If you’re looking at selling your house, the first thing that comes to mind is getting it ready for people to see. Many homeowners don’t want to invest a lot of money into the property they’re selling, but still want to sell quickly and get as close as possible to their list price. We’ve compiled a list of tips that can help show the best side of your house without forking over thousands of dollars in the process.
De-Clutter & De-Personalize
First rule of home staging: declutter. If you are serious about selling your home, getting rid of anything that has no use and is taking up space is necessary – especially if you’re in a small space to begin with. I often advise my sellers that at least 25% of their personal belongings need to be cleared out. Having a decluttered space not only allows the room to feel larger, but it also allows any potential buyers to envision the space without your belongings.
Clear out any personal items such as family photos in order not to distract the buyers. You want potential buyers to imagine this is their home – and the best way to do this is to make it seem like it doesn’t already belong to someone else. Using personal accents, such a vase of fresh flowers or a fluffy bath robe, is inviting, but don’t go overboard here.
Boost Your Curb Appeal
I can tell you that many people do a quick drive-by a potential property first, often deciding on the spot if the home is worth looking at. What are they looking for? A well-taken care of property that shows the sellers cherished their home.
Lure in these potential buyers with a mowed lawn, clean windows, power-washed walkways and siding, and well-maintained flower beds with fresh greenery. A freshly painted door and porch also make the entry way inviting. If you’re selling during the winter months, a nice door wreath, clean doormat and warm, inviting lighting goes a long way.
At the bare minimum, I recommend steam cleaning your carpets. If you do it yourself, this is not a large financial commitment, and it gets rid of any unpleasant stains or odors. If you have hardwood floors, try filling any scratches with a wax crayon or marker that matches the tone.
If you have certain boards that are damaged, consider replacing these as anyone interested in making an offer will likely address this. Scrubbing any grout lines that are full of dirt or touching up any cracked grout lines will make the floor look considerably better.
Clean, Clean, Clean!
This is the most important step of all. Having a clean space –and I mean a sparkling clean space—is the cheapest, and easiest, way to impress your guests.
Your home may have tons of potential, but if it’s not clean potential buyers may rush through the home too quickly. Many prospective buyers can’t look past dirty carpets, pet hair, grimy showers or a crumb filled kitchen. My suggestion is to clean like you never have before, especially when it comes to the kitchen and bathrooms. If this is unappealing to you, hire a professional cleaning company.
If you live in an older home, or have brightly coloured walls, my strong suggestion is to paint in a neutral colour that compliments your colour pallete. Why?
First, it can neutralize the room so that buyers aren’t only looking at the bright pink walls, and are focusing on the room itself. Second, a fresh coat of paint will make the home look cleaner. This doesn’t just apply to walls – any baseboards or doors that need some TLC should be addressed as well. Painting isn’t too expensive if you do it yourself and it will make a world of a difference once you’re done.
Storage Space Sells
Now this may seem strange, but it’s entirely accurate. Staging your closets to seem roomier is important. First make sure they are cleared out of any boxes or clutter. You need to give the impression of spaciousness so organizing them is important. Make sure any clothes are on hangers and in order, shoes are laid straight, and baskets aren’t overflowing.
When you have showings, keep your closet’s open – visitors will be peeking inside of them. Aim to have the closet to be about 25% open space, this will help prospective buyers see how large and airy the closets really are.
Now, if DIY projects aren't your cup of tea, I have many different contacts from professional painters to cleaners to stagers to help take care of these projects and more. Contact me for help or questions about how I can help you get your property ready to list today.