Add Value to Your House by
Creating Visual Space
by Sharon Wong
All homebuyers want as much house for their money as they can get. Many
buyers are looking for a larger home because they've outgrown their current one,
and especially desire more closet and cupboard space as well as larger rooms.
Visual space makes your home appear larger by allowing the buyer's eye to move
from one side of the room to the other without interruption, giving the illusion
of more space and openness. In contrast, a cluttered room stops the eye
repeatedly and gives the illusion of less space.
In order to make your home appear larger, decluttering and removing unnecessary
furniture is essential. The goal is to create a comforting atmosphere in which
buyers can imagine their furniture and belongings easily fitting in. Once a
buyer has this image in their mind, you're one step closer to a sale!
Follow these easy tips to add space and openness:
1. Pack away family photographs and small accessories. Family
photographs make your house personal, but you want the buyer
to see the house as theirs, so pack away all family pictures
and mementos, including awards, trophies, plaques, etc. Small
accessories (knickknacks, collections, figurines) distract the
buyer by focusing on many small items instead of large, open
spaces. These items should also be stored away.
2. Take small pictures off the walls. Small pictures break up
the space of a wall and cause the buyer to stop and look at
the pictures instead of allowing their eyes to see the wall
without interruption. Keep large pictures above areas you want
to highlight, such as over the bed, fireplace or sofa.
3. Leave accessories that add color and interest. A room without
any accessories feels cold and sterile. Large accessories such
as books, chunky candles and silk flowers should be left to
give the room warmth and character.
4. Store small and unnecessary furniture. Many pieces of
furniture, such as TV trays, end tables, and magazine racks
can be put in a storage facility or at a friend's until you
move. This immediately creates space between the larger pieces
and makes the room appear more spacious. Now is a good time to
decide what you'll take with you when you move and what you
want to get rid of. Keep larger pieces of furniture in place
(sofas, dining room tables) so the buyers can get a better
idea of how their furniture will look in the space.
5. Clear off countertops. Remove all personal items in the
bathrooms and kitchen. Items such as makeup, medicine and
toothbrushes can be left in baskets on a shelf, to be brought
out when you need them. In the kitchen, remove salt and pepper
shakers, the dish rack, and small items on windowsills and on
top of the stove. Clear countertops of all but large items
such as canisters, a colorful cookie jar or a decorative
plate. Have as few items as possible on the countertops to
give the illusion of extra space.
6. Show off your closets. Perhaps number one on the buyer's
"must have" list is more closet space. To make even small
closets appear large, show shelf and clothes pole space by
packing up and storing out-of-season clothes and sporting
equipment, and donating unneeded items to charity. Now is the
time to sort through all that clutter and decide what to keep
and what to discard. You'll be amazed at how big your closets
will look to you and your buyers!
You may think after all these changes that your house doesn't look like your
own, but remember, the house you sell is not the same as the house you live in.
By creating visual space, you are allowing the buyer to easily imagine
integrating their life into your home - the first step to selling your home
faster and for more money!
Sharon Wong is President of Ready Set SellŪ and an accomplished interior
designer. Since 1991, her company has helped home sellers get the quickest sale
and the highest price for their homes. Sharon also teaches RealtorsŪ how to
ready their customers' homes for a fast and profitable sale. Her company offers
in-home consultations, seminars, videos and articles to help in the home selling
process. For more information about her services and products, visit her website