“Give your home the ‘wow’ factor!”
We’ve all heard this advice from property experts, but what does it mean? And how do you do it? Most importantly, is it worth the time and effort it may cost you?
All good questions, and the answers will be revealed in this article – so let’s dive in…
“What’s a ‘wow’ factor anyway?”
It’s that elusive magic ingredient that turns a home from standard to exceptional; from forgettable to unforgettable; from ‘meh’ to ‘wow!!’
“Ok I get that, but how do I create it in my home?”
Sometimes it’s as simple as adding a lifestyle touch to your kitchen, with a beautiful cake on a pretty stand, surrounded by fruit. Something like this:
Or you may need to spruce up a room by refreshing the décor with contemporary cushions, new furniture placement and some styling touches like flowers and magazines.
Bedrooms can be forgotten and unloved, especially if they’re rarely used, so treat them to some new bedding, a luxurious throw and even some new artwork for the walls.
“Is it worth spending time, effort and money on styling my home if it’s going to sell quickly anyway?”
As I write this, there is a definite scarcity of homes on the market. Homes are selling fast, and often over the asking price. But while today’s ‘sellers’’ market may make it seem that house selling is easy, no matter its condition, spending a little T.L.C. on your home to make it even more appealing is a smart move for two reasons:
- When the market turns, your home will still stand out in all the right ways, and
- Even in a sellers’ market, you need to be confident you’re not leaving any money on the table and losing out to competitive homes just because they are more attractively styled.
As you can see, styling doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, and adding the ‘wow’ factor to your home could be simple and fast to do. If you’re feeling inspired and keen to get started, the team and I have compiled a list of 12 simple ways to wow your buyers. Let’s go!
- Make a big, bold statement
To create a ‘wow’ feature, add a special piece to the entryway of your home. A large photographic print, original artwork or over-sized vase will instantly capture attention, pique a potential buyer’s interest and make them want to see more.
- Showcase your best spaces
To make a room feel large and open, moving or even removing unnecessary furniture will simplify it. This helps your buyers to make it their own in their heads, imagining how it will look with their furniture and accessories. When rooms are full of furniture, buyers find difficult to see past what’s there and envision your home’s potential.
- Romance your buyers
Think: date night. Soft lamps, gently flickering candles, a crackling fire and subtle music playing – these all set the scene for a romantic date, but also for a successful viewing. Buyers buy with their hearts, not their heads, so appeal to their softer side, stir their emotions and make sure they leave wanting more!
- Create a culinary experience
So many of us are budding chefs these days with the popularity of Masterchef and Bake-off, so create a mouth-watering experience for your buyers as they step into your kitchen! Try an Ottolenghi cookbook, casually open on the side, with some posh cookware and even posher ingredients, to create the impression that culinary magic is about to happen.
- Play it safe in the bedrooms
Bedrooms are no place for strong and vibrant colours, unless you are a professional interior designer, and even then you risk sending your buyers running for their car if your bedrooms are overpowering. Even if you love bold colours, when you’re selling your home, you need to pander to a buyer’s tastes, rather than foist yours on them. So keep bedrooms light and simple. Crisp white bedding with plump pillows, dressed with a throw and some cushions in a subtle shade will give your bedrooms a hotel quality a buyer will love.
- Set the table
Why not set your lovely dining table for dinner with your best dinner set? If you don’t want to go the whole hog with silverware and glasses, just add placemats, plates and glasses for an understated look. Add a floral centrepiece and voila! Your home is ready for its House Beautiful debut.
- Add colour sparingly and subtly
If you’ve neutralised your home so much it looks bland and maybe a bit boring, it’s time to add some colour. The safest way to add interest is with soft furnishings: rugs, cushions and throws add colour and warmth and can really help co-ordinate a room. If you’re not sure what colours might work, look at high street stores like Next and Wayfair for ideas, and Pinterest for inspiration.
- Use mirrors to make rooms feel bigger and brighter
Mirrors are a great way to bounce that light around your home and banish dark corners. Try a mirror instead of a picture over a fireplace or above a sideboard. Mirrors can make narrow spaces like hallways and landings look wider and help open up the space, and they can also transform a tiny bathroom.
- Give your dining room table a fabulous centrepiece
The dining room tends to be a place for celebrations, but it’s also a room that can feel a touch bland when it’s not being used. The perfect solution when you’re selling is to lift the look and atmosphere of the room by having a stunning centrepiece that gives a sense of occasion. Perhaps a large bowl of fresh hydrangeas, a tall vase of flowers and foliage (either real or good-quality imitation) or an arrangement of storm lanterns and pillar candles – something that will leave a striking impression on buyers.
- Make the fireplace a focal point
Fireplaces are certainly an attractive selling feature, so make the most of them. If you have a working fireplace, make sure the hearth is clean, the fire is always laid and you have a lovely store of logs beside it, ready to light for viewings. And if you can’t or don’t want to light a real fire, why not fill the recess with a selection of pillar candles? That can look really pretty, and even if there’s no actual heat, the flames will give the illusion of warmth.
- Bathrooms that wow
In the bathroom, tidy away the products you use every day – toothbrushes, toilet cleaner etc. – and make sure your sanitaryware is sparkling. Add a set of fresh white towels and luxurious toiletries (Jo Malone or The White Company), a room diffuser and a couple of pretty plants, and your bathroom is ready to show off.
- Bring your doorstep to life
And let’s not forget the front door. Plain styles tend to work best for contemporary homes, whereas if you have a period home, a red or navy front door can look classically smart. Adding bay trees or shaped conifers completes the look. If you’re lacking in inspiration, google “front doors” plus your type of home. For example, “front doors for contemporary home”. You’ll see pages and pages of beautiful ideas to copy and make sure your buyers are wowed on the doorstep.
As you can see, we’re big fans of styling a home to wow buyers! And we know it works. The homes we sell that have been skilfully styled tend to get more viewings, and better feedback too from buyers.