We have just put our house on the market and that meant decluttering. I cleared out little by little for months, which is quite a nice thing to do believe it or not. The letting go of stuff, the minimising, the emptying out, it is all rather therapeutic.
We lived in our house for ten years. We moved from a 2-bed flat in Aberdeen city to a four bedroom detached house in a village and it’s been a good ten years. We moved out of town to get more space, a garden, easy access to the countryside and generally, more of a community around us. And we got all of that. A massive south facing garden, a spacious home, lovely walks on our doorstep and a fantastic street with wonderful neighbours. We also started our family here. Still, adventure was calling and it was time to move on.
The house, which we redecorated top to bottom, remodeled and upgraded, is up for sale. It is a funny idea, that after all that thought and all that effort (let alone all that money) we put into making the house the way it is, we are now going to let it go. I thought I’d share some tips to help you prepare your home for selling if you happen to be in the same position. We ended up taking all furniture with us to our next home already, so the house is currently empty, but at least the photos for the advertisement were done before, to give viewers a good idea of what the house can look like when furnished. Here’s what we did.
How do you prepare your house for selling?
1. Pretend to be a viewer
To get a better idea of what work needs to be done, have a walk through to start off with. Come in through the front door. What do you see? What catches your eye? What do you like and what annoys you? Take a note pad and scribble your comments while wandering from room to room. Once you’re done, make the changes. A good idea is to ask someone else to come in with a fresh pair of eyes and give some honest feedback – sometimes you don’t see things yourself when you’ve been so busy doing all the work.
2. Put the toys away
Clear all Lego away, put action figures in the cupboard, drag toy cars from under the sofa. You may have a busy family and all the crap that comes with it but no one needs to see that. It’s tricky to keep the house tidy all the time when you still live in it, but try to clear stuff away at least for the photos. Have a few nice big storage baskets handy for when viewings are booked and you quickly need to clear the decks.
3. Clear away your own clutter
How many vases do you need in your window? How many picture frames or knick knacks? If you want to keep them, put them in a box under the bed or in the cupboard for now. Spaces look better with clean lines and clear surfaces. It doesn’t need to look like a house that’s not loved or lived in, but viewers may see themselves living in your house better when the shelves are not full of personal items and family photos. You’ve got to pack them anyway at some point anyway, right?
4. Store excess furniture
You may have needed that extra armchair, comfy foot stool or side table in the lounge because it worked for you and your family, but the room will look bigger and tidier if you only leave the necessary pieces in. A sofa, an armchair or maybe two if space allows, a coffee table, perhaps a sideboard or lamp table, that should be sufficient. Store extra furniture in the garage or shed for the time being.
5. Buy some new throw cushions or blankets
You may already have lovely pretty soft furnishings all over the house, but perhaps the cushions on the sofa have seen better days and the blanket on the bed is your dog’s favourite. Buying a few fresh new cushions and blankets for your living room or bedrooms will freshen up the look and will add colour and interest to the spaces. They don’t need to be expensive, try your local supermarket, Ikea or other affordable high street stores for some quick updates.
6. Fresh flowers and house plants
A house looks cared for when there are fresh flowers on the kitchen table and leafy plants around the house. A bit of greenery can do miracles for a room.
7. Tidy up the garden – or dig out some summer pictures
Our garden is large and it was winter when the photographer came around. Not great for pictures. Dead plants, snowy patches, no leafy trees. We still tidied up the garden furniture and potted plants and cleared away any stray toys from the lawn, but also found some photos of the garden in summertime. This helps viewers get a better idea of what the garden looks like in its full glory when the sun is out.
Bonus tip: baby wipes!
Before you get the pain brush out to redecorate the walls when all of a sudden you spot all those marks and hand prints, sometimes all it needs is a baby wipe and some elbow grease to get rid of them or at least make them less visible. If all else fails, by all means go over it with the emulsion, but I tell you, just give it a try 😉
Have you tried any particular thing to sell your house?
For anyone interested in finding out more about our house, please visit www.aspc.co.uk for more pictures, the full details and to book viewings.