You've decided to get ready to put your home on the market, but where do you even begin? The hardest and sometimes most difficult step is to put yourself in the Buyer's shoes. But, this is a great place to start, so go outside, come in the front door and walk through your home as if you were a Buyer looking to buy. Remember, the tough part will be to remove your emotional connections and try looking through someone else's eyes. If you do nothing else - this is an important exercise.
It's also a great exercise for Realtors! At the end of your listing appointment, go back outside and come back in through the front door, looking as if you were previewing a property for a client. Would this home be one that you would show? Why or why not? Be honest with your new clients.
- How did things look? Was it too cluttered? Try clearing off every surface that you possibly can including the counter tops in the kitchen and bathrooms. Put appliances in the cabinets, remove all the stuff attached to the outside of the refrigerator and place toiletries and hair dryers in drawers or under the sink. Reduce the number of personal photographs, and decorative items throughout. In this case, less is more. Think back to when you visited a model home...only a few accent pieces.
- If you were going to get rid of it anyhow - now is a good time!
- Don't forget to go through the garage and declutter there as well. If you have to stack packed boxes, do so neatly in a small area, so the Buyer's can still appreciate the size and storage areas of the garage.
- Deep Clean! If you need to hire a cleaning service to help, it will be well worth the money spent. Buyer's will overlook "some" clutter and kid's things, but a dirty home is a turnoff for everyone.
- Light and Bright - Light makes a difference in showing your home. Be sure the curtains are open, letting in all the natural light that you possibly can. In real dark rooms or areas of the home, it's a good idea to leave a light on.
- It's only paint - I hear ya, but Buyer's still prefer more neutral paint colors. Light shades of "Pottery Barn" type colors seem to be accepted, but real dark colors, not so much - it's best to paint them back to neutral and not even wait for the negative feedback.
- Use pillows, throws, towels, bedding etc. to add a dash of color.
- Feel free to move furniture and accessories from one room to another to restage a room. Try to avoid having too much furniture in a room. It will make the space look small.
- Lastly,curb appeal - It can be the most overlooked part of staging a home. Remember first impressions begin at the curb. An unkept yard starts setting the stage in a Buyer's mind that the home will be unkept as well. So trim the hedges, weed the flowerbeds and remove dead plants. Powerwashing the driveway and filling cracks in the sidewalks are a good idea as well. And dont forget to wash down the front door and remove all the bugs from the exterior light fixtures.
Good Luck and happy selling!