Selling your home can be an emotional process for some people because you are leaving behind memories that were built in your home. However, this is also an exciting time because you can look toward the future and building new memories. There are several steps we recommend to help make your house more appealing to potential buyers. “Staging” your home is important to give the buyer a chance to imagine their own personal belongings set up in your home. There are a few essential things you can do before a real estate agent begins showing your house to make a potential buyer feel this could be their home. Listed below are nine things you can do to “stage” your home before putting it on the market.
- Pack up personal belongings such as pictures and family memorabilia. If the buyer sees your personal items around the house it will be more difficult for them to visualize it as their home.
- Throw away the clutter and put away personal items such as books. Have the countertops clear of belongings and put everyday items in a box or cabinet out of sight.
- Since potential buyers want to see how much cabinet and closet space is available, be sure to clean these out. Donate any old clothes or shoes you no longer need to make closets look less cluttered. Hang your clothes neatly, with all shirts facing the same way. Also make sure your shoes and other items in the closet are organized and off the floor. Keep your dishes neatly put away in their cabinets. For example, make all the coffee cup handles face the same way and line up your spices. By making your house neat and organized, it will give the potential buyer the impression you value your things and your space and most likely take very good care of your home in general.
- Rent a storage unit for extra furniture that is not needed everyday to make the space appear larger. If you have removed your books from the bookshelves, you can store these shelves in the storage room to make more space. Leave just enough furniture to show the potential buyer what each room is used for.
- Remove or replace your favorite items from each room. This includes light fixtures, window treatments, or the fountain in your garden. If there are any such items you intend on taking with you when you move, do not have them displayed during the showing. If you take down light fixtures, be sure to replace them with something less expensive but something that will still showcase the house well.
- Make minor repairs to your home such as replacing cracked tile, patching holes in the wall and fixing leaking faucets. If you like bold colors you may want to consider painting the walls a more neutral color so you don’t turn off a buyer with different taste.
- Clean your house! You want your house to be clean and even appear uninhabited. We recommend you clean the windows inside and out. We also recommend clearing cobwebs, dusting the furniture, vacuuming daily, cleaning the refrigerator and cabinets and waxing the floors to make your house sparkle. You may also want to re-caulk tubs, showers, and sinks to make them look cleaner. Lay out clean rugs that do not look worn and hang up fresh towels. Be sure to air out the house and maybe burn a fresh smelling candle to get rid of any smells. It is very important that your house not have an odor to it.
- Stand at the front door with it open and look inside the house. If the house appears inviting – you have done a good job. Make sure anything on the walls, such as window coverings, are hung level. Move furniture around until the arrangement looks the best. If the home looks like no one is living in it then you are almost done staging your home.
- Last but not least, make sure the outside of the home looks clean and inviting. Since first impressions are lasting impressions, you want the buyer to have a good feeling when they pull up to the house. Make sure you keep your sidewalks cleared, lawn cut, and bushes trimmed. Bright flowers might be a good choice as well to brighten up the outside of your home.
These are some easy tricks to make your home sell faster. You want everything to look clean and inviting. Make sure you have left your home neat and that it allows the potential buyer to imagine living there along with their belongings. For more staging tips, ask your real estate agent what they have found to be helpful for selling homes in the past.