Even if you know nothing about the property market, you will know that a seller must ensure the property is attractive if they’re going to find a buyer.
There are many aspects to the problem, from having a deep clean to changing the front of the property with a new coat of paint. But one of the problems that is perhaps a little more subtle is the stuff you have in the home that makes it seem outdated. Outdated sofas, for example, can make a buyer think your house has seen better days
And that doesn’t sell.
So, what should you be getting rid of?
Well, you don’t have to get rid of everything, because with some things you can paint or polish until it doesn’t look outdated. However, most household items that were fashionable many years ago may not necessarily be on trend now.
The following items most definitely fall into the ‘outdated’ category:
#1 Paint that is unfashionable
This means the paint that was trendy a few years ago.
For many people this means magnolia, which was sitting pretty on the walls of many people’s homes for a long time. In general, buyers prefer to imagine living in subtle shades that are bright. That’s why grey is making a comeback.
#2 Odd colours in the bathroom
You know immediately when you’ve walked into an old-fashioned bathroom. The fixtures (bath, sink etc) have all been painted in the same colour in an attempt at coordination. There’s nothing wrong with coordination. But colours that are soft and ‘pastel’ will only turn buyers off.
#3 Worn carpets
Very easy to understand, this one.
If you’ve got one of those carpets that portrays an unfashionable feel, or has garish colours, prepare for people to flee the viewing. Soft and easy on the eye is the way you want to go. Oh, and a beige carpet fits that bill, so it’s quite easy to find a few colours to use.
#4 The ‘New England’ thing
This is where home decor consisted of a selection of nautical interior accents, we’re sorry to say, is now old-fashioned. People just don’t want to see this most obvious of style ideas. This is mainly because it’s been around forever, and now needs to be consigned to history.
#5 The kitchen
This is a real minefield.
The problem is simple. If someone comes to look at your property as part of their house search, they don’t want to see a kitchen that is full of your style. Anyone who buys a home wants to imagine themselves living in it, and the kitchen is a big part of this. It has to be as neutral as possible, and definitely clutter-free on viewing day.
#6 Old-fashioned work surfaces
We’re talking about the kitchen.
If the property you’re trying to sell has a laminated work surface in the kitchen, this is not a good thing. It just looks dated, because laminated surfaces were popular years ago. While you may not be able to afford granite, any work surface other than laminate will do.
Basically, the best gauge of old-fashioned interiors is how personal they are.
The vast majority of homeowners fashion their homes to their tastes, and then leave it like that for a number of years. But a buyer wants to see an empty canvas, a place where they can print their own style.
They can’t do this if the place looks too ‘lived-in’.
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So, what to do?
There are hundreds of different things you can do to bring the property into the modern world. The tips that follow should set you on the right path towards making the best of a home that is dated. While some of the ideas may be quite drastic, they’re most definitely worth it.
Paint it new
To paint an interior of a home isn’t difficult, and it’s a realistic thing for most people to accomplish. And in addition to that, you’re looking at an activity that doesn’t cost the earth either. A few tins of reasonable quality paint are easy to get hold of, and to paint the kitchen (for example) doesn’t take long.
When buying paint, think about choosing paint that has that neutral feel. Believe it or not, white is a firm favourite for anyone who decorates rooms commercially. It’s pure, clean and allows a home buyer to imagine themselves in the building, with their own personal decor.
As much as you possibly can, empty the room of clutter and consider putting it in storage, and even what might seem like essential aspects of a room. For example, in the bedroom, take away any photos of the family (and that goes for the rest of the house) so that a prospective buyer can imagine themselves in the room.
Have a smooth and clean a floor space as you can manage. If the carpet in a room is old and dated, consider a carpet clean, covering the majority of the carpet with a fresh new rug or even strip it and display the floorboards instead.
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Spruce the kitchen
One of the most attractive parts of a modern kitchen is an island. If you can arrange for an island to be fitted in the kitchen, purely for the purpose of making it more attractive, this is one of those things that you absolutely must do. Modern kitchens have islands, and that’s a big part of making a kitchen an attractive space.
Buy splash-backs that are modern, glass works well - here are a few examples. Also, if you need to fit some lighting underneath the cabinets, this inexpensive measure will make the room feel new.
You’d be surprised at how little space an island actually requires. It’s worth investing, because having one of these is almost a guaranteed way to attract buyers.
Or, if it’s a quick sale you need…
Maybe the seller has lost a loved one and has to sell the property as part of probate. Or it may be a property that they no longer have enough money to invest in or maintain. The best course of action here would be to sell to a cash buyer.
While there aren’t too many cash buyer individuals out there, there are companies who may be able to help. They offer a price that is lower than the asking price for a similar property in the local area, but they will turn the sale round quickly.
If you can’t or don't want to do that, prepare yourself for a reduced asking price anyway, and that’s assuming buyers don’t just ignore the property.
In other words, old-fashioned decor is rarely a good look.