When presenting your home to prospective buyers, first impressions are crucial. Buyers begin judging your home the moment they see it, and generally, they prefer homes that are well-maintained, clean, and clutter-free — homes they can picture themselves living in. In order to attract buyers and ensure that you get top dollar for your home, you must pay special attention to how your home is presented to the world. Consider working with a professional stager to help set your home up for success. Remember, the goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible and get your asking price. Whether you choose to hire a professional or do it yourself, a little bit of staging goes a long way. Here are some helpful tips to make your home more appealing.
1. Boost Curb Appeal
Curb appeal should be a primary concern for anyone considering selling their home. Taking steps to boost your home’s curb appeal will not only help attract potential buyers, but it may also allow you to increase your listing price.
- Wash the front windows and power wash the siding and walkways
- Hang easy-to-read house numbers
- Make sure that your lawn is well kempt- Mow and reseed or add fresh sod. Plant blooming flowers and fresh greenery. Or better yet- replace your lawn with a lush, drought tolerant garden!
- Make your porch more inviting by laying down a clean doormat and some potted plants. For larger porches, consider placing one or two pieces of neat porch furniture.
- Leave your porch light on in the evening in case potential visitors drive by. Illuminating the front walk with solar lights is also a nice way to make your home appear more welcoming.
2. CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN!
I cannot stress this enough- every surface should sparkle. You want to show off your home by putting its best foot forward.
- If you have the budget, hire a professional crew to clean your house inside and out, and don’t forget to thoroughly clean all of your all windows.
- Give all floors (and carpets) a thorough cleaning, but consider having wood floors refinished if they are in poor shape. If you don’t want to invest in refinishing floors, utilize some strategic rug placement.
- Beware of pet odors. Really, this can be a big one! If you have pets, get all rugs steam cleaned and be extra vigilant about vacuuming and washing surfaces. Also be sure to keep any extra-loved pet toys and doggie bones hidden when tours are scheduled.
If you haven’t already done so, do yourself a favor and read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Personally, I have never been “Miss Neat.” However, Marie Kuddo has written an organizing book that finally spoke to me. Here are some of my favorite takeaways that directly translate to exceptional advice for home-sellers looking to make the most of their space:
- Keep closets and cabinets half full so that potential buyers can see there is plenty of room for all of their stuff, and be sure to neatly organize everything left behind in closets and cabinets.
- Keep in mind that your personal trinkets and decorations may reflect your style, but to potential buyers who don’t share your style, it looks like clutter. Limit your personal affects so that your home appeals to the most number of people.
- Clean up toys, and keep kids’ rooms organized! Leaving toys strewn everywhere will not make your house more appealing to potential buyers. When people are house hunting, they are imagining a fresh start.
- Any personal accent that you do leave out should be pristine. Bars of soap should be fresh and clean, towels spotless, the garbage always emptied, etc.
4. Decorate Strategically
- Make sure your living areas are welcoming. Try moving furniture off of the walls and utilize pairings (of sofas, chairs, lamps) to open up an inviting conversation area. Symmetrical arrangements usually work well.
- Choose paint colors that complement the atmosphere. Rich mid-tone neutrals like mocha and warm gray or beige create a sophisticated backdrop that makes everything look more pulled together. Avoid wild paint colors that may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Remember, you can’t go wrong with white!
- Make your master bedroom appealing to everyone. Dress the room with clean, crisp linens, tasteful artwork, and a blanket folded at the foot of the bed.
- Use decorations to draw visitors into the home. A piece of artwork, a painted accent wall, a window seat, a vase of flowers, a hanging light or even a small, colorful rug can all work to draw the eye. Placing these at the ends of staircases and hallways will entice people to explore.
5. Utilize Your Space Wisely
Buyers will most certainly be scoping out all of your storage nooks and crannies.
- Closet space can either be a huge selling point or a deal breaker, so show off your closet space by clearing out excess stuff. A good rule of thumb is to keep 20 to 30 percent open space in each closet to give the impression of spaciousness.
- If you have extra or “junk” rooms in your house, give them a purpose- think about what potential buyers might like to see here. Whether it is an office, a guest room, or another kids’ room, furnish it to define the room’s purpose (even if that means renting or borrowing furniture).
- Unusual or awkward spaces, such as underneath staircases or small alcoves, can be turned into a selling point by adding shelving or transforming it into a workstation.
6. Cater to the Atmosphere
- Know why people are looking for a home in your neighborhood, and cater to that. If your house is in a tranquil neighborhood with tree-lined streets, consider adding a porch swing or a hammock in the yard.
- In the summer, make sure your garden is lush and vibrant, and if you have a pool or fire pit, make sure they are clean and inviting. In autumn, have a fire burning in the fireplace and simmer hot apple cider on the stove.
Selling your home? Download our helpful free guide packed with insider tips to maximize return on the sale of your home!