If you’re thinking about putting
your home on the market, there are a few things you can do to get ready for a
sale before you even talk to a real estate agent. By taking some initiative up
front, you can ensure that your home will show beautifully and be enticing to
any prospective buyer.
First Things First
When a prospective buyer shows up at your home, the first thing that he or she will look at is the exterior – the “curb appeal.” You only get one shot at this first impression, so make sure that the front of your house is in tip-top condition. This includes the roof, siding, landscaping, front door, and even the mailbox! A few well-placed flowerpots or planters with cheerful blooms will go a long way toward increasing your curb appeal.
Less Is More
The word of the day is “de-clutter.” Pretty self-explanatory – unless you haven’t done it before. When you’ve become entrenched in years of living, your own belongings can become second nature to you. Be ruthless when taking the first pass – and even more brutal on the second, third, and fourth passes. If you never use it and it isn’t nostalgic, throw it out! If you’ve been thinking about “getting around to fixing it,” save yourself the trouble and just get rid of it. If it doesn’t hold sentimental value and it’s not useful, toss it in the Dumpster – a staple that any household should have on hand before listing.
Clean It Up
Bathrooms should sparkle, windows should shine, and countertops should be free of “stuff.” Take out trash regularly when you are expecting showings, and make sure that floors are vacuumed and swept. A professional cleaning service could be a great investment at this point. It’s best not to cook foods with harsh smells (like garlic or onions) if you want your home to show well. However, the scent of freshly baked cookies or muffins will seem home-y and comforting to a prospective buyer.
Lighten the Mood
Once your home is clean and fresh-smelling, you should turn your attention to lighting. First, make sure all lighting is functioning properly, with fresh bulbs and batteries as needed. Second, take a look at your windows; open all of your blinds and make sure the light streams in. Of course you want to showcase the best features of your house, but you also want to illuminate the nooks and crannies that a buyer will investigate. Turn on lights in closets, cabinets, and the basement so that prospective buyers can see all of the beautiful features of your home.
Feature the Season
Whatever the time of year when you decide to sell, you can capitalize on the aspects of the season to capture potential buyers. Minimalist centerpieces or small, seasonal bouquets work well indoors, and outdoor plantings and annuals should be trimmed and colorful. Use warm colors that represent the season and entice buyers. During the holidays, add fragrant, holiday-themed candles. In the springtime, roses and daisies are beautiful and lend themselves to bouquets. In the summer, vegetable gardens are bright and cheerful. Mums are spectacular in the fall, while pines cones and holly set a seasonal tone both inside and outdoors when winter rolls around.
By employing a few simple staging techniques, you’re sure to have a house prepped and ready for a future sale. Consulting your real estate agent will help you to tie up any small details that will make your home stand out. Good luck, and happy sales!