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How do you sell an empty house?

PUBLISHED: 08:33 26 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:02 26 October 2018

Pic: www.gettyimages.co.uk

Pic: www.gettyimages.co.uk

We buy with our eyes and nothing sells a house more than evocative photographs. But when a house is completely empty, how do you sell that all important concept, a lifestyle? Nick Eley, a partner at Watsons, can help you.

Church Hill House, Cromer Road, Aylsham, for sale with Watsons Period & Prestige. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.ukChurch Hill House, Cromer Road, Aylsham, for sale with Watsons Period & Prestige. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.uk

There are all kinds of reasons why you may need to sell a property that is empty. It may be a new home, you may have to move out of a house before you sell it and you may be selling on behalf of an elderly relative.

The problem is that plain walls and floors give no impression to potential buyers as to how they can use the space and in fact an empty room can be quite misleading in terms of showing off room dimensions. And then there are the particulars; no matter how beautiful your home is, without any contents or furnishings, the photographs can look very lacklustre.

Church Hill House, Cromer Road, Aylsham, the sitting room before the room was dressed. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.ukChurch Hill House, Cromer Road, Aylsham, the sitting room before the room was dressed. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.uk

We now live in a world driven by image; no more so than with the houses in which we live. Photographs of interiors aim to capture a certain lifestyle which really helps sell the property. It is for all these reasons that interiors and home staging businesses have evolved and developers often use their services to create furnished show houses. However, the average vendor often cannot afford to invest in home staging.

Nick Eley, partner at Watsons, said: “We at Watsons will advise a vendor if we think that their property does need some dressing to make it more appealing to a buyer. However, we realise that many people do not have the money to use a specialist home staging service and so we will try and suggest inexpensive ways so we can market a house at its full potential.”

Church Hill House, Cromer Road, Aylsham, the sitting room after being dressed. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.ukChurch Hill House, Cromer Road, Aylsham, the sitting room after being dressed. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.uk

One such example is a house Watsons currently have for sale on Cromer Road, Aylsham, for a guide price of £399,000. An elegant, Grade II listed, end townhouse, it had been on the market, empty. Mr Eley said: 
“Interestingly, the owners asked if I felt dressing the property would assist the sale, and I had no hesitation in saying a resounding YES! Beds were put in the bedrooms and a table added in the kitchen, with crockery. A few pictures on walls, plants, chairs, cushions and throws just transformed the house and instantly showed it off to its very best, resulting in an immediate up-lift in viewings and serious interest. When I take on a house that someone is moving out of, I do encourage them to leave at least some possessions. Also, if a family member is selling on behalf of an elderly relative, I do say not to clear a house as I believe it’s better for people to view it as a home, with furniture and some possessions to at least give those viewing some idea of scale.”

So, what are some top tips:

Church Hill House, Cromer Road, Aylsham, the reception before the room was dressed. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.ukChurch Hill House, Cromer Road, Aylsham, the reception before the room was dressed. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.uk

Kitchens - use items that create a feeling that someone is living there like a recipe book open on a worksurface, some pot plants or herbs, a bottle of handwash by the tap, a neatly folded towel and tea towel

Dining rooms - ideally put a table in to show the dimensions and lay the table with cutlery, crockery and possibly serviettes and unlit candles as well as glasses

Church Hill House, Cromer Road; the reception after the room was dressed. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.ukChurch Hill House, Cromer Road; the reception after the room was dressed. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.uk

Sitting rooms - Furniture really shows off this kind of room so place throws over settees and perhaps think of a coffee table with magazines, an open book or a tray with cups or glasses

Fireplaces - Stock with wood and dress with candlesticks or put a basket with logs next to the hearth

Church Hill House, Cromer Road, Aylsham, the bedroom before being dressed. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.ukChurch Hill House, Cromer Road, Aylsham, the bedroom before being dressed. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.uk

Lightbulbs - ideally cover with a shade even if you have to buy inexpensive ones as it makes so much difference to a room not only in the appearance but the lighting

Utility/hall spaces - you can really show off these with hanging a coat or hat on a peg or put shoes or boots neatly on the ground. Add children’s items to convey the possible use as a family house or a briefcase or suit jacket if you want to show it would be ideal for professionals.

Church Hill House, Cromer Road, Aylsham, the bedroom after the room was dressed. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.ukChurch Hill House, Cromer Road, Aylsham, the bedroom after the room was dressed. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.uk

Bedrooms - really always do look better with a bed in them to show the proportions. Always dress the bed with plain white linen but add colour with a throw.

For more information on selling your home, contact Nick Eley at Watsons on 01603 619916 or email n.eley@watsons-property.co.uk or see www.watsons-property.co.uk

<a data-cke-saved-href="http://www.watsons-property.co.uk" href="http://www.watsons-property.co.uk" "rel="follow" target="_blank">Watsons has sponsored this feature.

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