APRIL UPDATE – Spring has sprung!

Sunday 3rd April 2022

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. 

You have to go to them sometimes.”

A.A. Milne – Winnie the Pooh

And just like that, spring arrived! A heatwave.  Shorts, tee-shirts, and drinks in the garden.   Sam got gardening, (I handled the drinks in the garden bit!), and overnight winter returned, with flurries of snow and hail!  You couldn’t make it up.  The garden table was put back into hibernation, the plants were covered with frost protectors, and the heating went back on.

April Fools Day came and went rather more quietly than usual.  I of course was momentarily caught out by the Google one showing the ‘driver-less bicycle rider’.  I loved the video of bicycles whizzing people around within their effort of pedals, and the young child stroking the bike at the end. Yes, I was caught.  I then saw a ‘clip’ of ‘Best April Fools Pranks 2022’ with an arrow to press to play them. Yes, I pressed. Yes, I was caught again. There was no video. It was a photograph.  And onwards to the relative safety of 2nd April!

Sam and I have had a pretty busy end of March/Early April, with having been invited to a dozen or so valuations over the past few days, many from people thinking of marketing their homes after Easter.  It is always a pleasure to go out and see people, and their homes, and offer our advice, and always delighted and proud when they affirm that they would like to use us as and when the time comes.

So that bring us to what to do before the time comes!

If you are thinking of marketing your home, we do advise that presentation is key for encouraging strong interest from buyers.  I have been reading dozens of articles recently, from people such as Phil (from Kirsty and Phil), articles in various newspapers, and from various interior designers.  They do all recommend elements of the same suggestions.

First impressions are important.  We would recommend that, if you do have time (and the energy), making the front garden, or approach to you home, as attractive as possible. It doesn’t have to cost much, especially at this time of year when plants are relatively cheap.  Popping a few daffodils, narcissi or primulas in a tub at the door can look colourful and eye catching.  Mowing the lawn, when it isn’t snowing(!), and maybe a fresh coat of paint on, or at least a wash down of, the front door makes a wonderful first impression. To be fair, many will not notice directly, but what they will notice, whilst not the specifics of what they might have seen, is how it made them feel.

This reminds me of the old adage. If you go to see a comedian on a stage, and you laugh and laugh, you might well not remember a single joke they told that evening, but you will remember what a fabulous evening you had.

The same with a wedding. How many couples stress about their wedding preparations, only for the guests, a couple of weeks later, to maybe not remember the dress, the food, the wine, but moreover they remember what a wonderful day they had.

But I digress.

Presentation is key. First impressions are important.

One article I read said that presentation of a bathroom can add literally thousands to the price of a bathroom, as much (apparently) as 4% of the value of a home. (that would be £20,000 on a £500,000 property).  

Now, I don’t necessarily agree with this figure, but I would agree that a beautifully presented bathroom can add significantly to the sellability of a property and can definitely tip the scales in your favour if a buyer is choosing between two properties upon which to offer.  Small changes could be simply painting it a serene white or pale blue, some subtle accessories and matching towels of a sympathetic colour to the space.

On a personal level, whilst we are not selling, Sam and I are having some minor work done to our bathroom this week. We are simply changing the floor covering, and getting a new bath panel and bathroom cabinet. We have splashed out (no pun intended) on some beautiful little paintings (seven of them!) from one of our favourite artists, Louise Braithwaite, to add some extra colour. But small touches can add so much to the attraction of a bathroom space.

Lamps. Yes, lamps. We are great lovers of table lamps in houses. The warm glow given by a table lamp or two in a room, can simply transform it.  We even suggested to one of our clients last year to buy a couple of bedside lamps for their bedroom, and even they were surprised by the difference it made to the room.  A hallway table lamp (if there is space) adds a warm light to the entrance, as do lamps in the sitting room, bedroom, and even in a kitchen if this is appropriate. We took a set of fairy lights along to a house recently to brighten up the kitchen for both the photography and the viewings.

Mirrors are a great cheat tip! Having a mirror on a wall which can reflect light from a window could significantly increase the feeling of both space and light to a room.

Presenting the kitchen to its best is important, but we wouldn’t advise spending a lot.  You are likely not to get it back on resale, if you are considering moving. Any new buyer might have different ideas of what they would do to a kitchen, or any room in the house, anyway, so again, presentation is key. Try to squirrel away as much clutter as possible so the space in the kitchen looks clear, and gives the impression that there is sufficient storage space.  If there is clutter, it can give the impression that maybe there isn’t room to put anything, which could give a negative impression.

A couple of bunches of cheap spring flowers makes all the difference on a viewing.  Tulips or daffodils, or similar, are a wonderful way to make a home feel loved.  Dave (Original Flower Stall) in Winchester (under the arch, opposite Marks and Spencer) often has amazing quality of flowers which should last a few days, and will make the photography look amazing.

So, if you are thinking of selling your home, maybe these small ideas might just help.  Tulips, mirrors, lamps and declutter.

Have a wonderful April, and fabulous Easter!