Three Space and Storage Tips to Make a Sale

Selling a house is a bit of an endurance test. You need a balance between retaining some comfort and keeping the place spotlessly tidy. These tips will help.

1. Create the Illusion of Space

Nothing screams ‘cramped’ louder than clutter. Buyers want to see space and airiness, regardless of the property size. Homes that appear dark and cluttered won’t get on their short-list of possible buys so, boring as it sounds, decluttering is the way to woo them.

Don’t imagine you need to get rid of all the precious items you’ve collected. When you’re selling a home, the trick is to present a mostly blank canvas with just a few homely touches that indicate a good lifestyle.

Show homes are a great learning tool when it comes to ‘staging’ your property. Pay attention to:

• Kitchens – just one or two appliances, such as a kettle and toaster
• Flowers – always a great room brightener
• Dining rooms or breakfast bars – the table is laid
• Bedrooms – beds are dressed
• Dim corners everywhere – lamps are lit
• The fact that few items on display are personal even though, at first glance, it looks like a home

If you can, ask permission to take photos so you can examine them later at leisure. Alternatives to show homes are magazines or Internet sites like Pinterest for home staging ideas.

2. Take Advantage of Storage

As mentioned, decluttering doesn’t mean parting with family heirlooms. It means temporarily clearing the decks.

Self storage is a flexible and versatile helper when you need extra space, from large lockers right up to rooms big enough to hold a house-full of furniture. Facilities are handily located in most towns and cities making it easy to retrieve or add items, and rental periods from just 7 days make storage an even more attractive option for house sellers.

As an added bonus, many storage companies also have packing boxes and tape for sale. If you pack and label carefully during your declutter, you’re part way towards completing the mammoth packing task when you’re actually preparing to move. So don’t consider it extra work, instead consider the decluttering you do now as part of the packing process.

Clear out cupboards and wardrobes as well as packing away personal ornaments because you can’t guarantee buyers won’t peep inside. Overfull cupboards indicate too little storage space as loudly as cluttered surfaces and work tops.

3. Clear the Air

We think a lot about what a home looks like and how to create the right balance between homeliness and spaciousness, but often neglect the quality of the air and light inside the rooms. This can ruin all the good work done by decluttering and staging.

Some estate agents report having to take care of tidying and freshening up before viewings. They’ve been known to push things under beds, brew fresh coffee or even flush toilets. You can help yourself and your agent by making it a rule to:

• Get carpets professionally cleaned and wash the windows inside and out, not forgetting the frames. Give curtains a wash or dry clean and make sure pet beds are fresh.

• Buy new bed linen and save it for viewing days so you can dress up the master bedroom – and fill the room with a fresh, new linen smell.

• Keep on top of laundry so there are no stale smells lingering in rooms. Kids rooms can be guilty parties here, what with sports shoes and random discarded socks.

• Regularly bleach sinks and drains to keep them fresh.

• Open windows for a while before viewers arrive, and if necessary have a little squirt of air freshener.

When you’re selling a house, you need all the help you can get. Following these tips will put you ahead of the game, getting you on the road to completion just a bit faster.

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