When it comes to selling your home, preparation is everything. Staging a house sets the scene for prospective buyers and makes potential new owners feel welcome from the very first moment they walk through the door. As you prepare your house for the market, here are a few important things to keep in mind.
Do: Focus on Curb Appeal
Potential buyers begin to judge your home before they even enter it, so making a positive first impression is essential. Be sure that your yard looks well-kept, plant flowers and trim hedges, put out a neutral welcome mat and make any obvious external repairs. You don’t want dead leaves and broken gutters to deter a prospective buyer.
Do: Keep It Clean
This may seem obvious, but you should begin with a thorough top-to-bottom cleaning – and keep your home in that condition. Dusting, vacuuming, cleaning windows and mopping floors is absolutely essential. Get your carpets shampooed or rent a carpet cleaner and do it yourself. A home that is clean and odor free can keep prospective buyers interested.
Do: Get Rid of Clutter
It is important to throw away or pack up any unnecessary items that may detract from the overall impression of your home. Knick-knacks and collectibles may mean a lot to you, but they can easily put off a potential buyer. Keep up with mail, newspapers and magazines; file away any papers; and make sure that coats, shoes and other items are out of sight.
Do: Stay Neutral
Potential home buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in your house. You should remove or store all personal items including family pictures, hand-made articles and/or religious symbols; get rid of any overly bright colors or accent pieces; and be sure that your house, especially the master bedroom, is as gender-neutral as possible.
Do: Focus On the Kitchen
The kitchen is known as the heart of the home for a reason. Most prospective buyers will focus first on that room when deciding whether or not your home is where they want to live. Try adding some stainless steel elements for a modern look. Simple steps like updating the hardware on cabinets and drawers can make an impressive difference.
Don’t: Make Major Renovations
Major changes you make may not be to every buyer’s tastes. Limit the amount of time and money you invest to essentials like replacing old flooring or stained carpets, updating old appliances, painting walls and replacing outdated fixtures. These can be immediate buyer turnoffs which are worth correcting.
Don’t: Leave Minor Repairs Undone
While major renovations aren’t necessary, there are a number of minor repairs that can be made which will make a difference. Over time, walls collect nicks and dents that are simple to correct. Burned out bulbs, broken or stained fixtures, loose doorknobs and other small problems can mar the image that your home leaves in the mind of a potential buyer.
Don’t: Buy New Furniture
Before you go out and make any new purchases, consider simply rearranging or storing pieces that don’t seem to present the perfect image. It’s also easy to update furniture or hide imperfections with new throws or pillows. Simple changes like these can make a room appear larger and more welcoming.
Don’t: Hesitate To Ask For Help
It’s not an admission of failure to call in a professional stager, consult with your real estate agent or ask a friend or family member for assistance in making your home look its best. Selling your home is a major endeavor, and it makes sense to take advantage of all the help you can so that potential buyers are willing to pay top dollar.