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Effective property marketing will make a big difference to how quickly you can sell your property .. whatever the current market’s like. 

After all, you are trying to ‘sell’ and achieve the maximum market price… you probably take care to present goods/products for sale on sites like Ebay in the best possible light; so why wouldn’t you make sure your home is marketed correctly?

Trawling the property portals for more examples of  ‘How Not to stage ‘ I’m afraid I came across so many underdressed, overdressed, ‘couldn’t careless whether we sell or not’ styles of presentation that I probably have enough property pictures to fill several large books!

In most instances, the home owners ‘could do better’ if they really wanted to cash in on their largest asset but I also came across some excruciatingly bad marketing by a number of estate agents!

Many of them chose to shout about the property putting the whole of the opening description in CAPITAL LETTERS, very off putting to a reader.  A few described houses as “deceptively spacious, must be seen” – only to use a picture of the front of the house or view of the garden (not a single image of the inside) for their advertisement. Others chose to use the space for their vendors property images as a chance to promote themselves .. one showing an image of the front of the house followed by 3 images pertaining to their business; an awards image, logo, contact details etc before showing any further images of the property for sale?!

A subject for another blog perhaps .. so before this turns into a rant;

Here are another 5 classic examples of what not to do if you want to sell your home fast.

1. Don’t neglect your outside space; whatever the size, make the most of it.

2. Never use plastic covers on anything or if you do, take them off for photos and viewings.  I can’t locate the image of two lovely red sofas and a chair I saw covered in thick plastic but if you’re reading this you know who you are…get rid of them!

3. Always leave room for your buyers to circulate.  Edit some of the furniture to allow buyers space to move around.

4. Clear the clutter but don’t strip out all the personality; think warm and welcoming not too austere.


5. Avoid confusion; defining the ‘dumping ground’ adds value!  Make sure the buyer can easily see the room as a bedroom, conservatory, living room etc.

So there you have it ..5 more examples of how not to stage your property for sale.  If you’d like to know more about what you should or shouldn’t do.. please do contact me or keep checking back here for more help and advice in the next coming weeks 🙂

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There’s a huge difference between a ‘Staged home’, a ‘Show-home like home’ and a (developer’s) show-home but that’s another blog!

Subtle use of really good property styling is a property marketing dream.  It helps a potential buyer to visualise your property as their new home and it helps you to clinch a faster sale.  Bad styling gets a property noticed by the viewer …but only for its use of unreal and theatrical staging.

Here are my pet hates/top tips on how NOT to stage a house for sale:

1. Don’t formally set the kitchen or dining table; limit use of candles, china and glass wear – unless you live in a museum.

2. Never put a tray with champagne flutes or teapot/cups on the bed; even if it is at a jaunty angle – unless it is a show-home.

3. Keep towels in the bathroom; don’t stack them on the end of the bed – unless you’re selling a holiday home or B&B.

4. Always light the fire in a big hearth; for photos – unless it’s the height of summer also light for viewings.

5. Dress the master bed with cushions properly – don’t ‘scatter’ them about – EVER!


In part 2 I will give you some more tips of ‘How NOT to stage’ .. and maybe even some examples of  exactly ‘What to do!’

Assuming you are a motivated seller, actually want to sell your property fast and not just ‘test the market’… perhaps now is the time to take a long hard look at the ‘detail.’

A staggering 93%* of property buyers search the internet first, before they even contact an estate agent.

Which means that your home has to stand out from the crowd, from day one.

It appears only a few homeowners thoroughly check their online property details, preferring to leave ‘that side of thing to the agents’.  Most never think of looking at their property to see whether their ‘advert’ could be improved.

Once you’ve noticed your home showing up on Rightmove or Zoopla what do you do, sit back and wait for a sale?

When presented with a client’s ‘problem’ property, one of the first things I do is study the online information to see what it does or, in many cases doesn’t reveal.

Imagine you’re searching for a new home to buy, what would you like to see?  In my case the kitchen, living space and the master bedroom are top of my list.

So just how effective is your property marketing?

Take 5 minutes out of your busy day, sit down with a cup of tea and really look objectively at the way your house has been presented… to the world!

Did you even notice it amongst the 1000’s of similar properties for sale on the property portals?


Hiding something?

More importantly, would you want to view it?

Full frontal!

Any property can benefit from a good declutter and bit of tweaking here and there (I should know!) but if your online and printed information is less than perfect, your smart, clutter free hallway may remain forever unseen!

*Statistics from HMT Report, Property Academy (October 2010) )

Quite a challenge don’t you think?
However, the question posed by ‘What House?’, a site that promotes the best new homes in Britain, was looking for constructive advice for First Time Buyers.  People lucky enough to have made it onto the housing ladder but perhaps struggling to achieve the ideal home interior they really desire.
Asked to supply a couple of quotes for an article (published on their site yesterday), I put my thinking cap on and yes, … I do think (appliances aside) it is perfectly possible, with a bit of creative thinking, to furnish a fab, first, new home for less than £600!  Read the full article below with thanks to Natalia Gameson.


How to furnish your new home for less than £600

Deciding how to furnish your new home is undoubtedly one of the most exciting parts of the homebuying process. But the reality may different to what you originally imagined – especially when you start putting pen to paper to work out your budget.

“It’s tempting to splurge on contemporary furnishings and accessories,” says

property styler Helen Silver of The Property Styling Company (www.propertystylingcompany.co.uk). “But give yourself some time to get the feel of your new surroundings. You may have spent months drawing out on paper where you’ll put the sofa and TV, or choosing colour for feature walls. But the reality is a limited budget could put paid to your original plans.”

Plasti-kote coloursFirst things first – know your palette, and pick one or two simple colours to form the basis of your home’s colour scheme. “Buying an expensive sofa or a dining table could be a mistake if you dislike the colour in a year’s time,” Helen adds. “Choose neutrally toned pieces, and add splashes of colour with bright cushions or rugs.”

Asking family and friends if they’ve got any excess furniture to get rid of is a very good starting point. And after you’ve assembled a small collection of cast-offs, it’s time to hit the internet. Second-hand furniture (or to give it its more glamorous pen name, “vintage”) is booming, with sites like Gumtree (www.gumtree.com) and Freecycle (www.freecycle.org) featuring free key pieces, such as tables, chairs and even TVs and surround-sound systems – all potentially essential items for your new home that you can snap up for nothing except transportation costs.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for online, then second-hand furniture shops and charity shops can be great resources to hunt through, particularly if you’re after everyday china and cutlery, glasses and picture frames.

Nowadays, you don’t have to settle for the original design or hue of what you collect. PlastiKote (www.plasti-kote.co.uk) Super Spray paint is a fun way to revamp old furniture (see picture above), and can be sprayed onto most surfaces, and dries in under an hour. Available in 60 different colours and finishes, it retails at £6.95 for a 400ml can.

The bed is an area where it’s best to invest – after all, you’ll be spending a third of your life in it, so you may as well get comfortable. Hyder Living’s Dorchester bed frame is £300 (www.hyderint.com), and is stylish and easy to style up with a funky bedspread – Curtain Wizard’s range is particularly affordable (www.curtain-wizard.co.uk). Buying a new sofa is also important – Sofas World has classic design models starting from £200 (www.sofasworld.co.uk).

If you’re considering buying a new-build home, there’s no time like the present to make an appointment to visit a show home on a new property development. It’s also a great way to pick up the latest style trends. Among the great new homes schemes for sale at present with inspiring show homes are:

Twilight at Water Colour in Redhill, Surrey, from Linden Homes (full story here)

Royal Arsenal Riverside in Woolwich, London from Berkeley Homes (full story here)

Rosewood Farm in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, from Bloor Homes (full story here)

Gainsborough Court in Kelvindale, Scotland from Mactaggart & Mickel

via Property News – New homes decoration | New homes interior design | Interior design for new-build homes.

A guest post by a lovely Estate Agent friend!

I just love small yappy dogs me, no really I do!!

I have done two Market Appraisals today, both of which the clients had Dogs. Don’t get me wrong I am absolutely fine with dogs, so long as they leave me alone, I mean I am wearing a suit, even in the middle of summer because it is expected of me, to be fair I only buy M&S machine washable suits.

On the first appointment I was met by the yapping of this poodle, running around and scratching at my trouser leg, followed by the most mental terrier leaping about like a derranged thing and nipping at my fingers, both completely ignoring ‘Mummy’.

I then spend the appointment with the dogs alternating for my attention, whining at me, scratching my legs, jumping up on the seat beside me when I sit down, just generally driving me nuts.

The second appointment, the property was a bit grubby to begin with and they had this absolutely ancient black lab, nice old boy of a dog, but constantly trying to sniff my crutch, and then he follows me round, so that when I turn round I end up tripping over him (and them).

Anyway, just a thought, I like dogs, and when I am wearing jeans and I can spend the time to make a fuss of them and throw a ball great, but when its business, shut them in the garden, because otherwise I might set my kids on you instead!

 

This post was by ‘well known’ Estate Agent   @SecretEaDad

I came across an article yesterday as featured in The Local, a Fort-Greene edition of the New York Times.  The Americans are so much better than us Brits at understanding just how Home Staging, Property Styling, Property Marketing – call it what you will, gets results when you have a property to sell.

A good many years ago now, my parents upped sticks and moved to the US with me and my sister  (quite another story).  However, in buying and selling property over there we came across ‘Property Stylists’ who worked alongside Real Estate Agents, they even worked from the same office to offer a complete marketing package.  Apart from an exceptional few, we’ve still not quite achieved the same over here.

None the less ‘we’ perservere and battle on with the idea of awareness and bringing a complete package of property marketing combined with staging and styling to the masses!

It isn’t rocket science and, although property sellers in New York tend to think mainly in terms of apartments, the article is still relevant to all who have a house to sell in a difficult market. You can read the full article by Geri Charles here but these are the highlighted tips:

With the importance of staging in mind, here are three tips on staging your home to sell it:

1) It’s not about you, it’s about the buyer.

What you may consider tasteful may not be to the buyer’s taste. The fact of the matter is, interior décor is subjective. The living room painted chocolate brown with one big red stripe in the middle may be a proud do-it-yourself moment for you, but it may give the buyer flashbacks to a slasher scene with Freddie Krueger. Your best bet is to keep it simple with neutral plain colors.

2) It’s all about a room’s “star” feature.

Maximize your home’s best features by accentuating them. Draw more attention to a fireplace, for example, by mounting a wrought iron sculpture right above it. You can also minimize the room’s least appealing feature, like a window directly facing into a neighbor’s bathroom, by using a stained glass window decal to block the view.

3) Less is more.

Get rid of all clutter. I repeat, get rid of ALL clutter. Although you may be proud of your 30-year record collection, or photographs taken at last year’s 10-year family reunion, those items take up space. The less you have on display, the more the potential buyers can envision themselves living there.

If you need advice on styling, selling or buying property and would like to discuss working with me … my main website can be found at www.propertystylingcompany.co.uk. Contact can be made through this wordpress site, by email or by calling 07789 488446.

Suppose you’ve spent the last 6 months or even 2 years searching for your new home.  Suppose you employed the services of a Property Stylist and Property Finder to not only get your current home sold quickly but also to find your dream property.  And, suppose everything turned out well; your old home sold for maximum market value and your new home ticked all the boxes on your wish list.

Finally, after weeks of eager anticipation and clutter clearing, you move in.

It’s a joyous occasion right? The property is exactly what you wanted.  There’s enough room for the kids, grown-ups, visiting relatives, book club group, you have your own study, orangery, hot tub ….. fill in the blank!  So why doesn’t it feel like home?

Image from August Edition of Livingetc

Unless you are one of the lucky few, for whom money isn’t too much of an object, moving into a new home will inevitably bring compromise.  When you viewed the property, (particularly if it was being marketed by switched on vendors who’d buffed and styled their house to appeal to the masses 😉 ) you envisioned yourselves living the dream.  It had bags of potential for you and yours. The rooms looked gorgeous, the master bedroom was huge, the living room was perfect for entertaining, the kitchen – well ok, that could do with a refit (looked lovely with all their ornaments, oils and shiny pans) but the bathrooms were sleek, white and oh so clean…

Picture from housetohome network

The stark truth is that when you move into a new house, your furniture won’t look the same as the previous owners did or have the same ‘wow-factor’ as the carefully styled Show-Home you viewed.  If, like the majority of us, you plonk your stuff in the same spot as the last occupants, use the rooms in the same way as you were shown by the sellers or simply, after all the costs of moving home, don’t have enough cash to embark on remodelling, then the reality is it probably won’t feel like home for a long time… if ever!

SO WHAT’S THE SECRET?

The number one tip is – Don’t panic!

Consider the reasons why you believed it would make your perfect home.  Does it have the space you always longed for, an en-suite bathroom or perhaps off road parking?

Make an objective list of things you’d really like to improve.  Start with your biggest bug bear and then revisit the budget!

Avoid doing things twice.  Don’t spend money replacing missing kitchen cupboard doors if you are planning to rip out the entire kitchen in a few months.  Hold fire on replacing the ugly patterned carpet. Take time to work out what flooring/finishes will suit your lifestyle.

Consult a professional.  Having an outsider give an objective view of how you can maximise your property’s potential will save you time and money!  Most Interior Designers will work on projects for a fixed fee, some can offer a virtual service on a room by room basis.  Whether you need advice on finding the right wall colour, help with sourcing furniture or plan to carry out a full refurbishment, find an Interior Designer you like to help define your dream home ideas.

Change the use of your rooms.  Could your dining room be used as a family/teenage room?  Could the spare room become your office?  Do you need a downstairs shower for sporty kids ?

Move the furniture.  Just because the previous owners had their sofa facing the window doesn’t mean you have to!  Play around with the space you’ve inherited and find out where your favourite chair looks the best.

Treat yourself to a deep clean!  Even if the house looks clean, have the place professionally cleaned from top to bottom, including the carpets – especially if you don’t like them but have to live with them for a while! Cleansing a space always makes it feel better.

Set up a dream home bank account.  Home improvements always cost more than you think and invariably people get carried away.  Saving for property changes and creating a separate account means that you can see exactly what you have to spend and can plan accordingly.

Finally, claim ownership with a fresh coat of paint!  This is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to make your new house, feel like your new home!

Peter Fallico’s bedroom as shown in StyleatHome.com

If you need advice on styling, selling or buying property and would like to discuss working with me … my main website can be found at www.propertystylingcompany.co.uk. Contact can be made through this wordpress site, by email or by calling 07789 488446.


If you’ve ever visited a Show-Home you’ll have noticed how much effort the designers go to when planning and decorating the Master bedroom.  Ok, I agree, not many of us tend to inhabit bedrooms that are as glamorous or indeed as ‘over the top’ in style and decor as a Show-Home.  And, I’m not suggesting that your bedroom has to be styled to the n’th degree.  However, when you are preparing your home for sale, the Master bedroom requires a little extra thought and preparation.  Show-Home designers are employed to create an interior that persuades us to buy; to provide an aspirational interior that will ‘sell’ the property to us and the Master bedroom is a key factor in the process.

Show-Home bedroom by Jacqui Smith of HomeSmiths

Conducting a successful viewing, turning viewers into buyers, simply means getting the viewer to (positively) imagine themselves occupying your space.

Bedrooms, particularly Master bedrooms, are private, intimate rooms, that most of us don’t even show our visiting friends or family … unless of course we have just cleaned, redecorated, styled and generally have something to show off!  Our inbuilt sense of reserve, prevents us from wandering into a friend’s bedroom the way we would any of the more public rooms of their home.  And, if we do find ourselves invited into this most personal of spaces, we mainly tend to hover in the doorway, slightly ill at ease and not wanting to intrude.

‘Who’s hiding under the covers?’

Getting your viewer to connect with your property and see your home as their’s, requires the viewer to feel at ease, relaxed and definitely not as though they are intruding.  An uncomfortable, whistle stop tour of the principle rooms in your home is unlikely to secure an offer anytime soon.

I have lost count of the number of bedrooms I have viewed.  Some of them have been fabulously presented for sale, others looked as though the owner had literally just jumped out of his/her steaming pit!

‘Phew just got out of bed before the agent arrived – mind the chamber-pot!’

So how can you encourage your potential buyer to linger and appreciate all your property has to offer?

Remember that the Master bedroom is the room that the buyer (the one responsible for paying the hefty mortage or squandering their life savings) will inhabit themselves.  To them, maybe it’ll be more than just a bedroom.  Perhaps it’ll be a retreat from the job they love to hate.  Or a sanctuary from a busy family life.  This will be your buyer’s personal space… make them fall in love with it.

‘A little too de-personalised!’

Even if currently, your bedroom is home to the ever present ironing pile or regularly becomes a clutttered dumping ground, when your property is for sale its worth spending a little extra time and effort preparing the Master bedroom.

Above all … keep it clean!  Take that how you will but essentially a tidy, super clean, fresh smelling, de-personalised (although not too sterile) bedroom is the best.

  • No dirty piles of knickers in the corner of the bedroom.
  • No overflowing linen baskets or clothes drying on the radiator.

‘Wardrobe too full?’

  • No obviously yellow sweaty-head stained pillows.
  • No crumpled, steaming, smelly bedlinen.  Don’t leave the bed as though you’ve just got up.
  • No family picture galleries, eerily watching your viewers every move.
  • No rubbish in the waste-bins.
  • No animals (real or stuffed!) on the bed or dog baskets in the room.
  • No ‘lads’ mags, except well hidden and under the bed!
  • No half eaten bits of toast, or mugs of cold tea on the bedside cabinets.
  • No car-boot sale corner (you know, the collection of stuff you are always promising to get rid of).

It’s realitively easy to create the allure of a Show-Home bedroom.  Air the room before viewings.  Iron the bedlinen. De-personalise by limiting the amount of family photos, clear away hairbrushes and make up.  Keep your clothes and shoes out of sight and your bedside tables free of tablets, receipts and other paraphernalia.

Home Staging project – The Property Styling Company

 If you do nothing else…. at least change the sheets and make the bed!

Credits:

www.homesmiths.co.uk – photo of show-home bedroom

www.michaelpalmer.com – photos of home-staging project

If you need advice on styling, selling or buying property and would like to discuss working with me … my main website can be found at www.propertystylingcompany.co.uk. Contact can be made through this wordpress site, by email or by calling 07789 488446.

Reluctant to spend money on fixing up your property?

Time to DIY?

If you are fed up with waiting for the man in your house to fix the dripping tap, or put up those lovely new pictures, why not DIY?!

Kerrie Hanafin MD of ‘A Woman’s Touch’ a building company that employs mainly women, has produced a fantastic new ‘Haynes’ manual “Women’s Home DIY”

Containing the occasional ‘man’ joke and written in a chatty, modern, style there are clear step by step instructions, photos and a difficulty rating for each project.

Available from Amazon at just £16.99, it has had great reviews so far and could just get you started in a whole new career 😉

 

If you need advice on styling, selling or buying property and would like to discuss working with me … my main website can be found at www.propertystylingcompany.co.uk. Contact can be made through this wordpress site, by email or by calling 07789 488446.

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