Simply put, studies show staged homes sell faster and for more. This does not need to be a complicated process, nor does it need to break the bank. Preparing your home for sale will result in a far better outcome regarding both time on the market and sales price. These tried-and-true tips can help smooth the path to a successful home sale.
1. “You never get a second chance to make a great first impression”: You have probably heard the term “curb appeal” and for good reason.
When a Buyer pulls up to your home, what is the first thing they see? Take a moment to stand at the curb and take a good look at your home. Does the roof need to be de-mossed? Does the lawn need some attention? Mowing and a little fertilizer go a long way. Do shrubs need trimming? Could the garden beds use some weeding and mulch? How about adding a few seasonal pops of color along the path leading to the front door? Your front door is another place to give a little love. If the door is scuffed or shabby, a quick scrub or coat of fresh paint doesn’t cost much or take that much time however, it adds a lot to the overall look of the home. A pot of flowers, a lantern, seasonal wreath, or seasonal décor on the porch also makes an impact. Finally, make sure the door is easy to open – fix the handle that sticks or the lock that is hard to turn – you don’t want perspective Buyers to have to fight their way into your home.
2. Less is More: Sellers often think that the packing process begins once the home is sold. Creating room for Buyers to mentally move into your home begins before the first Buyer crosses your threshold by doing some pre-packing. By beginning to pack early, you not only help your home show better, but you also allow the prospective Buyers to imagine themselves in the space as they mentally place their items in the home. Most homes appear larger with fewer items as well. Finally, having fewer items in the home allows you to place a few eye-catching items in places to draw the Buyers attention – like the great fireplace or view. Your treasures are beautiful, but the goal is to have Buyers looking at your home, not your art collection.
3. It’s not personal: As part of the de-cluttering process, removing personal photos can also help to create room for the potential Buyer to place themselves in your space. This does not mean you need to remove every photo from your home, but consider removing photos that occupy a prominent space, such as a large family photo above the fireplace, and replace it with a piece of art or a mirror. If you have a hallway lined with years of school pictures, pack them up, patch the nail holes and give the hallway or stairway a fresh coat of paint to create a fresh, clutter free space.
4. Cleanliness is next to…Sold-liness?: There is no bigger turn off than a dirty house. If you have only a few dollars to put toward preparing your home for sale, put them toward a professional cleaning service. If you cannot have it done professionally, roll up your sleeves and get to work! With clutter removed, cleaning should be much easier. Focus on bathrooms
and kitchen. If you have a view, have those windows sparkle. It should not only look clean but smell clean as well. Don’t overdo the heavily scented cover-ups – try to uncover the cause of any odors and eliminate them. Finally, have your carpets professionally cleaned and deodorized if necessary.
5. Let There Be Light: You may enjoy mood lighting, but Buyers want to see a bright, light-filled space. Purchase soft white bulbs in the brightest wattage your fixtures allow and fill your home with light. Prior to every showing, make sure every light is on in the home, even in your closets.
6. Bring the Outside In: A few well-chosen, healthy plants and a bouquet of fresh flowers soften a home and make it more inviting. Neutral baskets or ceramic pots make a great foundation for these natural touches. If living plants are too much of a challenge, many stores carry convincing artificial substitutes. No need to create an indoor arboretum, just a touch of fresh green inviting the outdoors in.
7. Go Neutral: Neutral paint colors makes spaces appear larger. This is not a commentary on your decorating style, it is an opportunity for potential Buyers to mentally decorate your
home to their taste. If you have a bright pink bedroom or a very dark man cave, consider a warm white or soft grey to soften the space. Fresh paint also adds to an overall fresh and clean feeling for the home. Popular color choices are Sherwin William’s Pure White or Modern Grey and Benjamin Moore’s Atrium White or Muslin.
Spending the time to prepare your home for market always has a positive impact. Of course, there is no greater impact than working with an experienced real estate professional to guide you through the process. They will help you create a plan, connect you with the professionals you may need to help make your home shine and effectively market your home, resulting in a strong sale.