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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

First Impressions Count

For those of us who have ever been involved in selling our homes, it can be a rather stressful process of making sure that everything from the front gate to the back fence (or front door to back if you are in an apartment!) looks absolutely perfect for the auction board, advertising images, & of course, every inspection. For some, a beautiful home in itself may be considered enough of a drawcard, but for most, it is how we present our home to prospective buyers that will determine how successful the sale is.

A friend of mine recently inspected a nearby property that I have been familiar with for many years, a (seemingly) beautiful renovated double fronted Victorian house, complete with landscaped gardens. She was less than impressed upon walking through the property, for the obvious lack of attention to the finer details & decorative touches that so often entice prospective buyers, & the general lack of tidiness throughout. No, she wasn't buying the contents, but she was hoping to find a visually enticing interior that could give perhaps offer a suggestionor two as to how it may look if she & her family were to live there.

Over the years, I have been involved in preparing homes for sale, including my own, & although it is not always an easy process, creating an aesthetic masterpiece for a period of perhaps 6 weeks is well worth it for the financial reward we hopefully reap.

Once you decide to put your home on the market, you can certainly ease the load of things to be done by allowing yourself a realistic timeframe to address major considerations, such as painting, carpentry, wall touch ups & cleaning of marks, thorough cleaning of skirting boards, cornices, architraves, etc, & electrical & or plumbing repairs, & removal of any clutter not in use, or not of aesthetic value. Once these areas are addressed, keeping your home looking perfect on any given day can be made easier by keeping the house in order as you would normally, with the assumption that an inspection may occur at a moment's notice. Now I know for many, this is easier said than done, school runs, office deadlines, corporate commitments, businesses to manage, other daily commitments. The mornings don't always allow us extra time for extra tasks, but if you are going to manage the presentation of your property yourself, this has to be a priority, and can be managed with the following tips:

  • Bedroom: Make the Beds
    Bathroom: Towels folded, or on rails & off the floor. Basins/vanity, immaculate, decorative items to dress, such as fragrance bottles, soaps, shells, flowers.
  • Kitchen: Benchtops & cooktops - Tidy & spotless. If your kitchen is small, keep the benchtops/tables, etc free of excess clutter. Fruit, appliances, coffee, a divine chopping board (Visit Rose Street Trading Company in Armadale) with fruit or other produce, serving plates...these can all look wonderful, just pick key pieces to feature, & position stragetically for optimum impact
  • Hallway: Whether the main furnishings of your hallway is a sideboard, table, artwork, bench, chairs or sculpture, this is a high impact point, the first impression. Dress this space accordingly with flowers, candles, whatever you think looks right in the space
  • Floors: Make sure all surfaces are swept, vacuumed, polished
  • Flowers: Make sure the water is kept clean & the flowers are fresh. Simple arrangements can look stunning
  • Fragrance: Keep subtle. Fresh air, & a subtle spray of a beautiful room fragrance & or candles to allow the ambience to linger
  • Laundry: this is a practical & high maintenance space, but make sure the laundry is tidy & organised. Keep the space peaceful, don't have the dryer & washing machine going during inspections
  • Garden: keep paving wept, lawns mowed, garden tidy, weeded, outdoor dining area clean, centrepiece such as lanterns or stone ware look fabulous.
    Furniture: "plump" cushions and scatter cushions
  • Window Treatments: Whether shutters, blinds or curtains, have each window treatment open evenly & sitting at same height where applicable
  • Lighting: Depending upon the time of day, tea lights, & table/feature lamps for best mood & atmosphere. If dark, mood lighting essential
  • Cooking Aromas: Although most of us love the smell of gourmet delights, they don't appeal to everyone, so perhaps keep the cooking aromas to a minimum, coffee however, is invariably appealing.
  • Rubbish Bins: Inside & Out. Make sure out of sight, & covered

If you are preparing your property without professional help, make sure you get a family member or friend in to give you their opinion on how everything looks. If, however, you simply don't have the time, the energy or the knowhow as to go about this task, contact Haven Interiors, @
We will take away your stress, & manage the entire process in a streamlined & efficient time frame for you, from the moment you decide to sell your home, to the end result, & everything in between.

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