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Should you furnish a Property Renovation?

Sunday, 7th October 2012

Categories: Sales Selling Tips

Author: Peter Barry

If you’re coming towards the end of a property renovation, you probably have a million and one things to think about – budgets, snagging, viewings, tax returns. But before you get carried away and rush to put the property on the market, it pays to take some time to think about how you want to show it.

Finish the job

Whilst you might think that as long as the flooring is down, the windows are fitted and there’s a working kitchen on site, your property is ready to hit the market. But potential buyers will look straight past the things that are finished, to those that aren’t. You might have splashed out on solid oak flooring and bespoke kitchen work surfaces but if the front garden is full of building equipment and half the doors are missing their handles, these are the first things that will be noted during viewings. In order to maximise the asking price and the ‘wow’ factor that comes with a high-spec refurbishment, you need to make sure that every last skirting board is painted and every cupboard door fits snugly and closes properly.

Dress to impress

It’s true that a freshly painted and carpeted house with a brand new kitchen and bathroom doesn’t need the addition of furniture to sell it. There won’t be any dodgy wine stains that need a last-minute cover with a huge rug, or cracks in the paintwork that bookshelves or cupboards will conceal. You want potential buyers to appreciate the workmanship and fine finish: to see the extent of the rooms and not to be swayed by other people’s taste in furnishings. However, there’s a lot to be said for hand-holding when it comes to having a vision for the property.

Room sizes and floor plans are all very well, but it can be hard to mentally arrange furniture in a completely empty room. Will all the bedrooms fit double beds and storage? Is the living room large enough to accommodate a three-seater sofa? Whilst you don’t want to detract from the final finish of the property, it is a good idea to give viewers a basic idea of how to use the space and a reassurance about what will fit into rooms.
If this is the case, then try to keep things simple by choosing a selection of neutral furniture. Also use your initiative; a very large bedroom will obviously fit a lot of furniture – it’s the smaller rooms that need an indication of scale. It can be as simple as a double bed in the smallest bedroom, or putting a dining table and chairs in an eat-in kitchen or dining area, to demonstrate its use and its size.

Think budget

Remember, any furniture you buy or rent for the purpose will not only come out of your profit, but you’ll also be left with it after the sale. Obviously, if you’re planning more renovation projects, or you own rental properties, you might be able to re-use the furniture; otherwise you will need to pay for storage or have to sell it. This makes it even more important to keep it simple and just include the bare necessities to give your viewers a few subtle ideas about how they might use the space.

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