When people prepare their properties to sell they are usually doing what they think is best. They bought their house so think that others will want to buy it too. BUT as my favourite Barb Schwartz quote explains:
“how you live in your home and how you need to prepare your house to sell are two different things”.
Here are my top 15 presentation mistakes that put off buyers when selling your house:
1. Poor exterior paint choice. Believe me, you don’t want to be referred to as ‘the orange and blue house’ by potential buyers.
2. Overgrown yard. This communicates that your whole property is badly maintained and is a bad first impression
3. Clutter. Buyers want to see and buy your house and not your things. Even houses that are decorated well can have too much clutter when it’s time to sell.
4. Time warp Decor. I know that retro is ‘on trend’ again but not in its original 1970′s form!
5. Family photos. This is no longer your house. Buyers want to imagine themselves living there and can’t do this if your family are staring down at them
6. Collections. These are personal to you and therefore should be packed away when selling. Not everyone shares your love of frogs
7. Wallpaper and borders. Wallpaper is becoming more popular again but it’s so personal and therefore too polarising when selling. The wallpaper below is fabulous (but only if you like that kind of thing)
8. “Brave” colours. We call these brave colours because that’s what they are. Most people prefer neutrals when buying so their stuff will ‘go’. They don’t want to worry about their purple couch clashing with your green feature wall. In the kitchen below, walls are the least of their worries. Strong coloured cabinets are a really tough sell. Better to re-surface in a neutral colour
9. Dated kitchens and Bathrooms. Buyers want new and shiny. They know that kitchens and bathrooms are expensive to upgrade. Make effective lower cost upgrades that deliver a return on your investment before you list
10. Your to-do list. The reason it’s a ‘to-do’ list is because you don’t want ‘to-do’ it. But nor do your buyers. They will walk away or offer a reduced price.
11. Themed decorating schemes. Again, too personal. Tone then down when selling
12. Over the top decorating style. Too niche, doesn’t appeal to the majority and way too distracting.
13. Questionable art, including nudes, guns, religion, even sporting teams don’t have a part to play when selling your house. Try a landscape or abstract instead.
14. Lack of storage. Buyers are looking for storage so overstuffed wardrobes and cupboards are off putting. Aim for half full (or empty depending on your viewpoint!)
15. Dirty and smelly. I’ve saved the most important to last. Your house needs to be spookily clean both inside and out when selling and smell clean and fresh too.
Writing the above and finding the pictures has actually made me feel a bit overwhelmed and headachy. Scroll back and take another look. It’s all just ‘too much’. Avoid the above 15 mistakes and your home will soon be easy on the eye of potential buyers.
I’m Imogen Brown, a homes stager based in the western suburbs of Brisbane. If you are planning to sell and need some objective presentation help and advice then give me a call on 0432 994 056 or contact me through my website I’d love to help
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