While renovations will improve your home in so (SO!) many ways, it is important to realise that when you are selling your home, there are a handful of elements that are seriously unattractive to buyers. At the end of the day, unless a homebuyer is looking to completely tear down and renovate a house, most would prefer to move into a home that is up-to-date, contemporary and habitable.
Even if you plan on living in your home for the foreseeable future, these tips are perfect to help rejuvenate your space and create a cleaner, more contemporary appearance for you to enjoy in the meantime. And, when done properly, they can be a great way to help accrue both financial and aesthetic value over time! So, whether you are looking to sell your home now, or in the future, consider incorporating these five tips which either break or make your property!:
Clutter is not only a pet peeve, it is also a turn-off for buyers. While we become accustomed to our own clutter and live with it, homebuyers definitely notice! Julie Dana, a decorator, home stager and co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Staging Your Home to Sell, says:
“I usually start in the closets… Your closets should be half-full, with nothing on the floor. Why? Because most people looking for a house have outgrown their previous house. Showing them that you’ve still got room to grow gives them a reason to buy.”
Consider for a moment that you are in the homebuyer’s shoes and you notice that there is a lack or shelving, concealed cupboards or wardrobe space — you wouldn’t be happy! In fact, you would probably be mildly anxious thinking about where all your belongings would go!
On the plus side however, you can take almost any empty space, such as landing, hallway or architectural recess and turn it into a beautifully built storage feature. Sometimes, then can help bring a room together and frame structural features, such a fireplace! Even if you have a flat wall along one side of a bedroom, living room, hallway or office — you can take that wall and build out 50cm-100cm to create cupboards.
Once you have all your shelves and storage units in order, follow the Rule of Three: in your kitchen, have no more than three countertop appliances. and ensure the surfaces are pristine and clean. Bookshelves should be divided into thirds: one-third books, one-third decorative (vases and pictures) and one-third empty.
Seems like a lot? You will already have picture frames and some books lying around, so simply select a few that you can use decoratively. Purchasing inexpensive but aesthetically pleasing vases or ginger jars online can serve a dual purpose as they will not only add attractive features to your home-for-sale, but you can also enjoy them in your new home! It’s a win-win!
Lenore Brooks Design has an excellent and concise guide on the fundamentals of staging decluttering which is useful to follow if you are looking for some more in-depth advice on decluttering your home.
Outdated Fixtures & Lighting
There’s a reason why the past is the past! Not one buyer wants to see tarnished doorknobs, disco-esque lighting fixtures or dare we say, old ceiling fans! (All you have to do is type ‘outdated home’ in Google and you’ll see the visual we are referring to!). Nothing says 1970s like a Hollywood-style strip of bare, round lights over your bathroom mirror. Replace old, dated fixtures! The investment of a few hundred pounds is definitely worth it! We suggest covering up spotlights, which are harsh and unattractive to the eye, with a soft shade instead.
You don’t want to have so much lighting that you can’t tell switches apart, however you should aim to have a few light sources, types and at different heights with dimmers. Sounds like a lot? To break that down: in a kitchen, you should aim to have pod lighting in the ceiling, a couple pendant lights over your island countertop and then some concealed lights at the bottom of cupboards. These enable you to use the lights at different times, for different functions and with a dimmer, you can set a particular atmosphere to create ambience.
Flooring & Walls
Outdated ceilings, flooring and walls are an absolute no-no. Applications of coatings known as artex, acoustical, popcorn, plaster and cottage cheese gave a bumpy or swirly texture that was conducive to covering up construction flaws and ceilings. Popcorn Acoustic Ceilings are an artefact from the 1960s and 70s and will age your home significantly!
Remove these textures within your framework as they do not serve any aesthetic (or functional!) purpose whatsoever! They are difficult to repair, hard to clean and catch dust easily. A buyer will realise these lengthy, costly and exhausting tasks and as a result, could walk away without any interest. The Balance has a guide on how to remove Popcorn Ceilings, but you can equally hire somebody to do the job for you. Depending on the aesthetic you are going for, you could alternatively conceal textured surfaces with ceiling or wall panelling. Ceiling panelling, such as in the image below, is great if you are going for a breezy, airy and light coastal appearance!
While we love bright colours, a scarlet-red accent wall or lemon-yellow children’s bedroom could put off potential buyers. Choose a warm neutral colour such as beige, ivory, taupe or light grey for your walls which will create the illusion of space, making your space look larger and brighter, as well as welcoming! For any ceiling coving or skirting boards, we advise painting this in a pure white colour.
“Fun colours are for living, but neutral colours are for selling,” — Chrissie Sutherland, Home Stager
As a general rule of thumb, carpeting throughout a house (upstairs or downstairs) can be an unattractive feature to buyers. Carpets not only absorb odours but also retain stains, making them extremely unhygienic. Just because you think you concealed that red wine stain, it doesn’t mean the carpet is clean.
Statistics claim that most prefer either a beige (55%) or grey (24%) colourway and tend to install carpeting predominantly in bedrooms and basements. People will often aim to keep their kitchens, bathrooms, living and dining rooms either tiled or in hard wood flooring as they tend to be on the ground floor and used the most throughout the day. While more exotic and vibrant colours may appeal to you, there is a strong chance that they will not appeal to prospective buyers. So keep your carpeting neutral, clean and flat. Any carpeting that is too shaggy is also reminiscent of a bygone era and raises questions regarding cleanliness and hygiene. Here are some of our favourites:
For any further enquiries, please email us with some more information and we would be happy to speak to you further to arrange an initial complementary consultation!