Getting your home “ready to sell” can be a daunting task, especially if you are currently living in the home. However, there is one very important thing for sellers to understand when trying to sell a home: how you currently choose to live in the home, and how you stage the home for maximum reward are usually two entirely different things. When staging your property to sell, there are three main things you need to do to put the home in its most saleable condition.
- De-personalize. You want the buyers to feel as if they could move right into your house without changing a thing. Any personal pictures or artifacts left out will make it more difficult for the buyer to begin envisioning themselves taking ownership of the house, because they are being constantly reminded of the current owners.
- De-clutter. Remove any clutter left on kitchen countertops, tables, floors, bookshelves, etc. Clutter will cause your home to feel smaller than it really is. Clutter will also draw attention away from your properties unique features.
- Neutralize. Why is it that if you walk into the model home of any large successful builder today, you will find almost all neutral colors? Because builders are professional home sellers! They know what causes homes to sell! It is common for sellers to think “I shouldn’t change the paint or flooring because the buyer will want to choose their own colors.” In reality though, buyers buy on emotion, not on logic. They will walk through your home and either have great or negative feelings. Yes, there are buyers out there that can see past paint colors, but the vast majority of buyers don’t have the same personal tastes as you do and they don’t have the vision to see beyond the colors. You will be turning away 80% of the market who only want homes that are ready to move in.
HOME VALUE MAXIMIZING TIPS
- First Impressions Matter: You only get one chance to make a solid first impression, and those initial 10 seconds can make or break your sale. Look at your entryway. Is it clean and free of clutter?
- Create Curb Appeal. Part of a buyer’s first impression will be judged by your landscaping and the outdoor maintenance of your property. Manicure the bushes, mow the lawn, and plant pretty flowers. Work to create an impressive exterior, one that will draw buyers in!
- When in doubt, paint! There is nothing that can improve the value and salability of a home more than a fewcans of fresh paint. Be sure to stick with neutral colors to maximize value.
- Clean everything! Cleanliness signals that a home has been well cared for. Get the carpet professionally cleaned as well. Leave the home smelling fresh and clean throughout!
- Let the light in. Pull back curtains and install bright light bulbs. Bright rooms feel larger and are more inviting.
- Pack up all non-essential items and move them to a non-conspicuous place in your home. Better yet, place these items in a storage unit so that buyers do not see them at all and do not ascertain your motivation to move from your home. Many storage facilities offer great incentives especially during the first month of occupancy.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:
- Have I done everything that I can reasonably do to WOW buyers as they walk through the door?
- Is the house neat and clean? Does the house smell good?
- Do I have any deferred maintenance that should be taken care of or that could cause the home not to close due to a buyer inspection or appraisal?
- Do I have anything that is a significant issue with regards to housekeeping or the yard?
- If I have not completed any of the items above, am I comfortable getting less money for my home than I otherwise would have expected?