With today’s housing market, selling a house can be tough. It’s more important than ever to give your home a competitive edge. Here are some great tips that I’ve received over the years on how to get your dwelling ready to be showcased.
Tip #1: Eliminate the obvious imperfections.
When our realtor took a walk through our house before putting it on the market, she immediately pointed to a grease spot on the carpet in our exercise room. The next day, she showed up with spot remover. It didn’t seem like a huge problem to us, but that wasn’t the point. You don’t want potential buyers to add up all of the things that they’ll have to fix. You want them to add up all of the things that they love about the house.
We also spent some time touching up the scuffs and marks on the walls. When you have light-colored walls, the bangs and bruises really stand out.
Tip #2: De-clutter the rooms.
Everyone has probably heard this advice before. It’s not hard to understand why. If you put yourself in a buyer’s shoes, would you want to see “stuff” all over the house? Wouldn’t it be better to create a more neutral feeling when people walk through the front door? Picture yourself going to a model home in a neighborhood that you’re interested in. You don’t see personal pictures on the shelves, or unopened mail on the counter. You see simple decorations that enhance the atmosphere of the rooms. Try to use that approach when cleaning up your home for potential buyers.
Tip #3: Make it smell good.
It may be hard to believe, but it does work. Certain smells can evoke warm feelings in people. We had a realtor tell us once that we should try to pop a bag of popcorn or throw an apple pie in the oven if we knew that buyers were on their way to look at our house. I don’t think you have to go to that extreme. Instead, we placed scented satchels on our air filter, so that every time the air came on, a wonderful aroma filled the house.
Tip #4: Spruce up the yard.
Unless it’s the dead of winter and your yard is covered in snow, there is no reason why you shouldn’t spend a little time on the outside of your home. We put one of our homes on the market in November, and the grass was already becoming dormant. But, we had several flower beds and a huge chunk of our backyard that needed new pine straw. It was amazing to see how refreshed the house looked after we completed this task.
No matter how presentable you think your house is, you never know how other people will view it. Pretend that you are in the market for a new home, and take a walk through your house. This is an easy way to figure out how to stage your home before a sale.