Your cottage — as beautiful as it may be — may be more difficult to sell than an ordinary home. Unlike traditional residential properties, there’s a possibility that it’s not going to be the buyer’s permanent address. A vacation or second home isn’t much of a necessity, which is why you need to make a strong case for your cottage.
When staging a cottage, keep the reason people would want to buy the house in mind: it’s cozy, quaint, and offers respite from the city life. These are the things you need to highlight when showing buyers around.
Clean, Declutter, and Depersonalize
Your home is a reflection of yourself, which is why the first step is to purge the items that tie you to the house — photographs, personal artwork, heirlooms, and trophies. Make it seem as if the buyers are entering an Airbnb or a hotel; all the items are functional and neutral. No sign of the owner. It’s easier for them to envision their families in the space.
It’s best, too, to get professionals to clean the house for you. A cleaning company franchise, for instance, is better equipped to remove the dirt around the cottage and restore the place to full glory. Special attention would be paid to the hardwood floors — they’d be swept and polished until they gleam. There should be no dust bunnies in the exposed beams, the tiles would be free of grime, and the carpets and drapes would smell fresh. A clean cottage is a cottage that sells.
Increase Curb Appeal
Though people are after the coziness of a cottage, the exteriors could also make or break the sale. So, maximize curb appeal by painting the home’s exterior, including the trim, doors, and shutters. The doorbell should be working, and the door should have no loose hinges. Ideally, the decks and docks should be freshly painted. The sheds might also be inspected by the buyers, so make sure that the belongings you are storing in them are neat and organized.
The lawn’s state is critical. Since the gardens are often the main feature of a cottage, the bushes should be trimmed, and the lawn properly irrigated. Rake the leaves and plant colorful flowers and shrubs.
Pay attention to the driveway and sidewalks, too. Have professionals repair the cracks. These areas are also dusty and littered with debris, so they would benefit from a thorough sweep.
Set the Mood
Lastly, remember the main reason they chose a cottage over a townhouse or seaside villa — they love the rustic, countryside quality.
To enhance this atmosphere, keep the carpets and drapes to a minimum and expose the hardwood floors and wooden shutters. Place fresh flowers in the living room and the dining area. Make the kitchen look inviting. Prop cookbooks on the shelves and set the table for two, complete with flowers and serviettes.
Although cottages are prized for its simplicity, don’t be afraid to throw in fun, accent colors. Use throw pillows that match the dominant colors of the garden. Place accent towels in the bathroom, alongside your neutral, everyday towels. Keep lighting soft and warm — now is not the time to showcase bright lighting fixtures.
Once you’ve completed your checklist, tour your house, and examine it from the buyer’s perspective. If it still feels like home, even if you don’t see your trophies and photographs, then that means the cottage is ready.