Monday, September 12, 2016

Clare can make your house more saleable

Clare Boyce is taking the house cleaning business she has been operating for the last several years up a couple of notches, moving into house 'staging' to win over potential buyers, writes Brian Byrne.

It's a fact that none of us see our homes as outsiders do, and when it comes to having potential new owners view a lived in home for sale, what we see as comfortable and cosy may well be throwing them off.

"Buyers want to be able to see a house in a way that they can visualise their own things in it," says Clare, who has had an extensive career in hotels and hospitality management, both in the UK and in Ireland, and has been living in Kilcullen with her husband Eamon and their family since 2004. From experience she knows when a room or a premises looks just right.

"Mainly, what owners see as personal, like lots of family pictures, a potential buyer just sees as clutter. It doesn't enhance the property for them, and maybe all the distraction of the owner's things means they don't visualise the house as being amenable to their own personality."

Because that's it, isn't it? Houses don't have personality on their own, as homes they reflect their owners' personality. And a personality clash can occur between owner and viewer even when the former has temporarily left the building.

Clare's 'Done N’ Dusted House Stage’ service starts with an appraisal of the seller's home. With her outside expert eye, Clare can see the things that jar, the extra stuff around that can leave a viewing potential buyer with an annoying feeling of things not being right at best, or even create a form of claustrophobia at worst.

"After appraisal, I'll go through with the client the various elements of what I've found. The first thing is to reduce clutter, to eliminate it actually — though there's a very fine line between taking stuff away and leaving a room or a house too minimalist to be comfortable. I need to strip things out, but the house still has to look like a lived in home."

Moving stuff out means a number of things. It has to be sorted. And then put somewhere. Given that houses rarely have adequate out of sight storage available, especially for large items like the superfluous furniture, that means packing, transportation, and the use of an external storage facility. "I have the contacts for these services, so I will organise all that for the client.”

Before getting into the actual staging of the house, Clare will supervise a ‘deep clean’ that will reach all the forgotten corners and leave the home looking like brand new.

After that it’s a case of setting up the various rooms so that they are presented at their most attractive, though without the somewhat artificial look of a show home.

With her strong interest in interior design, and years of experience in making visitors feel at home in hotels, it’s a service which should certainly be useful both to individual sellers and estate agents alike.

Clare is keeping her geographical operating area close, essentially the mid-Kildare high-population centres around Naas, Newbridge and Kilcullen. Apart from house staging for potential sale, she also offers a 2-day ‘declutter’ service for people who just want help in getting their house back in order.

More information at 087 6881331 or email