Sunday, November 06, 2011

Decorating your Home for Sale – how to avoid the pitfalls!

If you’re thinking of moving, or if your home is for sale already, then you’re probably thinking about what you need to do to prepare it for viewings and ready the property for sale.  Usually this means clearing away clutter, finishing all simple DIY jobs, cleaning the entire place from top to bottom, even laying the table in the dining room. 

But sometimes more substantial decorating needs to be done – remember that you’ve got to think about your house as a product, not your home.  It can be difficult – and sometimes emotional – but it is worth it in the end!  Here’s how to avoid some of the most common mistakes that sellers make:


Clean the grout, if that doesn’t work then definitely replace or refresh it.  If tiles are uneven or cracked you may want to completely re-tile, just don’t buy anything overly expensive.  Remember that replacing worn vanity units and painting grubby walls will go a long way – as long as you’re careful about colours!  You might love avocado and hot pink, but it’s probably worth waiting till you’re in your new home for that kind of colour scheme...


Don’t spend money on top of the range appliances – it simply won’t help sell your house.  If your cupboard units are looking tired, consider new fronts rather than entirely new units, they’ll do the same job for a fraction of the price.  Make sure that any new lino is fitted properly – no curling edges.


If your living room carpet is covered in red wine and other, perhaps unidentifiable stains, then yes, you probably do want to look at replacing it.  But as with kitchen units, there’s no need to go overboard – a simple, and relatively cheap piece will do if deep cleaning or carpet shampoo won’t bring it to life.


Whilst your child might love animal prints and huge murals, it’s entirely possible that one of your prospective buyers wants to turn that room into a study – and the decoration might not let them imagine that.  Where possible go with relatively neutral colours.
 Curtains & Soft Furnishings.

Simple, clean blinds or light curtains are the most effective choice here – heavy or garishly printed curtains will block out light and prevent the buyer from imagining the house as their home.  Similarly, a few cushions will set off a room, whilst too many will make it feel like a soft play area.

A good coat of magnolia is a cliché – but it’s a cliché for a reason.  Bright red walls might look wonderful to you – but to your buyer it’ll feel like your house, not their future home. 

The easiest way to avoid mistakes like this is to follow the golden rule:  Imagine yourself as the buyer.  If you’re viewing lots of properties for sale at the same time as selling, think about the houses you didn’t like.  What put you off? 

If you’ve got any golden rules for decorating to sell, then send us your tips via the comments section, we would love to hear them!