When it comes to selling your home, the old adage "less is more" typically rings true. While those treasured family photos, heirlooms and figurines have played a large role in turning your house into a family home, they can be a hindrance when it comes time to sell.
Because it's important to show off your home's assets and not your family's accomplishments or even your personal taste, knowing how to properly stage your home in anticipation of potential buyers is a very important part of a successful selling process. Here are four tips to get you on your way:
1. Clean it
A dirty, cluttered house will have buyers wondering if the home has been properly maintained. If the furniture isn't dusted and the floors are dirty, perhaps the furnace filters haven't been changed nor the plumbing maintained. While an untidy house does not necessary mean a house hasn't been cared for, that is typically the impression left with the buyer.
Do a very thorough cleaning of your home from top to bottom, keeping in mind that potential buyers are very likely to be opening closets and drawers as well. Throw away unnecessary items to give the illusion of more space. Once your house is in tip-top shape, keep your home neat and tidy at all times so you don't end up turning down a showing because your house isn't looking its best.
2. Fix it
It's easy to put off small household tasks, like replacing burned-out light bulbs or repairing a closet door. While these may seem like small issues, buyers are turned off by any obvious repair need, no matter how small. When choosing between potential next homes, buyers will naturally favor a house that is in good repair from top to bottom. Taking care of those household repairs is also another way to give buyers the perception of a well-maintained house.
Pet owners love their pets, but even animal lovers will be less than happy to smell your cat or dog the moment they walk into your home as potential buyers. The sad truth is, living with pets on a daily basis—or the source of any household odor for that matter—tends to desensitize you to odors that ruin an otherwise clean-smelling home environment. Rather than heavy sprays that seek to cover up odors with strong fragrances, opt for more natural air deodorizers, like lightly scented candles or eucalyptus potpourri, which is known to mask even the strongest pet odors.
You want potential buyers to envision themselves living in your home. That becomes a challenge for them when they are confronted with your own family's photos and personal belongings everywhere they turn.
Pack away those framed photos, children's artwork and other unique personal belongings. Give walls a fresh coat of paint in a contemporary, neutral color. If necessary, invest in neutral bed and bathroom linens. Remove the majority of decorative items, particularly if handcrafted. Instead, opt for neutral, inviting palettes and allow your home's natural assets to shine through. Now is not the time to announce your personal taste for unusual colors or styles.
About the author: Lori W. is a Realty Biz News Contributing Writer