The gloves are off: How to sell in a depressed market?

for-sale-2-brightSo now we had set about a chain of events that might make the pigeon house ours. But first we had to figure out how to how to sell our house in a depressed climate? The answers were very clear, they just weren’t very easy.

1. We had to be realistic about the price.

I soon realised that if we were serious about selling then we must also be realistic about the price we could achieve. Hopefully we would be lucky and there would be two people who really want it and will push the price up. In order to achieve this the next two items are essential…

2. De-clutter

My mother was from the North of Ireland and her family used to say about my Dad that he “scrubbed up well”. Well, the same can be said for most houses. There is no doubt that it is extremely therapeutic to do a mega clear out and clean up. It’s got the added benefit that it can only look better afterwards. I take on board the fact that we ourselves move house fairly regularly (on average every 7 years, yes, yes I can hear the itch sentence, but in my opinion its easier to change houses than husbands). This means that we should in theory not need to do the same amount of de-cluttering as someone who has lived in their family home for say 30 years. Well believe me this is not true. It just means that I throw nothing out until I absolutely have to. Also as I always design in a large amount of storage into every job I complete there is always somewhere to put things, even if I don’t or won’t ever need them again..

Some home truths:

I am an obsessive hoarder and collector of all kinds of nonsense.

I am also a ruthless de-clutterer when I want to be.

If you wish to sell successfully, you must do the same.

When de-cluttering tackle just one thing at a time. It might your kitchen drawers one day and your wardrobes another day. Bathroom cupboards must also be emptied. Remember that things always get worse before they get better so try to limit the job undertaken to an amount that can be finished in one go. Prepare bags or boxes or piles that things can be organised into: keep, bin, recycle. Check out your local councils website: you would be surprised just how much can be recycled or donated to charity shops.

3. Clean till it gleams.

Once the massive de-clutter was complete, it was time to get the gloves and apron on and scrub like my life depended upon it. Windows, patios, floors, bathrooms, kitchen. Inside the house, outside the house, the garden, the street if necessary. This is something within all our reach. No acceptable excuses what so ever. The gloves are officially  off…

4. Sell the lifestyle.

If you Google “how to sell your home” you will get lots of advice ranging from “post a video love letter about your home on you tube” to “de-personalise your home”. Seriously, imagine walking around your home making a video and telling your prospective buyers what you love about your home, what a great time you’ve had living there, the fab bakery down the road etc etc. Personally if I was a viewer, I would run a mile. As for De-personalise your home i.e. remove all family photos and personal items? The theory as I understand it, is that the buyer wants to imagine your house as their house and that they can’t do that with all your personal items marking their territory. Well I have never followed this particular piece of advice -I don’t think my prospective purchasers could possibly be that narrow minded. You may as well leave out empty photo frames and put in a “you could be in here” wording instead. (I am not recommending you do this)

So my strategy is: THE TRUTH. Our house. Our stuff.  Our lifestyle. Just a little cleaner, tidier version of it. That way I am hoping that any prospective purchasers will see that our home was well loved and can imagine themselves living there too.

With all the above done there is nothing left but to hand over a set of keys to the estate agent and see what happens…

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