March marks the start of the property push, and if you have your mind set on braving a move — it’s time to make those buyers fall hopelessly in love with your greatest asset.
It’s often said — we’re not selling a house, we are selling a lifestyle.
This promised future projected by your home can be strong enough to prompt that first precious offer. How do you stir up those loving feelings, that vital emotional response when staging to sell? Every room in this performance must deliver, both on function, feel and visual appeal, rounding up to a house that makes sense for as wide an audience of potential buyers as possible.
Brought up, elbows on the scrubbed pine, We adore our live-in kitchens here in Ireland, so re-ignite the passion.
* Few of us have the time or money to replace a kitchen. In most instances you would not dramatically increase your chances of a sale by doing so.
* Simple repairs, freshening up the paint work, flooring and tiling will lift a scruffy wallflower to a delectable diva. New vinyl beats cracked floor tiling, hands down. See if you can get the deal installed, as one clumsy snip or ripple can ruin the finish.
* We’re looking for roomy, fresh and ergonomic. Two people should be able to slide across each other at all points. Lift and shift any obstructions and make your space easy to manage, well lit, with every centimetre of obvious storage put to good use.
* Clear counters say, ‘we have room/you have room, Baby I’m yours’. Leave out little more than the kettle and toaster, but don’t crowd walls in hanging detritus or suffocating rows of cabinets.
* Contemporary venetians in metallic finishes sing in most kitchens, varying the light and shielding a questionable view. Tuiss brushed metals start at €23 per blind made to measure.
DINING NO WHINING
Where will the family sit down as a group to eat? What about something more intimate for two?
* Present a dining room as a dining room. If it’s become a dumping ground, tidy it back up to a classy adult club. Steal pieces for other places to assemble a table, chairs and sideboard. For second hand items you can heave to your new home, try the small ads.
* If there’s room for casual meals in or near the kitchen, make use of it. A drop leaf table and a couple of stools suggest a homework and sandwich spot.
* For grown up rooms, think about a harmony of colours, and stick to three accessory shades, no more. Rugs, cushions, curtains, and ornaments can present tasteful keynotes in any room.
* In an open plan area don’t orphan a dining table sadly in the room. Dedicated lighting hung low over the dining table, some suspended shelving on a richly painted embracing wall, and a sideboard will dress the position with presence.
MOVE OVER DARLING
Privacy, seduction, luxury: you are looking for audible sighs and for couples to grab hands, sketching quick fantasies as the master bedroom door swings in.
* The star of the show will always be the bed, but if it’s rudely upstaged by lack of storage, your audience will remember nothing else. Divide your clothes by season and take the flabby excess to storage or sale. Two JML vacuum style bags (90cmX125cm) will set you back €18. Great for duvets and bulky clothes. www.jmldirect.com.
* Experiment with the bed’s position, even taking it under the window where space is tight. Don’t park a double behind a door or with one side to the wall. No headboard? Use a feature wall colour or paper.
* If the bedroom is very tired, paint the whole room, skirting to coving in a low odour emulsion that will swiftly clear the air. White, soft lilacs and mocha neutrals with golden undertones whisper serene sweet nothings.
* Matchy-matchy curtains, covers and valences screams B&B c1985. Take the bed to neutrals or whites if the curtains are aesthetics show offs and irreplaceable. Dunnes offer a stunning striped white Valencia duvet set. A steal at €55 in a king size. www.dunnesstores.com.
If there’s one place we tend to concrete ourselves into set positions, it’s the living room. Experiment with furniture configurations to create a better flow.
* Don’t cut across a gorgeous bay window or stunning architectural detail with a lump of furniture.
* Furniture centrifuged in orderly lines against walls says formal and uninviting. It’s not a dance hall. Angle pieces for interest and create relationships between chairs, tables, hangings etc.
* If you have a skylight that pools daylight, treat it as a spotlight and think about putting a table or seating area there.
* Three adjectives should be written in letters of fire on your soul — light, warm and neutral. Buyers want spaciousness — deliver apparent space.
* For effortless visualisation, tape together some broadsheet newspaper to the size of your sofas, chairs, tables etc, and place these on the floor in position, marking their height where needed with low tack masking tape on the wall.
BATHING AND MORE
You might not be able to offer a double ended roll-top for naughty nights, but at least stroke the senses in the bathroom with an immaculate, fresh, welcoming retreat.
* Clean the loo, sink and bath, in, out, up and over until your fingers wilt from noxious chemistry.
* Get rid of any limescale that will suggest hard water problems. A new loo seat costs from €20. Why wait?
* A mashed tube of depilatory cream in a gnarled curl on the windowsill? Charming. Bin those grooming horrors. Open new bars of soapand arrange some white fluffy towels in a welcoming cloud on a rail.
Q: My PVC window frames are filthy and hot soap and water doesn’t seem to shift the grime. Are there any products I could try?
A: Environmentally friendly and tough on rubbed in rubbish, JML’s Doktor Power Clean has a foam action, it’s great for all hard surfaces. Available at Home Store & More, nationwide. €6.
Q: How can I lift a rust stain out of marble? My white fireplace looks awful with a big orange streak on the mantle.
A: You could try nail polish remover (containing acetone) applied with a soft rag and wiped off with clean water. Don’t leave this or anything acid on marble for long as it’s porous and very easily damaged. Deep-seated rust stains on unsealed marble are very difficult to shift. A paste of Fullers Earth and gentle washing-up liquid may work if applied as a poultice.
Q: There’s a mark from a permanent marker on my cream fabric couch. The covers are tacked on and therefore I cannot remove them to wash.
A: Make a solution of two parts water to one part mild washing-up liquid (Ecover would be a good choice) and one part white vinegar. Lightly wet the stain, leave for about 30 minutes and blot (don’t rub) the lifting ink with white paper towel. Repeat until the stain is gone. A final steam clean may help.