‘Dress to Impress’ to help sell your home

Meadow View was marketed by other agents before we started promoting it in June. As it was an empty new build home, we professionally staged it with our exclusive home stager, Lemon & Lime. In less than two weeks of going to market, we had received an offer 5% over the asking price for our client.

It’s no secret that it’s never been a better time to be a seller in and around Rutland, Stamford and South Lincs over the last eighteen months or so. Houses have been selling fast as buyer demand outpaces supply. Although more people are seeking a quieter slow paced life in the countryside however, if a property is unfurnished or the furniture, décor and accessories are all a bit of a mismatch, it can quite easily put purchasers off.

If you’re thinking of putting your house on the market, you may need to consider home staging, interior styling or ‘dressing to impress’ as we like to call it. This concept was initially a common practice for developers in Prime London to give their luxurious properties the wow factor. However, home staging has become increasingly popular across the UK for home occupiers (and developers) too. 

An empty house, or one that is untidy, cluttered or filled with mismatched furnishings and accessories can be some of the reasons why a property doesn’t receive any viewings or offers. 

With buyers taking about 40 seconds to decide whether they will make an offer or not once they step into your property, you therefore want to make sure it is in top-tip condition and looking its very best in photographs and on viewings in order to attract interest and high offers quickly. Remember, first impressions really do count.

Here are some of our top tips for ‘dressing to impress’ your home this winter… 

We launched this superb home in Great Casterton in October, achieving over the asking price as a result of home staging the property. 

Engage a home stager for an empty house

Empty homes can feel soulless for buyers, especially now where it’s all about lifestyle as well as the bricks and mortar. Many buyers do struggle to envision what their potential new home could look like if there’s nothing in it. A stylist can really help solve this problem though. They will visit your house or development before you have any photographs taken and recommend how you can optimise its appearance. They’ll include the garden as well – especially now that outdoor entertainment has shot to the top of a buyer’s ‘wish list.’ This will include renting a particular style of furniture alongside various accessories and textiles to help bring a bit of life indoors and out. They will tailor it to your target audience too so that it will appeal to the maximum number of buyers. The expense of engaging a stager is more cost effective than reducing the price of your home because you can’t sell it, so they are absolutely worth their weight in gold. Ask them for the stats but staged homes usually secure more viewings, offers and even higher asking prices when done properly. Your chosen estate agent should be able to recommend a good home stager for you, but an even better one will have recommended you engage one before you even ask!

Deep clean

Give everything a good clean – the standard you would expect when you go on holiday and stay at a villa or hotel for example – as buyers will notice dirt. Include fridges, cupboards, curtains, oven, carpets, windows, surfaces, skirting boards, bathrooms, toilets – plus hoover throughout. Don’t forget to sweep sheds, greenhouses, summer houses and garages too.

This country home was marketed originally with other estate agents, but it didn’t sell – probably because it was unfurnished. When we were approached to sell it, we suggested we staged the house first. We used the services of Lemon & Lime and in just five days of launching to market, our client received an offer at the full asking price.

Let there be light

There’s nothing quite like a nice table lamp and a few candles to create a warm relaxing atmosphere with their glow in winter. Don’t overpower the house too much with scent however – not everybody likes a smelly candle! Some good options for this time of year are cinnamon or vanilla. Make sure you have turned on all of the table lamps throughout the house too, so that no where is left in the dark.

Create a sense of cosiness

Buyers love a property to feel warm, homely and cosy when they’re visiting, and winter is the perfect season to be doing it. Stack a couple of books or magazines neatly on a coffee table, add fresh winter flowers to a vase for the kitchen and place a few house plants around the house. Lay the dining table, add some pictures to the walls (not personalised ones though!), and turn the heating on a few hours before they arrive. If you have a fire, light it and let it glow. Throws, rugs, cushions and blankets help provide a welcoming mood too.  

Maximise space

Lots of furniture in a room can make a space feel small, so you can either move a side table into another room for example or perhaps a friend or family member can temporarily look after that extra arm chair, dresser or sofa that’s looking a bit worn. Think about the positioning of your furniture too – especially in the living room in relation to the TV – or somewhere you can maximise a stunning rural view. Clear away gardening tools and toys – they’re not just a trip hazard but you don’t want them appearing in photographs either. Take magnets and paintings off your fridge, remove some of your pictures of favourite family memories, clear away kitchen work surfaces and temporarily hide ornaments if you have lots of them around. Decluttering and working out furniture positioning are great ways to show potential buyers how much space is available around your home.

This lovely family home in Northamptonshire failed to sell with other estate agents when it was initially launched. When we launched it to market in September after dressing it for sale through Lemon & Lime, we received an offer over asking price just four days later.

Find Out More 

Despite it being a really strong housing market here, homes have to ooze good quality from every corner if they are to stand out from the competition and maximise their value – home staging helps achieve that. As you have hopefully read above, we have many examples of where styling a house can help achieve good results fast. 

For more information about how best to sell your home this way, contact Jan or Ildi on 01780 750 200 or e-mail: stamford@fineandcountry.com

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