Anna Platz writes for the mortgage rates research website ForTheBestRate.com, covering trends in real estate and home financing.
In many ways selling your home isn’t unlike selling any other product – you want to do all you can to make it stand out from the competition and catch the eye of potential buyers. One way to present your property in the best light is to “stage the home.” This means arranging the decor specifically to appeal to home shoppers.
There are of course professional home stagers who will, for a fee, stage a home either with your belongings or with rental items, but when on a limited budget this is certainly a project you can take on yourself.
1. Clear out the clutter – think less is more…offers!
Your home will appear more spacious when it has fewer items in it. This doesn’t just apply to knickknacks and piles of junk – try removing a piece of furniture from the living room or a dresser from a bedroom. It will likely feel larger.
Start by getting rid of anything you don’t want to move to your new home. This is a time to be ruthless – remember that you will need to pack, move, unpack, and find a home for every item you take with you. Next pack as much as possible that won’t be needed before the move and store either in your home or in a rented storage unit. Avoid filling the garage with a mountain of boxes – buyers will be looking at that area too!
Your goal should be for rooms, closets, and cabinets to all have a small number of items with plenty of space around them. Walls should be sparsely decorated. The home should look finished and inviting, but also act as a blank canvas for buyers to envision their lives upon.
The added bonus of all this clutter clearing is that getting ready for showings will be much easier, and you’ve gotten a head start on packing for your move.
2. Deep clean the home from top to bottom.
All it costs is the cleaning products that are likely already under your sink, and a whole lot of elbow grease, but the impact is priceless. Clean carpets, flooring, walls, molding, cabinets, appliances, furniture, window treatments, etc. If it’s standing still, clean it.
A clean home is not only appealing to potential buyers but it gives the impression that the home has been well maintained.
3. Enhance your curb appeal.
The old cliche “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” is rarely more applicable than in real estate. Home shoppers make a judgement as they first pull up to the home. Ensure that they want to see more with a little attention to the exterior of your house. Again, this takes a little time and effort, but you don’t necessarily need to spend a penny.
Clean up any landscaping by raking, mowing, pulling weeks, and trimming bushes or hedges. Wash any areas of the exterior that are showing dirt or mildew. If you want to invest a little money into this project add a fresh layer of mulch and some pops of colors with flowers. For a condo or town home without a large yard consider a pot of flowers for the same effect. Brighten up the entry way with a decorative flag, wreath, or hanging plant.
Best of luck with your home sale!