When selling a home it is very important that you “Stage” it properly. This simply means that you will focus on its strengths and try to avoid broadcasting its weaknesses. Below are 10 tips that will help you show your home better and thus increase your chances of selling it.
1. If you have a bookshelf, try re-arranging it. Place some of them horizontally instead of vertically. Take some out and put in a plant or statue or something. Mix it up a bit.
2. How does your furniture look? Is it all crammed up against the walls like Doctor office waiting room? Try pulling them off the walls if it’s a large room. Look through magazines to get ideas of what might look good. Try doing something that isn’t like everyone else’s house but yet still flows well and maximizes the size appearance of the room.
3. Speaking of furniture, make sure you have just the right amount of furniture in each room as well. A room with too many pieces will look cramped and uninviting. But on the other side of the coin; rooms with no furniture appear to be cold and impersonal. It’s easier for potential buyers to visualize what the home would look like if when they buy it if there is furniture in place. So even if you have to borrow or rent some furniture, make sure that there are no empty rooms.
4. Take a look at your drapes and curtains and check to see how much light they are letting into the room. If you have a really heavy material that the drapes are made out of it may reduce the amount of light that is allowed into the room. You’ll want to change that. The more light that comes into a room, the more inviting it is and the larger it makes the room appear.
5. How is the lighting in each of the rooms of your home? Lighting is very important. Dark rooms don’t show well and they are uncomfortable to be in. Look in each room and see what can be done to brighten them up. This is especially important for basements as they will get a lot less natural light. Try adding some extra end table lights or pedestal lights into rooms that need a little boost. It will really make a nice difference.
6. Bathrooms should all be accessorized with baskets that have perhaps some decorative soap, folded towels, perfume, etc. You want your home to stand out from the average home. What would you see in a high-end hotel? Try to duplicate that image.
7. Remember that first impressions are lasting. The first thing a potential buyer sees is the front of the house. Does your door need a fresh coat of paint? Is the lawn cut? Are the bushes and flowers trimmed and looking fabulous? Are there kid’s toys or other junk lying around the yard? Clean it up and make it inviting. Nobody will buy unless they actually make it into your house!
8. De-personalize your house. Get rid of excessive family photos, religious pictures, and other personal showcase items. You may be the proudest Mom in the world that your child won first place at school for their art project but your buyers WON’T CARE! So take it off the fridge. Instead, replace most of your personal decor with generic items that will appeal to most people. Some personal items are fine but you know what I’m talking about here. More is worse! Not everyone will like the same things as you. Make your decor appeal to the biggest range of buyers as possible.
9. Do you have a cat, dog, or other pet that lives in the house? They may need to take a little hiatus! Many people are allergic to animals and/or just don’t like them. Fur on the furniture, odors, or dog poop on the lawn could be really offensive to a prospective buyer. So if it’s possible to shack the family pet up with a neighbor or family member while you try to sell your home, all the better. If that’s not a possibility then at least keep the place spotless for heavens sake! Make darn sure that there are no bad smells and make sure you clean up after your pet. And if there is any chance that the pet will make a scene when strangers walk through your house, then at least make arrangements to have the pet gone during a walk through. As always, this is a little thing that can make a big difference.
10. You don’t have to do a complete remodel to your home to sell it but you MUST do the small things. Fix the leaky faucet, patch up the small hole in the wall, touch up the baseboards with a fresh coat of paint, etc. etc. Spending a Saturday or two on the small things will go a LONG way when showing your home!
As a final note, try to think of a few extra things you can do that maybe the house across the street didn’t think of. You want your home to make a strong impression. Try having some fresh baked cookies on the counter when the buyers arrive. Leave a note that tells them to take some. Leave some comment cards and ask for their honest feedback. Put scented candles in some of the rooms. Perhaps some light background music? Remember, it’s all about the feeling. Most people are emotional buyers and you’ll want to make your house as comfortable as possible. Literally make them feel at home. As you do these 10 things you will definitely sell your home faster and get more money for it. Best of luck to you!