21 Aug 2017
Posted in: First Time Buyer
We’ve all bought something in a shop that doesn’t fit as soon as you get it home and try it on. Now imagine if you made that mistake when it came to buying a house – the biggest purchase you’ll ever make in your life.
You might think that what you see is what you get when it comes to viewing a property, but there are loads of subtle techniques sellers can use to disguise downfalls.
Whether that’s making a small space seem bigger, or hiding the fact that the floor is uneven, there are many niggly tactics sellers can employ to enhance their home.
Fear not, we’ve got you covered with our essential guide to the main tricks of the trade.
The experts say that, “larger wall mirrors, or smaller ones grouped together, make a room look brighter and bigger.”
This is one of the best-known staging techniques. That’s why circuses used to have halls of mirrors back in the day – they can distort reality. But there is more to mirrors than making a property seem bigger.
According to Canadian stager Martha Stanton-Smith, when a buyer catches a glimpse of themselves in a mirror, “they will literally see themselves in the house. The subliminal suggestion will tell them they have a connection.”
To get past this, a tip is to take pictures of the space, and then later on you can edit out the mirrors to focus on the rooms as they are. If you’re brave enough, why not bring some light material with you and drape this over big centre-piece mirrors during a viewing?
Even though everyone has heard that you need to declutter when it comes to selling a house, sellers are wise enough not to leave a room bare.
Think about it; even when a newly-built housing estate comes on the market, buyers are always shown around a display house which is fully furnished. Why? Because empty rooms actually look smaller to buyers, since they don’t provide a point of reference for size, and also to offer a sense of ‘home’.
How to get past this sorcery? if you’re viewing a house with all the trimmings, try to imagine the rooms empty, too. This will make it easier to imagine your own furnishings and style in there.
There’s a book called ‘Psychological Staging: The Home Staging Secrets of the Decorologist’.
The author of the book, Kristie Barnett, says that buyers, “scan a room from left to right upon entry.
If you place the tallest piece of furniture in the room in the far left corner, the room will appear larger.”
Placing a large or tall piece of furniture on either side of an entry way or door makes a room appear smaller, according to Barnett, while placing such pieces farther back in a room makes the space appear larger.
You’ll notice that items are grouped in odd numbers when you walk into a particularly well-staged property. You might see five chairs at a table or three lights hanging down over a counter.
This is because arranging items in odd numbers forces the eye to move around the available space, and makes the room seem bigger. Even this article has five points – odd numbers just work sometimes!
Lighting is the one thing all house hunters focus on – for good reason. We’d all like to imagine our homes bathed in natural light which turns everything and everyone into the best possible version of themselves.
Take a minute when you are viewing a property, particularly when it comes to a viewing in the evening hours. A well-lit room looks bigger to the eye; so if the lights are on in the kitchen or living room during a daytime viewing, this is a red flag that the room doesn’t get much natural light.
It’s much the same theory when it comes to a house. That’s why it’s a good idea to switch off the lights and see what the rooms look like (a lot different). But if you still like the home, then you might just have found the one.
Want a chat with someone who’d never play any tricks on you and just wants to see you settled in your swanky new home? Find out how much you can afford to borrow with our mortgage calculator or book a mortgage meeting to suit you with one of our Mortgage Masters.
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So, whether it’s your first home or you are escaping a home you’ve grown out of– we’re only too happy to help you on your way.
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