If you haven’t already heard, home staging is a big business. A properly staged home can add thousands of dollars to the final purchase price of a house. Why? Because it makes buyers want to live there. Even if you are still living in your home prior to selling it, there are simple and easy ways to stage your house and prepare it for resale, starting from the outside in.
Curb appeal goes a long way. A well-manicured yard indicates the home is well cared for. Be sure to mow the lawn regularly, trim bushes and shrubs, remove weeds, and add a few bags of fresh mulch to the landscaped areas.
Clean exterior. In addition to landscaping, a clean exterior will make buyers want to go inside. If the house is dirty on the outside, what makes someone think it’s clean and cared for on the inside? Pressure washing the siding, removing mold from the roof, and cobwebs from the porch will make a huge difference.
Make your home inviting. Another important step in getting buyer traffic through your house is making the house inviting. Try freshening up the front door with a clean coat of paint that contrasts with trim and exterior paint color, add a new welcome mat and even a wreath or potted flowers for good measure. Get buyers inside.
Make basic repairs. Have a leaky faucet? Ripped window screens? Cracked tiles? Broken towel rods? Then it’s time to head down to your local home improvement store to purchase the necessary items to make repairs. Even the most trivial and little items are important. Remember, you are presenting your home to strangers. If the most basic repairs have gone neglected, buyers will wonder what else you’ve failed to care for.
Depersonalize and remove clutter. This might be the most important part of prepping your home for sale. Buyers want to be able to envision themselves living in a home. This can be challenging with all those extra knickknacks on the side tables and family photos on the mantel. Minimize everything; remove personal photos and extra clutter in every room – kitchens, bathrooms, main living areas, and bedrooms. Every room is important.
Organize closets and cabinets. All buyers will snoop – they’ll be opening drawers, cabinets, and closets. It’s necessary to have these spaces organized in order to reassure buyers there is enough storage in the home. All that decluttering you did cannot just be piled in a closet. Overflowing closets and overstuffed drawers do not sell houses. Get organized. (It’ll save you a headache when you actually pack up to move anyway!)
Clean. From top to bottom – ceiling fans, countertops, floors, etc. – make every surface in your house shine. Your house should get a good cleaning at least once each week. When leaving your house each morning, be sure to wipe down counters, mirrors, tables, and other main surfaces in the house as well as pick up any items (toys, laundry, shoes, etc.) that may have been left on the floor. This will ensure your house is always ready for a showing. Buyers don’t want to have to see past the mess to see them living in a house so it’s important to make the extra effort.
Neutralize colors. I know your 12 year old daughter thought a lime green room would be so cool but chances are most buyers won’t. Swap that color out for something more neutral like beige, light gray, cream or white. Be sure to evaluate the colors in each room and consider touch ups on the walls, doors, and trim.
Remove odors. The easiest way to do this is to simply take the trash out and sanitize the garbage cans. And no matter how much you love your pets, they tend to be the source of some pretty repulsive odors as well. Be sure to move the litter boxes and crates out of smelling range. Also, be sure to remove any soiled diapers, etc. from trash cans and diaper genies. It also never hurts to use odor eliminators, air fresheners, candles, or bake a fresh batch of cookies.
It is imperative to put in a little extra work to prepare your home for sale. Buyers and realtors will thank you and you will reap the rewards in closing.