Please join us in welcoming back Anna Hart as our special guest blogger – fresh from her stint appearing on TV’s House Hunters International. Anna has some frankly ingenious and inexpensive ways to make your home sell faster.
The lovely people at Northfields have told me that my last guest blog “Spend less than £50 on these 5 things that really will improve the saleability of your house” was so well received, they’d love a sequel! So here you go: another 5 cheap and cheerful tips to get your house sold fast.
Fill up your ‘dead space’ – cost £0-30
Have a look at your photographs. Are there any blank walls, or areas of floor that are empty or unattractive? Just adding a picture or a floor-standing potted plant can make all the difference to the appeal of the room and improve the aspirational lifestyle effect. When choosing art, stick to fairly ‘safe’ generic pictures that no-one could really object to and make sure each piece is proportional and colour-appropriate for the wall it’s going to hang on. Leafy green ferns are a great low-maintenance plant option that don’t require you to have green fingers – put them into pretty pots. Move existing items around, borrow from friends or family, or treat yourself to some new art and plants that you can take with you when you move.
Light it up! Add table and floor lamps to improve ambience in autumn and winter – cost £40
We’re coming into the darker time of the year now so your rooms might need a little help in the light department. Overhead lights don’t typically give the best ambient lighting, so boost the atmosphere with a floor lamp behind the sofa in the sitting room, or an extra table lamp in the bedroom. Think quantity rather than quality for this one; choose simple designs and shades that complement your design schemes (nothing fringed, floral or fancy!), and make sure you give energy-saving bulbs enough time to fully warm up before viewers arrive.
Replace mouldy silicone in the kitchen and bathroom – cost £10-£15
If the silicone along the edge of your sink, bath or shower has gone mouldy, it’s really not giving buyers the best impression. Fear not, because it’s easier to replace than you might think. You can easily Google the full process, but the basics are:
- Carefully remove existing silicone using a Stanley knife blade
- Make sure all surfaces are clean & dry
- If you’re not confident of your abilities, mask off the area
- If re-sealing the bath, fill it full of water
- Using a sealant gun & tube of anti-fungal silicone, run a bead along the joint
- Smooth the joint using a wetted finger or teaspoon
- Remove masking tape & KEEP DRY according to sealant manufacturer’s instructions (usually at least 24 hours)
Pressure-wash driveways, decks & patios – cost from £30/day to hire a pressure washer
Your paved, cement and decked areas have been getting gradually grubbier over time so you probably haven’t noticed them changing colour, but believe me they really could be cleaner! Hire or borrow a pressure-washer, put your shorts and flip-flops on, test on an inconspicuous area first and get washing! You’ll be amazed at the difference – you can also clean your house exterior, door & window frames and why not give the car a wash while you’re at it.
Put a bed in the bedroom – cost £0-25 depending on what you already own, for my best staging secret ever! See below…
No matter how we use our spare bedrooms, whether it’s as dressing rooms, offices, games rooms or simply for storage, buyers are usually looking for actual bedrooms, so when you’re selling it’s advisable to have a bed in each bedroom, at least in your photos. But what if you don’t own a bed for that room? No problem! I’m a little nervous about sharing this with you because I think this is my cleverest secret staging tip so far, but I’m in a happy mood so here goes…
- 1: go to a supermarket and get some identically-sized boxes, ideally those sturdy banana boxes that are about 50x40cm and 25cm high. You’ll want 2 for a single and 4 for a double.
- 2: get an air mattress (and an electric pump, best thing ever!)
- 3: clear out the bedroom, position the boxes at the corners of the ‘bed’, blow up the mattress and place it on top of the boxes
- 4: cover with a valance sheet (to hide the boxes). Sit lots of fluffy pillows up against the wall to give the ‘bed’ some presence and add some sumptuous bedding. Ta da!
Just make sure no-one tries to sit on it 😉
Best of luck, and happy selling!
Anna Hart is an expert in Home Sale Strategy and Staging, working with houses sellers to maximise their chances of selling as quickly and as profitably as possible. Anna appeared in an episode of American TV show “House Hunters International” – you can view the episode on YouTube by clicking the link! She is busy creating images for her series of books to bring her refreshing and proven house sale preparation strategy to sellers outside of her immediate Nottingham area.
Need some expert home staging advice? Ask Anna.
Follow Anna on Twitter: @AnnaSellsHouses
Like Anna’s page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AnnaSellsHouses
Anna blogs! Lots of lovely helpful posts at www.annahartconsultancy.co.uk/blog
Thanks Anna for sharing your expertise with us. We appreciate your expert eye.