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In the market to sell your house? A pro tip - consider adding a fresh coat of paint

3 pro give their tips on how to style your home to help it sell more quickly

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By House & Garden | July 18, 2023 | Diy

Selling your house can be a stressful process at the best of times, and that has only been compounded with recent news that house prices are falling at their fastest rate in over a decade. There are ways that you can help your home stand out in a crowded market, however. We spoke with three pros who have plenty of experience making houses look their best. Grace Willcocks is Head of Commerical at Burbeck Interiors. ‘You want prospective buyers to feel as though they absolutely want to live there, at all costs’ she explains. ‘And part of that is understanding who that potential buyer might be and then consider an interior scheme that would appeal to them. You want your target buyer to imagine living in that space, and I would go a little further and say, you actually want that buyer to feel like that space is their ideal home'.

‘You want your home to be extremely inviting and draw the buyer in,’ says Leoma Harper of design studio Style the Clutter. ‘ It needs to feel like a home away from home, so the buyer can imagine themselves in the space’. That’s not always easy. ‘I spend a lot of time viewing properties with clients’, says Bari Jerauld of Blank Slate Studio. ‘It’s interesting what stands out in people’s mind when they are looking at a house, and what they become fixated on. It’s often the things that are the easiest to change: cosmetic details such as a paint colour, or something that needs mending'.

First impressions

Remember that your home is being assessed from the very moment a prospective buyer walks up to your front door. ‘If you can't afford to get your whole property repainted, consider just painting your front door,’ says Grace. ‘It will create the impression of a well maintained home. Weed your garden or front path as appropriate and make sure you don’t leave your recycling bins by the entrance!’ Bari agrees and suggests adding some greenery. ‘Something like a big, potted olive tree can go a long way,’ she says. ‘It will look lovely and it could even detract from that little repair that might need doing to the front of the house’. Grace also advises to open up all the blinds and curtains to let in as much light as possible. This will look so much better and far more welcoming from the street as well.

Ditch clutter (and put the loo seat down)

‘Never underestimate the negative influence that too much furniture or accumulated belongings can have on a space and those that enter into it,’ says Grace. ‘Clutter suffocates a room and prevents people seeing beyond the immediate mayhem’. It’s a bit of a balancing act: prospective buyers sometimes need a bit of help being shown how a house can really feel like a home, but you don’t want to create such a strong sense of your life that it gets in the way of them imagining their lives in the space. ‘A few happy photos are always nice to see out on display,’ says Leoma. ‘They can bring a sense of happiness and love to the home. But I would really recommend keep bathrooms clear of products except for some pretty bath oils, hand soaps or candles. Make sure the toilet roll is neat and tidy and hide cleaning products and the toilet brush. Leaving the toilet seat up is an absolute no-no.

Fruit in the bowl and the smell of fresh linen

‘It's always nice to have a little lifestyle set up in the kitchen, such as coffee to the ready with some mugs, a fruit bowl with fresh fruit in it or fresh bread on a chopping board,’ says Leoma. It’s all about adding in signs of life, planting the seed of a lived experience within a space. ‘ Fresh flowers and (living!) house plants can really make a slightly tired interior feel fresh and loved,’ says Grace. ‘I’m a big fan of candles,’ says Bari. ‘Scent can transform a room and people associate different smells with places they have been. It can really elevate a space’. A few years ago the mortgage experts Bankrate UK did an interesting piece of research on what fragrances make a house feel more homey. Its survey of over 2,000 people revealed the top answers as freshly baked bread, fresh linen and coffee, with citrus being the top choice for kitchens and bathrooms..

The original article appeared on House & Garden UK