Can books help sell your house? Sarah Beeny’s tips

propSarah Beeny, the property developer and television presenter has been offering advice on what your books say about you and the impact they could have on potential buyers, if your house is on the market.

Beeny advised: “Books are an unsung hero of home décor. They not only act as fantastic insulation and are brilliant at absorbing sound, so can totally transform many of the big open spaces we now crave, but they also say a massive amount about you and the home they sit in. Few can resist a quick peek at the spines on a bookcase and making some pretty bold generalisations based on them.

“So when it comes to selling your house, have a very good think about what books you want to display to those coming around to view your property. They can be a great icebreaker for prospective buyers but beware of over-sharing by displaying books that really should be confined to the bedroom drawer!”

Beeny’s 10 tips for bookworms when selling a property:

Avoid these

Books everywhere:
Too many can create a chaotic feel and make the photos look untidy too. Unless it’s the look you are really going for put the majority of your books in a watertight container with a lid and store tidily away during the house-selling process.

Self-help books
Selling a home can be stressful and while I think there are some great self-help books out there, if a buyer’s eyes lands on a bundle of books about resolving broken relationships this might influence how they feel about your home. Ok, you might be a therapist and these books might be part of your work, but the home-buyer does not need to see them.

Sexy books
50 Shades of Grey was a bestseller but this is no excuse to share your fetishes with the general homebuying public. Bedside drawers are there for a reason. Keep your naughty books tidily away when showing guests around your home.

Unusual hobbies
As your estate agent I honestly don’t mind if you are researching the history of witchcraft or studying taxidermy, but diagrams of how to dissect a mouse left out on the coffee table is likely to turn the stomach of some homebuyers so is best left out of sight.

Stock your shelves with these

Cookery books
Cookery books are great for creating a ‘homely’ atmosphere and projecting a positive image. I wouldn’t suggest you rush out and buy them specially, but if you own them already, displaying them in the kitchen can add a nice touch to your home.

Selecting some classics
Dickens, Austen and Brontë sit happily on many bookshelves and hardbacked books can look gorgeous when placed around a living room, staircase bookshelf or bedroom. Mismatching covers and sizes of books just add character and these classics will never go out of fashion.

Kids books
These are lovely to display but try to keep them on the shelves not scattered on the floor. The same applies to other children’s toys such as Lego, which can be painful when stepped on. An old-fashioned ‘Toy Box’ can be great for hiding away toys for half an hour while you are showing guests around. As a Mum myself I know this can be easier said than done!

Local history books
I’d encage these, as it can be really interesting to read up about the history of your home and the area, and provides a nice safe topic to discuss when potential buyers come around. To some extent you are selling the positives of the area as well as the house itself.

Coffee table books
Large map books and nature books can add a bit of character to an empty coffee table and never really go in or out of fashion. I love a good coffee table tome and being able to bond over Bowie or film posters can be fun.

The latest prize-winning books
Once again, if you don’t already own Hilary Mantel or Eleanor Catton, it’s unlikely to make or break your house sale, but it says something about you and the buyer if you can bond over award-winning literature. And it’s always nice to have something ‘off-topic’ to chat about.