Selling a home can be tricky. You want any potential buyers to envision themselves living there. It may be difficult to envision that spare bedroom as a study if it is full of your Star Wars memorabilia or your kids old, discarded toys. Home staging helps fix this. Think about utilizing some of these tips before your next open house.
- De-clutter. When there is so much “stuff” to look at, buyers sometimes miss the important things like room size, floor plan, and architectural elements and character of a home. Clean lines and open spaces welcome people in. Box up anything you can before showing the house. In the bathroom think white. White towels, white rugs, and white accessories make the room look fresh and clean.
- Let the light shine. Take down the heavy drapes (sheer curtains are OK). Open the blinds and let the sun in. Make sure your windows are shiny and clean! Turn on all the lights even closet and bathroom lights. This way, people can see the house and feel safe as they tour it.
- Go natural. If you have hardwood floors then take out the rugs. Hardwood floors are a huge advantage when selling a home. Bonus points if you scrub them until they look like new. Place a bouquet of live flowers on the countertop, dining table, coffee table or in the bathroom. Bring a little life, fragrance and color into your home using a few sprigs of lavender, sage, daisies or whichever floral you prefer.
- The devil is in the details. Replace old hardware if it looks used up. If your outlet plates are dingy replace them too. If your vent covers are more grime than shine it’s time to replace or scrub. Do a deep cleaning of the entire house, including scrubbing scuff marks off walls, cleaning the grout and washing down cabinets. Clean appliances, including the hot water heater. These are cheap inexpensive fixes that can make a huge difference.
- If it’s broken, fix it. Broken blinds should be removed. Screw in new light bulbs. Fix the drawer that sticks or the cabinet that squeaks. Fix any leaky faucets or toilets. If a buyer sees a bunch of small broken things throughout the house, their impression will be that your home is a fixer-upper. This can negatively affect your home’s sale price, so fix it!
- Prepare for guests. When you are expecting guests, you usually try to tidy things up. Showing your house to potential buyers is no different. Make the beds, and yes, put up the decorative pillows. Put your toothpaste (and other personal items) away, out of sight in the bathrooms. Wash and put away all of your dishes. And I mean ALL of them. Hide your bath towels after taking a shower – no one wants to accidentally bump into your wet towel. Your clothes need to be hanging in the closet, in the drawers or hidden in a hamper. Bills and other mailing materials should not be visible anywhere. If you have animals, clean up after them. Hide their squeeze toys and clean the litter box every time before a showing. You never know when your next guest will be the buyer you were hoping for.
- You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Repaint your front door, spruce up the porch area and get a new welcome mat. Add new numbers for the address. Clean the mailbox and exterior light fixtures. Plant some beautiful seasonal flowers in the flower beds and along the walkway. Curb appeal matters as many buyers won’t even go into a house if the outside seems in disarray.
Your Realtor should provide more tips on getting your house ready. If you are still living in the house during the sale process, follow their advice. Some light staging will go a long way to getting your home sold. Realtors look at homes for a living, we know what sells and what doesn’t. Your agent wants to sell your home as much as you do, so work with him/her to get the job done.