You Must Make Your Home Stand Out
Selling your house? You must make your home stand out. It’s called home staging or improving curb appeal. The vast majority of potential home buyers go on the web before ever attending an open house. If you don’t have curb appeal, forget about it!
Before you actually put your home up for sale, go to some open houses in your neighborhood. I suspect, after just a few visits to homes on the market, you’ll see a range of differences in how houses are prepared for sale. Selling your house is not about you, but getting the prospective home buyer to picture their stuff in your space.
How do you do that? Here are 10 tips for home staging your home.
1. Make their first visit to your home a lasting impression. The lawn should be mowed and edged, dead stuff taken away or raked, plants trimmed. Wash the siding and windows.
2. Freshly paint the front door. This is the welcome mat to your home. And while you are at it, make sure the doorbell and porch light work.
3. Make it smell good when they walk in. Have a friend walk into your home and give it the smell test. There should be no pet or garbage odors. Make your home as inviting as a vacation spa that smells so good on your first visit.
4. Declutter every room. Selling your house is not about you, but getting the prospective home buyer to picture their stuff in your space. Get you out of the house! You want them to imagine their belongings, pictures, art, books in “their” new home.” Get them to thinking it’s their house from the time they walk in the door.
5. You’ve de-cluttered the house. Is it clean? Nothing will turn off the buyer more than filth. If they feel unclean walking through your house, you’ve failed to make a sale. Remember “Poltergeist” and the little lady who rid the house of ghosts? She dusted off her hands and said, “This house is clean!”
6. Clean out the closets, the medicine cabinet, and the tops of dressers. The buyer doesn’t want to see any of that.
7. Make sure the bathroom is clean and all of your grooming gear is gone
8. Paint! Take down the pictures from the walls, spackle the nail holes, and paint. Stick to neutral colors.
9. Decorate tables with flowers. If you have room for al fresco dining, set the table with napkins. Let them picture themselves dining outside, enjoying the conversation over candlelight. If it’s near a holiday, it’s ok to dress it up. You want them to picture themselves celebrating that holiday in “their” new home.
10. The first nine tips can be done without a home stager’s help. Your home will be clean, sleek, no distracting decor, and your chances will be great for a quick sale. A home stager may see some things you missed. Homes that have been staged sell quicker, and for a higher price. Since much of the initial shopping for a home is online, photos of a staged house draw more buyers to an open house. Speaking of photos, hire a professional photographer after you have finished staging.