Getting a house ready for sale is a huge task. A large number of people clean their homes and are surprised when prospective buyers are unimpressed with the décor and it’s finer points or the size of the garage. It takes effort to present any home for sale, but when you have a property designed with horses in mind, you have to pay special attention to ALL areas of your home, and grounds, to give potential buyers the best view of what you have to offer.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that as potential buyers have a more limited choice in horse properties that they will ‘make do’ with what you have to offer. Even in a niche market they have choices. They can afford to wait until a property they want comes up, they can look further afield or they can build their own. When they’re paying extra for a niche property people will make sure they get what they want. One thing you need to consider is to put some thought and plenty of effort into staging your horse home for sale and to present it in a light where the best points are clearly visible and attractive to show prospective buyers what your home can offer them, on top of what they are looking for.
The rules for staging, and selling, your horse property are very similar to the rules for staging your home for sale. Here are the most important:
DRIVEWAY: The first impression of your home is the most important. For a house it’s called ‘curb appeal’, for a horse property it’s the drive up to the home. The likelihood is your prospective buyer will have to pass your paddocks and some outbuildings before they get to the house. The look of these areas must be in top condition to give a great first impression. Are the fences in order? Are the water troughs clean and tidy? Does the barn look good? Does it smell fresh? Are your horses looking well and happy? These are all things you need to consider when making your home look it’s best for sale.
OUTSIDE FINISHES: Outside finishes are so much more important in a horse property for sale. Do your stalls look like a horse can be safe and comfortable in them? Does the barn look well kept? Do they need any maintenance? These are the things that can make or break a sale. If the outside of the house and buildings looks like it needs repair the prospective buyer is already wondering if they have enough to buy the house, AND do major repairs to make it habitable for their horses. They will continue to look at the house with a, “How much more do I have to spend?” eye rather than be positive about what it offers. Never underestimate how far a new coat of paint will go.
DECLUTTER: Go through every room in your home, barn, tack room, stalls – absolutely everywhere you have a structure and clear them out. Ask yourself often, “Do I REALLY need it, and am I going to use it?” If it’s something you really cannot part with, move it to a friend’s house, or into storage. Try and make your hay loft or barn neat and tidy, and have tools kept out of the way. You can accumulate a lot of extra equipment when keeping horses and prospective buyers know this, but they want to see the space they are buying, not what you have filled it with. If you have made a feature out of the clever use of space in your buildings, don’t be afraid to show it off as you have designed it, but don’t over crowd it. Less really is more when we talk to space filling.
CLEANLINESS: Just as decluttering your barn makes it look more attractive, so does making it spotlessly clean. For a healthy barn and happy horses you need to keep it clean, but for a sale it needs to be scrupulously clean. Change your hay often, and clean up any spills as they happen. This is good animal husbandry, but go the extra mile so that when you have a viewing you don’t have to spend so much time getting it looking clean and tidy. Take a look at all your buildings with a critical eye, inside and out, and decide what would be your first impression if you were looking to buy. A dirty floor and corners is not the kind of impression they are after.
These are just a guide of ways you can increase your chances of selling your horse property, but well worth the extra care. It may take a little time to find the right buyer for your home so you need to be sure that you are doing all you can to make it attractive to buyers, but be patient. Just as you would take time to find the right property for your horses, so is your buyer. It will all work out in the end.

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