Selling a cottage is similar to selling any other property. It’s important to stage it carefully before you put it on the market. Staging involves preparing each room of a house for viewing by removing unnecessary items, fixing whatever is broken, redecorating, and doing anything else that could improve a visitor’s impression of the room.
Nevertheless, cottages have particular staging requirements that owners should address. Here are five special tips for effectively staging a cottage.
- Emphasize the view of the waterfront. All the furniture on the waterfront side of the cottage should be oriented toward the windows that look out on the water. After all, access to the water is what cottage living is all about! Keep the windows sparkling clean and minimize window coverings (blinds or curtains) when showing the cottage.
- Reveal the strong architectural features. In this era, buyers want a cottage that has all the comforts of home. But they also yearn for rustic features like vaulted ceilings, stone fireplaces, and exposed beams. If the house has such features, don’t obscure them by hanging items on them or placing furniture in the way.
- De-clutter and depersonalize. Many cottage owners allow keepsakes and assorted fun items — everything from hokey signs to old family photos to shells and driftwood — to accumulate. Unfortunately, to stage your cottage effectively, you must put all that stuff in a box and hide it deep in a closet! Apart from carefully chosen items like a vase containing cut flowers, a framed landscape painting, or a mariner’s compass, all surfaces should remain clear and unadorned.
- Clean and repair. Make sure you clean your cottage thoroughly and that everything is in top condition. A large proportion of cottage buyers make their purchase decision based on emotion; they fall in love with a property. So your cottage should not have any unpleasant surprises, such as a dirty bathroom or a broken light fixture, that would impede that emotional response.
- Trim the bushes and cut the grass. While going to a cottage involves getting closer to nature, buyers don’t want the cottage lot itself to be overgrown with weeds and fringed with unruly bushes. Do whatever is necessary to tame the vegetation in your little corner of the great outdoors.
When you sell a cottage, you are selling a dream of a vacation refuge. As the seller, you need to do everything possible to allow prospective buyers to imagine that your property is the refuge they are seeking. These five recommendations will help you to show buyers the cottage of their dreams.
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