You want to sell your home in the shortest possible time for the highest possible price, right? While that is more or less a rhetorical question, as your Realtor, it’s my goal as well. What’s the best way to make that happen? “First of all, a seller’s home should be clean and organized both inside and out,” suggests Interior Designer and Home Staging Expert, Pierrette Tanner. “You want potential buyers to see themselves in your home.” Take a look at these eight fantastic tips and suggestions to get you on the right track!
- Follow the 50% rule. Look at every flat surface in your house and take at least 50% of the items away. This goes for kitchen and bathroom counters, desktops, bookshelves and dressers. Remember Marie Kondo-ing everything during quarantine? Congrats, you are ahead of the game! “Removing clutter, and excess or worn furniture, is critical to making rooms appear larger and well maintained,” adds Pierrette. So be sure to store the items you use every day, keep them out of sight and get them out only when needed.
- 50% your closets too. Apply the same logic to your closets. Let’s face it, if stuff tumbles to the floor every time you open a closet or a cupboard, you won’t impress your buyers. An overstuffed closet tells a buyer that you don’t have enough storage space, even if it isn’t true. Pierrette adds, “Get in the mindset that you’re moving! Start packing now. Get things out of the closets, out of the rooms, out of the house, so your home shows as spaciously as possible.” Get out the packing boxes, consider it a dry run, and organize away. The buyer needs to know there’s plenty of room in their new home (and you might discover a few hidden gems along the way!).
- Don’t get personal. When a buyer walks through your front door, they want to imagine themselves living in your home. While family pictures and treasured refrigerator door Picassos make it feel like your home, a buyer won’t feel the same. Add these items to your packing list. Let the buyer see a clean slate, ready for them to add their own personal touches.
- Brighten up. Walk through your home after dark and on a cloudy day. Does it look bright, cheerful, and welcoming? Start by getting some brighter light bulbs to shed some light on those dark corners. Make sure there are no burned out bulbs anywhere — check the porch lights and outdoor lighting as well.
- Show me the money. You’ll get the most bang for your buck by investing money in your kitchen and bathrooms. Don’t worry, you don’t have to break the bank! If your bathroom vanities look shabby and dated, a couple coats of semi-gloss enamel in a neutral tone or one of today’s “in” colors is a great place to start (Pantone’s colors for 2021 are yellow and gray). Adding new hardware, such as drawer pulls and faucets can up the “wow” factor. Another inexpensive investment is renting staging furniture for marketing photos and an open house. “Display beautiful furniture and stylish accessories, the type of furniture buyers have seen on HGTV and Pinterest,” Pierrette offered. “The more closely your home aligns with those trends, the more updated it will feel, typically attracting more potential buyers and offers!”
- Do a painting. As part of your facelift plan, painting the interior walls is a great investment. “Wall colors should be neutral, clean,” Pierrette suggests. Ceilings should be white because it makes the rooms seem larger, but keep walls a warm neutral (soft beige or taupe, eggshell cream) instead — stark white walls are cold. Even if your home is very contemporary, you still want to reflect a degree of warmth and coziness.
- Check for hidden problems. Often it’s the things you can’t see that will trip you up. So keep an eye out for problems that aren’t immediately obvious. For example, if the storage space under your stairs smells musty, air it out and add some room freshener. Make sure there are no signs of mold or mildew anywhere. Look around the baseboards and the outside of your home as well for signs of termites or other pests. Make sure there are no dripping faucets or leaks under the sink. And check to see that your smoke detectors are working.
- Add the unexpected touch. When you’re ready for that first open house, make sure you appeal to ALL the buyer’s senses. Put out some fresh flowers or plants. (Hint: orchids are not expensive and they last a long time.) Avoid candles, which could create a fire hazard. Instead, use essential oils with scents that create a mood. Lavender is relaxing, rosemary is stimulating, and jasmine elevates the mood. Citrus scents are always fresh and clean. Of course if you want to pull out all the stops, bake some chocolate chip cookies (remember to set the timer!) and leave them on the counter. But please, no onions or fish smells left over from last night’s dinner.
Homes do not sell themselves. It takes planning and effort on your part to turn your property into a showplace. The payoff is the look on that prospective buyer’s face that says, “I want this one!”