Trying to sell your home in Chelmsford?

We recently met with a local Interior Architect based in Chelmsford called Liz Murrell who owns Zing Architecture and she has kindly provided us with the following information for people that may have their property on the market currently and it is just not selling or they are not getting any positive feedback from people that have been viewing it. See if you can relate to this and let us know if you think there are any other key considerations if your property isn’t selling.

Have you had your home on the market for a while and wondering why it isn’t shifting? Perhaps it could be the price, however sometimes it’s about perception. Think about the five senses – eyesight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. Aim to harness each of these within your home as best as you can to encourage your potential buyers to feel at ease and inspired when visiting your home. Ask yourself some important questions and be prepared for some hard work, some short term changes for long term gains. It can be hard to be objective when it comes to our homes so perhaps ask a close friend, family member or professional designer who will be honest with you to find out what they would do to improve your home. The following list are some tips to get you started on improving the look and feel of your home to help potential buyers see it in new light.

  1. We perceive up to 80% of all impressions by means of our sight. Therefore the aesthetics of your home is paramount. Clutter is a major bugbear in most households. Try to take a step back and think if it’s not useful and doesn’t bring some kind of joy either through its style or purpose then get rid of it. Tidy away cables for monitors and computers. Any type of this kind of mess can signify a problem that the viewer might pick up on and we want them to seamlessly wander through your home enjoying the spaces and ambiance.  Remove personal photos as much as possible. The buyer needs to walk around and able to imagine themselves living there, so constant reminders of you and other people they don’t know in photos isn’t going to achieve this.  If you cannot get rid, box it up and store it which you will have to do anyway when you move.

  2. Would a prospective buyer enjoy the odour in your home or will they be smelling pets, unvented rooms with old carpets? Try to have a really good clean and let some fresh air into the rooms, wash all fabrics, curtains, cushions and carpets if possible. Try to get pets outside as often as possible and brush them regularly to get rid of excess hair. Wash them regularly as central heating makes them hot and therefore smell. Try using neutralising plugins fragrances or zoflora disinfectant which can help reduce pet odour. When you are actually taking a viewing try adding some pleasant smells that people are familiar with which might resonate feelings like freshly brewed coffee, bread baking, fresh linen, zest of lemons or essentials oils. All normally conjure up feelings of happiness.

  3. Unwanted noise can deter buyers like noisy neighbours, heavy traffic etc. Concentrate on the positives of your home if that is the case. Highlight the location and how long it takes to walk to the town centre if that’s the main selling point. To help reduce unwanted noise consider planting thick trees to absorb the sound or add white noise like water features that create splashing sounds. Internally you could look at adding sound proofing membrane to walls, floor and ceilings which deflect or reflect sound. During the visit you could play calming classical music in the back ground which the buyer may hone in on as it will be a familiar to them.

  4. When it comes to taste that is a tricky one unless you offer the buyer a drink or a small canapé, however that may come across as trying a bit too hard & unnatural. So perhaps taste could be stimulated by smell. Because everyone knows the taste of coffee so if that’s brewing in the background it should evoke some good feelings. Apparently smelling coffee is meant to trigger feelings of wakefulness and stimulates the brain.

  5. Touch will be first encountered by a friendly hand shake but as they move through your home they may touch door handles, furniture and surfaces. So ensure these are clean and the best quality you can afford. For example metal knurled door handles have become popular because they look attractive and feel weighty & good quality to the grip. Small elements like this will give the impression of quality & impress potential buyers.

  6. Try to give the place a fresh paint for the fresh look as-well as that ‘new’ smell. Keep it neutral if your place is small and be precise in the finish. Don’t leave paint splodges on the ceiling, keep it neat and tidy. If your home is large and you’re not afraid of colour think about having a few accent colours around the house on various walls which tie in together in similar tones to make the spaces flow. Sometimes it’s good to give each room a unique style if the place is quite palatial but for more standard sized dwellings it works best if the rooms flow to create a harmonious interior.

  7. Think about focal points and what your buyer will see when they open the door into each room. What would make a welcoming space? Think about your homes assets, does it have great views into the garden? If so make this stand out in the viewing by positioning furniture accordingly or making sure windows are clean and are on full view. Get rid of frilly curtains and nets to let maximum natural light in and views to outside.  Likewise, block out any unsightly views. If you have a side window which overlooks bins or something which isn’t too appealing keep the natural light but perhaps obscure it with an opaque film applied to the glazing for a contemporary neat look.

  8. Clean the toilet!

  9. Think about kerb appeal, keep the entrance as tidy as possible and if you have a lawn make sure it’s cut and borders have been weeded and soil turned over. First impressions are everything so consider what will be the first thing your buyer will notice or see. Try to keep bins away from the entrance if possible as they smell and might also signify a lack of space.

  10. Kitchens and bathrooms are the rooms which tend to be the most important to buyers so spend most of your time and budget on these rooms. Make sure they are clean, decluttered and light if possible. Re-grout tiles if they are old and soapy. Bleach is really good at removing stains and cleaning tiles as well. If you can’t afford to replace the fittings or cabinets in these rooms think about dressing it with some new accessories which have a contemporary look. So in the kitchen if it’s a bit dated, give it a deep clean and add new loose items like crockery, a new roller blind, a large over-sized clock, have some fresh flowers and fresh fruit on display for the viewing as this will signify freshness.

  11. In bedrooms make sure the linen is neat, preferably ironed duvet covers and think about the last hotel room you stayed in and how the bed looked when you entered it for the first time. White linen always seems to work best for a fresh clean look and think ‘hospital corners’ when making it! Think about what you appreciate in a bedroom when you stay in a hotel and perhaps add these touches to your bedroom for the viewings. Like a plumped up ironed pillows, a radio, essential oil aroma, textured fabrics, magazines, a clock, bedside table and lamp. Think calming colours and use different textures to create interest.

  12. Try to create a lifestyle with your home. If you live in the country and that’s its attribute then emphasis this with the viewing by placing accessories that highlight the country living lifestyle. So put out the Hunter wellies by the entrance or the Barbour wax jacket on the otherwise clear coat hooks. These little details will indicate to the viewer where they are and how their life could be with this move. So baking bread for the smell, wellies on display, classic FM on the background in the country letting them dream about how they will spend hours walking in the fields and bake bread at the weekends. Or if you’re selling a flat in the town or city brew the coffee, have the iPad playing jazz to show accessibility and have everything packed away for a really clean living house for people short of time who want a fuss free home with easy access to all the amenities.

If you are thinking of selling your property in Chelmsford or already have your property on the market and not having the results you had hoped for then please let us know as we would love to be able to help.

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