Getting your home ready for sale is like getting ready for a date. You need to spruce up, look your best, and make a good first impression. But unlike a first date, the difference between a good first impression and a bad one for your home can mean a lower selling price or months of extra time on the market.
To ensure your home sells quickly, and at a good price, learn how to stage your home. The principle behind staging is to help potential buyers imagine themselves in your home. Follow these tips to get your home sale-ready and sold in nothing flat:
The first thing potential buyers will see when they look at your home is the outside. Some will do a drive-by first to decide if they want to look inside. You don’t have to do much to make your home sale-worthy, just make sure it’s neat, clean, and that all maintenance is taken care of. Make sure your lawn is mowed, your greenery and bushes are neatly trimmed, and your windows are washed. If your siding needs a paint job, it’s worth the investment to take care of it. Lastly, make sure your house numbers are easily visible. Don’t make it hard for buyers to find your home!
An inviting doormat will make buyers feel at home from the moment they step through the door. Make sure your front door is neat and clean, your doorbell works, and your porch or front steps are in good condition. If you have room for porch furniture, limit the pieces to just one or two so the space looks larger. Remember to keep your porch lights on in the evenings, so potential buyers can see your curb appeal.
Once potential buyers step through the front door, you want them to have a general impression of a spacious, inviting atmosphere. The best way to make even a small house feel larger is by limiting clutter. You also should get rid of personal knickknacks like family pictures, kids’ toys, extra appliances, and pet paraphernalia, as well as breakable items and heirlooms.
You should also get rid of extra furniture. You don’t need to keep all your furniture in your home up to the moment you move out. In fact, professional stagers can remove as much as half the furniture in sellers’ homes. Many sellers rent out a storage unit for their extra furniture so their homes can look as spacious as possible.
You want potential home buyers to look at your home as their future home. That means getting rid of personalized items and family pictures (for the time being). You also shouldn’t experiment with your personal style when you’re trying to sell your home. Go for a more neutral look that will be appealing to the most number of people. Try painting rooms a fresh, neutral colour like beige or warm tan.
You might think your rooms will look better if the furniture is pushed against the walls, but that arrangement makes it harder for people to move around in the space. Instead, float furniture away from the walls in conversational groups. You also don’t have to point all your furniture toward the TV. You want your buyers to notice the room, not judge your surround sound.
Potential buyers should enter each room in your home with the idea that they could move right in. That means you shouldn’t have any rooms that act like a catch-all. Have a small extra room? Style it as a home office or spare bedroom. You can rent, borrow, or even buy some simple furniture and store your junk somewhere else.
Many homeowners don’t use enough lighting in their homes, which makes the rooms feel darker and dingier than they actually are. You can remedy this with a few well-placed lamps. Try to use three types of lighting in each of the rooms in your house: ambient (overhead or installed fixtures), task (lights at reading level, under-cabinet lighting, and pendants), and accent lighting (floor and table lamps). Be sure to properly light the areas of your house you want buyers to focus on. Have them notice your home’s strengths first and foremost.
If you’re hosting an open house, your guests will feel tempted to peek in the nooks and crannies of your house. Go ahead and let them! Many buyers say the size of closets is important, so make your closets look large by clearing them of clutter. It also helps to organize your things. Space your hangers evenly apart and arrange your clothes and accessories by type and colour, so your potential buyers can imagine themselves organizing their own things in your closet.