House dcotor top ten tips
1. You need to present your house so that it will appeal to the broadest possible buying audience. The trick is to ensure that they can imagine themselves living there as soon as they walk in.
2. Clear the clutter. Mess all too easily becomes familiar junk which we are used to having around. It makes rooms look smaller and sends unhelpful messages to your buyers. Tidy away family photos and books. If you can’t find space to store the less personal stuff, take as much as possible to the nearest dump.
3. Elbow grease can add more value to your house than almost anything else. Clean, clean and clean some more. The kitchen and bathroom are the two most important rooms, but don’t stop there. Dust every surface, ornament and lampshade you possess.
4. Make sure all entrances are uncluttered, warm and welcoming. Mark the path to your front door with potted plants on either side. Make sure the doors open properly and aren’t hampered by a row of coats or muddy boots behind. Check that furniture doesn’t stop any of the internal doors from opening or shutting properly.
5. Potential buyers won’t be able to visualise themselves living in your home if the walls are bright, patterned or just plain ugly. Paint them in light, neutral colours. You can introduce splashes of colour with rugs, cushions, throws, table runners and flowers.
6. You can make a world of difference to a dark entrance hall with a strategically placed mirror. Carefully positioned, it will add space and maximise the available light. Ensure that it is hung at eye level.
7. Do all those little jobs round the house that you’ve always meant to finish. If you don’t know what you’re doing, get someone in who does. Broken window catches, a front door bell that doesn’t work or half-finished shelves convey an air of neglect and signal to a potential buyer that there may be other, more significant aspects of the house that have been left undone.
8. Ensure that every room has a clear function and purpose. Play up the existence of a dining room by clearing away all the children’s homework and games. A third bedroom could be a bedroom, a study or a dressing room, but not all three at once. Organise some storage systems so that the principal function of the room they’re in remains clearly defined.
9. A carpet that is dark or heavily patterned dominates a room and makes it seem smaller. Replace carpets that are old, worn or just dirty. This may seem an unnecessary expense, but it will lift the appearance of the room and your buyers won’t be imagining the extra cost of replacing the carpet themselves.
10. Be ruthless when it comes to dealing with your pets. It’s easy to get used to their smell – so ask a friend to be brutally honest with you. Does your house smell? Before each viewing eliminate unpleasant smells and banish pets to a willing friend’s while you are showing people round. Get rid of pet hair too – brush and vacuum until you’re sure it’s gone.