Houses that do not flow look cramped and awkward from outside or give an unfavourable first impression may chase away potential customers before they are able to discover the delights inside. When a buyer parks outside your home he has to see the beauty not the potential. If you’re selling a renovators dream or a “husband should have handy man skills” then the word “potential” can be freely bandied about.
Unless your residence falls into that category your main aim is to present your home in the best possible way. To draw your customers inside to fully see the residence and to expose the home to as many as possible. This increases your chance of obtaining a favourable sale. Poor design may be inherent in the structure but there are ways of minimizing the bad points and highlighting the good. Whatever design-changing route you embark upon it will involve hard work and effort. Fortunately it is time well spent because you are converting your energies into tangible results and more importantly a better price for your asset.
Design changes cost money so you will need to weigh up those areas that need the lion’s share of what you have available. However you decide to allocate your resources remember whatever the potential customer sees first must receive attention. It is of no use renovating the inside rooms if the customer doesn’t bother to come in because he is put off by the outside.
Inspecting your home for design problems may be difficult for you if you have lived in the same home for many years. The ugly bits stop being noticed. Unfortunately not so for the buyer. When they are looking at your home for the first time you want to prevent resistance to what they see. To be successful in assessing your home you may need to bring in a friend – but be ready for the criticism – it’s not always easy to hear.
Most people can look at a house and say whether they like the outside of a house or not. Few can indicate exactly what is faulty. The majority make comments like “it just looks odd,” “it’s a bit off” or “it doesn’t look right.” When you are planning design changes you have to be able to fully define those types of vague abstract negatives.
If up to this point you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, the good news is that design can be instantly improved with a general clean up and tidy away. You may be use to your disorder so ask your friend to point out what he/she considers would be useful to sort out. Clean up the garden – mow the lawn and trim the edges. If the grass is worn away where every one walks consider laying a few paving slabs. Give the front of the house a fresh coat of paint. Fix and tidy any loose trailing wires or aerial cables. Re-treat faded wood. This general sprucing up allows you to see what else could be done.
Turn your attention to the next big area, the garden as a whole. Analyse the garden against the house to see if they are unbalanced? In this area you’ll be looking at too much something on one side of the garden and starkness on the other. Or lots of height on one side and nothing on the other. To rebalance you may need to plant a tall shrub, relocate a pot plant or clip a hedge lower. Then re-check. Did it make it feel more balanced? Art and design in a building may seem to be a uniquely personal thing but many people like similar patterns. If you look through home and garden magazines you’ll begin to spot what is preferred – balance, a sense of flowing, nothing that jars.
Once you are satisfied that the first view of your house will be a good one move inside. Clear up and tidy. Now you have a better picture of what you are dealing with. One of the more difficult house types to sell is those which reflect eclectic or unusual taste. If you belong to a family that has stamped their individuality prominently on the house with plumb floor tiles, faux-velvet wall treatments and dramatic colour combinations then you have two options. 1. Paint over these using a neutral colour. 2. Be prepared to wait for that special individual that clicks with your taste.
Some artistic owners, accustomed to bright splashes of colour are usually appalled when it is suggested they should consider converting the cerise and indigo dining room walls to a demur ivory. If this is true for you and you are struggling to sell your home you will have to consider changing the design so that it appeals to a wider purchasing base. The new potential owner will probably not see how vibrant cerise and indigo make the room. He’ll just see the hours of work that are in store for him to convert it back to the more conventional tones his family prefer. Colour in the home is personal but again, to sell your house stick to colours that are liked by the majority who see it.
It can be quite difficult to put yourself into the other person’s shoes. Your home is your sanctity but when you are preparing it for sale you must think of those aspects that appeal to others. You won’t need to become a specialist in home décor but the ability to see what could offend or drive the customer away will assist you in making the right design choices for your residence.