Excuse the mess, but we live here

Cleaning. It’s something that we all do daily – whether it’s simply wiping down the bench after a snack, or hanging your towel up after a shower – there are a thousand ways that we unconsciously clean our living space.

It’s also vitally important if you want to sell your house.

Everyone has a different sense of ‘lived in’ – from cushions on the couch, to matching tea and coffee containers in the kitchen, or maybe it’s the smudgy handprints that your children seem to love leaving on any glossy, shiny surface. But when it comes to presenting your home for inspections, sometimes it is better to simplify.

When a potential buyer is inspecting your home, they are definitely not walking around with a white glove looking for dust, akin to what your mother may do on her visit. What a buyer is looking at is the space, the light, the temperature at certain times of the day, the size of your floor plan – they are visualising where exactly their furniture would go, and what they would use each room for. They are imagining hanging this picture on that wall, and having that bookshelf on that one. Are the built-ins large enough? Is there enough storage space?

I knew of one couple in a unique situation. They lived in a one bedroom apartment, which also featured a living and dining room. The dining room was an alcove with no windows, which suited their needs. Sometime after the arrival of their child, they ended up putting their bed setting in the dining room and giving their daughter their bedroom so that everyone was able to sleep. Obviously, by doing this, they knew that it was time to upsize, and they started to get things moving.

In order to show their property twice a week, they chose to move two whole rooms around prior to the inspections (dragging their dining table up out of storage each time), and move them back immediately afterwards. They didn’t have to do this; after all, this was their living space. However, they understood the impact of having a bed in the dining room as opposed to the table. The couple sold their apartment, and in passing remarked that while it was a hugely annoying thing to do, they were glad that they had done it.

You’ve probably heard all kinds of advice when it comes to presenting your property – from the smell of fresh flowers, an apple pie in the oven, freshly brewed coffee, even nice music playing.

The best advice I can give you is ‘Simplify it all’. Take a few books off the bookshelf, so they don’t appear cluttered. Keep your bathroom sink free and clear of anything bar the very essentials. Make sure that the bed is made. If there are unnecessary items of furniture that you can do without for a short while (a child sized bongo drum in the corner comes to mind here), then pack them away until they can find their place in your new home.

And don’t forget to wipe off the smudgy handprints J

Until Next Time,

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