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Show your home – but don’t create a ‘show home’

12th January 2018

Insider advice from Mark Mugliston, Residential Sales Manager, in his monthly column in the Diss Express.

When you are selling your home you can have an effect on the success of the marketing through the way your home is presented for people to view.

When the agent or photographer came to take pictures for your brochure and the internet you will have made that special effort to make it look its best. Let’s run through a little list of things you probably did, right?

  1. Cleaned and tidied the house to within an inch of its life, paying particular attention to the kitchen and bathrooms so they sparkle and smell nice.
  2. Tidied away the ‘excess’ toiletries in the bathroom including the spare loo rolls.
  3. Put fresh linen on the bed that’s nicely ironed.
  4. Tidied the kids’ toys up so there are only toys in play rooms or bedrooms.
  5. Cut the grass if its spring/summer time
  6. Hid the dog, its bed and bowls and if mowing the lawn hasn’t dealt with any doggy deposits – get the pooper scoopers out.
  7. Made sure the car starts so you can move it off the drive, shuffled the caravan/horsebox/trailer tent onto your neighbours front garden and hid the wheelie bins.

Good, thought so!

Clearly, you want your home to look its absolute best for the photos; listen to the photographer’s advice on the day and work with them to get the best shots you can.

So when you get ‘the call’ that a potential buyer wants to view I’m sure you go into a similar mode?

Yes, you should, but with some subtle changes. Remember you are selling a home, but don’t make it a ‘show home’ – signs of actually living in it are good and makes sure the house doesn’t look too sterile. Apart from anything else, the likelihood is you’ll need to show the house several times so overdoing it can become tiresome and you have got to live while you are selling so don’t be afraid of the kitchen looking as though somebody doesn’t actually cook in it from time to time and the beds do get slept in.

Pretty much follow 1, 5 and 6 they are the most important, but leave the car on the drive – top tip – make sure it’s clean though – kerb appeal and first impressions? The smell of baking bread and coffee is old hat, just makes it false and might even make viewers wonder what you are trying to cover up: a bit of bleach/bathroom cleaner smell I think is much better.

What you are trying to create is the impression that the house is loved and looked after.  If your agent hasn’t pointed out those maintenance jobs you’ve been meaning to get round to when they signed you up, then, sorry you’ve picked the wrong agent. But, at the same time, don’t go mad.  If the house needs a new bathroom, it needs a new bathroom – make the very best of the one you have got, as Barry White said ‘Don’t go changing, trying to please me!’ This is where I fall out with all the TV shows!

Spending money on a kitchen or bathroom is fraught with danger.  Too cheap and it looks…cheap. Spend too much and I guarantee you won’t get your money back in terms of increased value.  Let the buyer set their own budget and chose the style and taste the want, how they want, when they want.

I’ve seen nearly new kitchens in a skip, on the drive not long after the new owners have moved in.

If the agent is any good then they’ll let the prospective buyer know it needs work and that your asking price reflects this.

It’s natural to want to make your home look it’s best, but don’t try too hard.  Viewers like seeing a well-loved home that’s been lived in and enjoyed as they’re more likely to enjoy it too. 

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