toys should be tidied, and again, if you can get the children out of the house for the duration of the viewing, you will be able to keep your full attention on the job in hand.
Home viewings are going to be very different now.
Once, a few tasteful accessories would be left out and the rest put away. Now, I think you need to put everything you can away. Wipe down all surfaces after the viewings have taken place, so the less that is out on view, the less you must clean. The advice from a local Estate Agent, Ugo Arinzeh of Onyx Property Consultants, is to leave all lights on (no touching switches) leave all doors open (no touching handles).
Having a clean house has always been the advice if you want to sell but this is now essential for sale and to keep you and your family safe. Clean grout with an old toothbrush and get rid of old shower curtains and really get into the corners. This is a regime everyone should be following now anyway together with washing hands.
Try to depersonalise your home and put away any toys and beds belonging to your pets. If the pets can be absent on viewings that will also be helpful. You may have got used to the odour your pets make but you do not want ‘a pong’ to be what prospective buyers remember.
If you are in lockdown because you are in a high-risk group, then think about leaving the house for the duration of the viewing. If you must be there, do not forget social distancing. I would have a chat with the Estate Agent and work out how to conduct the viewing so that you are both on the same page. If you are doing the viewing yourself, then work out the rules of how you will conduct the viewing.
We all need the housing market to get moving to stimulate the economy, but we have to move forward sensibly, with care and, I hope, excitement.