If you have watched any of the home staging shows on HGTV and other networks, or talked to a Real Estate agent, you have heard the normal top five things to do when selling you home. That list includes:
1. De-clutter-Remove all unnecessary clutter that you don’t need every day. Those things include the pile of mail on the table, the stuff all over your kitchen counters, etc.
2. De-personalize-Remove all or most of your personal photos. When buyers walk in and see your family plastered all over the walls, they feel like they are intruding. You want them to feel like they can feel like they can move in and make a home for themselves.
3. Make sure the home is spotless-Nothing is worse than viewing a property with a filthy bathroom! People will look in your oven and fridge, especially on second and third showings.
4. Minor repairs-Make sure all small repairs are taken care of. A kitchen cabinet door falling off its hinges tells the buyers that you are neglecting the home. It screams if you are not taking care of the small things, that you are also not taking care of the major things.
5. Remove signs of pets. This includes the pets themselves and all of their belongings. You may have the cutest dog in the world, but for someone that is scared of dogs, or allergic to cats, your pets can risk the sale for you.
Ok so here is my top five:
1. Paint. White walls do not work in most homes. Unless you have a contemporary black and white thing going on. It is no secret that women buy homes. They want a home that feels welcoming and cozy. Most buyers will repaint at some point to make the property more their own, but buyers want a home they can move into, that will work for them while they take the time to personalize it. If a buyer walks into a house with all white walls or horrible paint colors, they will walk right back out due to the overwhelming amount of painting to be done.
2. Lighting. You don’t necessarily have to replace your current lighting. Make sure every fixture whether on the ceiling or a lamp on the table, have the brightest bulbs possible. Also make sure the shades are clean of dust. In addition to this, make sure the window treatments are all the way open for every showing, and that all of the windows are clean.
3. Pet odors. Just removing your pets is not good enough. Clean all the carpets, window treatments and furniture. Then use a plug in air freshener. Do not use air fresheners or anything else to cover up odors. It doesn’t work!
4. First impressions; inside and out. Be sure the yard is in good condition. If it is winter, be sure the sidewalk, steps and driveway are clear of snow. In the spring and summer months make sure the yard is mowed, bushes are trimmed, flower beds are weeded and there are no toys strewn everywhere. On the inside be sure whatever room they walk into makes a great impression as well.
5. My final tip is of course to hire a professional stager! Even if it is just for a consultation. She/he will be able to give you proven tips specific to your home to get it looking its best. A consultation will be your design plan in an easy to follow list. Or better yet, hire her/him to do the work for you. In addition to all the suggestions above, you will probably need your furniture rearranged, artwork chosen and accessories placed to show off your property’s best features. A home stager can do that for you in much less time then what it takes the average home owner.