The Minimalist’s Guide to Selling Homes
You have made the decision to sell your home, you’ve contacted an estate agency and you are eager to move on and enjoy a new home. At this stage, your focus is on staging your current home and making it as appealing as possible so that you ensure a pain-free sale. At this stage, it really pays to do your homework and make important decisions regarding presentation, atmosphere and furniture placement.
Lack of living space is one of the biggest reasons people give for wanting to move. With this in mind, it is of utmost importance to ensure that your home looks large, welcoming and clutter-free. A degree of stylish minimalism can help you to achieve this goal and provide the healthy middle ground between ‘lived-in and messy’ and ‘characterless and empty’. Done just right, you can set the scene and carefully present a house where house hunters can really envision themselves living.
Given that it takes the average buyer only eight seconds to decide whether or not they will be pressing ahead with a sale, every single second counts and first impressions are paramount. To maximise your chances of selling and getting a good offer, consider paying special attention to these tips before hiring your photographer to catch your house in the best possible, most spacious light.
Don’t forget kerb appeal
Minimalism doesn’t start and end with the inside of your home. By the time your prospective buyers have stepped inside your front door, they have already had an opportunity to judge your house and make their assumptions. How attractive and welcoming your house appears from the outside is known as ‘kerb appeal’, and it shouldn’t be neglected. With just a few changes you can completely change the way others see your property.
If possible, when you have a viewing arrange for your car to be removed from the driveway. This way, visitors can the best possible, most unrestricted view of the house. On top of this, house hunters will also have a convenient place to park. Spend time cutting your grass, pulling up weeds, pruning your shrubs and clearing away children’s toys. The emptier and more spacious your garden appears, the better.
Limit items on shelves
Consider how many items you have on every available surface in your house and make efforts to minimise them. It will help to set a limit on how many items you can have on each shelf; aim for three for optimal effect. Remember that regardless of how much affection you may have for your various mementoes and knick-knacks, your prospective buyers have no connection to them at all. From their point of view, these items will merely come across as clutter, which can be overwhelming and stressful. Conversely, sparse rooms encourage feelings of relaxation.
If something can be put in a drawer or cupboard, do so before a viewing. Ask yourself whether your magazines really need to be on your coffee table or if you have too many photographs on show. As a rule of thumb, Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist recommends that you reduce your number of possessions by a third when staging a home.
Remove furniture where possible
Decluttering isn’t just about photographs and trinket boxes. Remember that furniture takes up a significant amount of space in a room, and as such too much furniture can make a room look small and confining. If you have the capacity to place certain items in storage, do so, especially if they are clunky and seem to take up the whole room. Question whether or not you really need three sofas or all those side tables in your living room. Limiting the amount of furniture will make your rooms seem larger and could increase your chances of a sale.
Don’t neglect your bathroom
According to Trulia, the master bathroom is one of the most important rooms when it comes to selling a house. Buyers will be paying special attention to this room, so put away as many personal items as you can. Hide away your bottles of shampoo, shaving cream and body wash. Give the room the attention it deserves and ensure it is completely scrubbed clean.
Consider scent carefully
It may not have occurred to you that the concept of minimalism also encompasses scent, but it certainly plays a role. Certain scents calm us, make us feel liberated, while others are more vibrant and energetic. This is something that homeowners can use to their advantage when it comes to selling.
Forget all you may have heard about the enthralling aromas of freshly made bread or just-brewed coffee, instead go for a smell that is crisp and clean. White tea and fig is actually the best smell for selling houses, and property experts attest that this mix of smells sells houses quickly, helping to produce a soothing and luxurious environment. Other scents to consider are a crisp linen scent or a faint jasmine.
About the Author:
Anthony Sargent is the Managing Director of Fish Need Water, an edgy and modern estate agents in East Dulwich, London. Anthony is passionate about empowering sellers to sell their homes and helping buyers find the house of their dreams.