I receive many calls from clients looking for help to prepare their homes for sale. A home needs to be de-cluttered and staged in order to sell it quickly and for top dollar.
I tell my clients that once you make the decision to sell you home, "it is not your home any more”. This can be very difficult for a homeowner, especially if they have lived in their home for many years. It needs to be staged so that any potential buyer can enter your home and imagine themselves living there. Most potential buyers are overwhelmed with “stuff” and lack the imagination to look past it all to see possibilities a house has to offer.
Ok, so here is the tough part. You need to remove personal items, religious items, the 52-piece ceramic cat collection, the dusty dried flowers that you picked 10 years ago and so on. My clients say, “But, I love that!” I respond, "That's nice, but it needs to go”.
Here are some simple steps to stage your home for sale:
This is the most important thing that you can do to show your home in it's best light. And, yes… a buyer will open your closets and cupboards.
2. Curb Appeal
First impressions mean everything. Keep the landscaping and entryway clean and simple. Sorry, no lawn fairies!
“Float" your furniture in a room. This means that you do not line it all up against the walls. Also, remove any extra, heavy or damaged furniture. This will make your space look larger.
If you don’t have the time or energy, hire someone to clean. Everything needs to be clean and spotless, including ceilings, walls, fans and light fixtures. Don’t forget to look up!
Why is this all so important? If buyers see clutter, dirt, damage or smell odors, they will assume that there is an issue or a problem. Even if this is not true, you could loose the buyer.
Here are some last minute tricks:
1. Do a walk through before showing your home.
2. Sweep the outside walkway.
3. Vacuum the house.
4. Open all the shades to let in the most light possible.
5. Plump the pillows.
6. Always have fresh flowers or flowering plants, like an orchid in prominent places.
All this can be done with a little effort and creativity. The cost is minimal, but the return is selling your home quickly and for top dollar.
(Remember that this is the goal when you are debating whether or not to remove the paint-by-number clown on velvet over the sofa!)