Helpful House Move Hints
As a furniture company we’re used to helping customers beautify their home post move, but with a few members of the team having gone through the trials and tribulations of buying and selling houses recently, we thought we’d share some of their tips for making the move go smoothly. We’ve got some great pointers on getting the most for your property and advice on luring in your buyer with some seductive styling.
Using an Online Agent
There are an abundance of programmes on TV telling you how to sell your house, but having just gone through selling and buying we can sympathise with how overwhelming the process can seem. One of our team opted to sell their house through an online agent to make the move more affordable. Upon making that decision the onus really is on you as the seller to market the property correctly and make sure you’re getting the maximum amount of money for your home. This can seem pretty daunting, but the rewards really do go way beyond how many pounds are left in your pocket.
The online platforms make appointments incredibly easy to manage. You eradicate the need for a middle man which means you avoid the stress that time delays and miscommunication can cause. You also get honest feedback directly to you inbox, so you can tweak your approach for the next appointment. You get all the stats on how many visits your house has received via Rightmove and Zoopla, which helps you understand how effective your photography is. Most online agents have a local agent that will value your property and help you get set up, so if you’re not techy, its not a problem, you’re never completely on your own through the process.
Instinctively you might think it’s a crazy idea to buy new furniture before you’ve moved. You might be worried it won’t fit in your new property or that it might get damaged in transit, but don’t be overly cautious. Buying the right freestanding furniture could be the best way to clarify the function and zones of the property you’re trying to sell as well as making it look fresh, appealing, neat and tidy.
If you know you’re going to need ‘like for like’ storage in the property you’re going to and your current furniture is looking tired and battered, don’t be afraid to get something new. Alternatively, if you’re on a budget, think about giving the items a fresh lick of paint to cover any scuffs and marks that could be making the whole room look worn out. For some great tips on this, take a look at our blog on how to customise your furniture here.
Crucial Cleaning & De-clutter
It’s always the first thing that comes up on any house selling programme. If your home has clutter spilling out from every item of storage you own, you need to cull back and create some order again. Don’t just sort through the items that are visible, it’s a common mistake to overfill a room with too much storage furniture, so you need to ruthlessly go through everything and remove whatever is taking up so much room.
Send the things you don’t need to the charity shop or tip and any other items you want to keep but don’t need to hand, store in the loft or somewhere out of sight. You may need to invest in some extra storage to neaten up the item’s you’re left with, but as we’ve said before, don’t be afraid to do this prior to the move; its more than likely that you’ll need exactly the same amount of furniture wherever you move to.
Dress to Impress
Styling your home may sound a little pretentious, but when it comes to your photography and showing the buyer around, nothing should be too much trouble.
Your home only has a finite amount of time to shine on Rightmove, so you have to pull out all the stops if you want it to sell. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that buyers will be able to see through your life to visualise theirs. Your job is to show them the life they could have if they buy your property. So it’s important to showcase that lifestyle in every corner of your home.
Use accessories and items around your home to hint at what the areas can be used for. Your favourite reading books on the bedside table. Some of you best crockery and a few lit candles on the dining table. A glass of wine and a newspaper in the conservatory. It doesn’t take much, just a few little details that tell the buyer how much the home is loved and utilised.
The Finishing Touches
Finishing touches are also key. Fresh flowers, fresh fruit in bowls, candles and soft lighting on in every room, it sounds a little trivial but it’s all essential to grab a buyers attention and make them swoon! Take a look around our blog for general tips on styling and you should find some useful hints for every room.
If you’re really not confident doing this, there are a number of companies springing up that can help you ‘stage’ your property such as House Wow or you can find local experts on the homestagingnetwork.co.uk. It may seem like a lot of fuss, but just a little effort goes a long way to achieving your maximum house value.
Lighting is such an important part of the dressing process. It is the finishing touch that will either make a home feel warm, cosy and inviting or a harsh sterile environment. Make an effort to open all curtains and ensure you have on all your low lamp lighting in every room (even if its light outside) before people arrive. It will create a feeling of warmth and avoid the need for anyone to turn ‘the big light’ on. We were shown around countless houses that hadn’t bothered to do this and each time the room felt too dark with the light off and too harsh with the main light on. If you can afford to spend a little extra, try and find some warmer lights from somewhere like Dowsing & Reynolds, their vintage style bulbs give off an inviting glow.
Quick note; It’s also important to make sure that lighting is on for the photography too, even if it’s a bright sunny day outside, leaving the lighting on in your pictures will add to the bright and airy look of your shots.
Most estate agents will openly admit that they’re not photographers, so it always seem strange that we become reliant on them to get the best shots of our houses. Hiring a local professional or asking a friend who’s a keen photographer is often a much better idea. Get the house looking wonderful and get an expert to help you. If you’re saving on agency fees by going with an online agent, spending a little more to get the photography right isn’t going to break the bank. Having impactful photography on Rightmove is crucial to the sale of your property.
You don’t want to make any major structural changes to your house in order to sell it but you do want to show its ‘best side’. The entrance hall is an important place to do this as it will inevitably affect the buyers mood as they walk through the rest of the house.
Make sure your hallway is clean, doorsteps are swept and the paint on the door is fresh not flaky. Don’t think its overkill to light candles on the exterior and interior or get some lower lighting here too. Clear away any shoes so they can’t be seen or are off the floor – you need this area to feel as wide, calm and inviting as it can possibly be.
Our range of hall benches and shoe tidies are a great way of dealing with this clutter.
Be Brave…Do Your Own Viewings
It might seem a bit frightening but even if you do opt for a conventional High Street estate agent, we would recommend showing potential buyers around. No matter how charismatic your representative might be, he or she doesn’t know your house like you do and even if you pass on as much info as possible, they won’t be able to remember everything when they’re dealing with so many houses. This could also be a great negotiating tool for a lower estate agency fee. If you do choose to do this via an online agency it’s much easier to manage dates and diary requests direct through the online platform they provide, rather than going through a middleman at the estate agency. Doing your own viewings will also allow you to get the house ready; lights on, heating on, fire and candles lit and some freshly made coffee in the pot.
You do have to have a welcoming disposition, even if it’s the 50th viewing and you must try to highlight all the benefits of being in the property, even if you are keen to leave. Talk about it’s history and any features, like new windows and doors or any work that’s been done to the house. You basically want to highlight anything that will help the buyer understand the things they don’t need to worry about when they move in. You know this house inside and out and you know why you fell in love with it, so just let your experience and your knowledge do all the talking and the deal will be done in no time!
Quick Note; Make sure it’s just one of you showing the buyer around (3’s a crowd) and as most home sellers would advise, keep pets out the way if you can. It’s not just that smells and toys can make your home feel messy and unclean, it’s also that the pet can actually provide too much of a distraction from the house, especially if they’re cute!
Finding a Removal Company
Finding the right removal company has a lot to do with what kind of service you want. Company’s like Pickfords can take care of the entire end to end process and take all the stress entirely away from you. However, if you’re willing to pack your own boxes and get your hands a little bit dirty, you can make some great savings by using companies like AnyVan to find a local haulier. AnyVan allows you to list your removal needs, large or small and then watch as companies bid for your work. You can select the company who appeals to you the most (for price or rating) and the arrangements are made from there. Simple!
If you’re buying or selling in the near future, best of luck with your new adventure.
Don’t forget, if you’re purchasing multiple products for your old or new home, take a look at our furniture sets and you could make some great savings by grouping your items together.