The process of selling your own house and moving into your new home is never a simple one. The moving process is bad enough in and of itself, but the selling? That makes a play for being the worst part of it.
After all, you’re effectively inviting strangers into your home to judge how it looks. If they don’t like something, it can be difficult not to take it personally. It makes you feel defensive, like you’re on show, as if you can’t live normally just in case a potential buyer wants to make a spontaneous visit. Yes, moving might be bad, but the process of waiting for a sale is worse.
There are countless guides on how you should improve your home so it can attract buyers. Most of these tend to involve a large financial investment, which can seem counterproductive when you are trying to invest all you can in your new home. The chances are, your old house will look the best it has in years – the very moment that you say goodbye to it.
It therefore begs the question – what can you improve to attract buyers, without spending a fortune to do it?
Improvement: Clean Like You Have Never Cleaned Before
A detailed, in-depth clean is the first way you can impress without spending a lot of money. This is the kind of deep clean that you usually avoid. Get into every single area, lift every piece of furniture, wipe down the walls, crane yourself into uncomfortable positions to see any hidden problems. Small defects like marks on the ceiling are going to be noticed by buyers even if you haven’t noticed them in five years of living there, so make sure everything is as it should be.
Improvement: Deliberate Staging
The process of cleaning as above should involve a fair amount of organisation, giving you more room to ‘stage’ your home. Bizarrely, this is the act of making your home look like a home… but not too much. It’s the kind of appearance that your home would rarely have, but which is theoretically possible.
Remove all the detritus of everyday living – such as socks drying in front of gas fireplaces or cups sitting on surfaces waiting to be washed – but don’t remove everything that makes each room look lived in. A few books on tables, a pile of (fresh, nicely fragranced) laundry neatly folded on a bed – that’s the kind of impact you want. It’s a way of showing how a family can live in this house, but without making buyers think they’d be moving into a messy house.
Improvement: Quick Tweaks For Bigger Rooms
While you can’t suddenly increase the size of the rooms, you can make them look bigger with a couple of quick tweaks.
- Pull all of the furniture around an inch away from the wall. This is a surprisingly effective optical illusion that creates the image of space.
- Leave space beneath furniture. So no storage under the desk or down the side of a cabinet; let each piece of furniture stand alone.
It’s little changes like this – that don’t cost you – that can still make an impact on getting the offer you want.