Here are some tips:
1. When you get that call for a showing, turn on all of your lights and open the blinds. If the weather permits, let in fresh air. You are creating a first impression. Leave the house so potential buyers can talk to their realtors freely and look at their own pace. If buyers have questions, their realtor will get back to you.
2. Curb Appeal – Buyer’s usually know if they are interested in looking inside by the way a home looks on the outside. Clean up the yard and make sure the landscape is well maintained with some color spots near the entry. Power wash the outside and don’t forget to get the underside of any decking. Paint your home if it needs it. Remove any trip hazards on walkways and create a family area in the backyard on a patio or deck. Add some patio furniture if you don’t already have it. If there is a pool, make sure it sparkles.
3. Remove orders – Ask a friend as you may be immune to your home’s orders. Pets, kids, carpets, last nights dinner and other conditions can make your house smell and kill your sale.
4. Depersonalize – You want your buyers to envision their family in your house. Take off the refrigerator art and magnets. Remove personal pictures. Put away toys and anything else that is highly personal.
5. De-clutter – You are moving anyway. Any extra “stuff” should go to storage. You want your house to look spacious and show the storage that most buyers are looking for. Buyers will look in your closets and cupboards so tossing things there may not be the best idea.
6. Lighting – Replace any missing bulbs or broken fixtures. Be sure to dust, clean and empty out any dead bugs from lighting fixtures. Wash your windows inside and out. With our beautiful outdoors, we want the outside view to pop through the windows when a potential buyer walks inside.
7. Flooring – No one wants to live with dirty worn stained carpet or floors. Hardwood floors add value and elegance, but can be pricey. If you can’t afford hardwood, replace your flooring with a laminate. Consider replacing your worn out kitchen or bathroom floors with tile or stone, if you can afford it. High quality vinyl tiles can mimic the more expensive flooring materials.
8. Wallpaper & Paint – Paint is one of the cheapest ways to make your home more desirable. Chose somewhat neutral colors that appeal to most rather than a bright color you like. Remove old wall paper and repaint instead of painting over it.
9. Define Spaces – Each room should have a purpose to maximize your square footage. A storage room could be a bedroom or an attic space an office. You might set up a window seat for reading or a basement for exercise.
10. Furniture – Your goal is to make your home look like a “lived in” model home. This is an area where you may consider staging and renting furniture if your furniture doesn’t look expensive, new and inviting. Even if it does, a professional stager can arrange your furniture to showcase your home’s best features. Let their expertise impress potential buyers to sell your house quickly for the highest possible price.
11. Staging – All sellers do not stage their homes, especially homes in the lower price range. You will be at an advantage if you do. Staging is always optional but keep in mind this is a significant financial transaction. Staging helps sell to the emotions of a buyer and can put more money in your pocket. Talk to your realtor about the possibilities.
One last note – Before you spend a lot of money on a remodel, have your realtor stop by. They can give you an idea of what will contribute to your bottom line and what won’t.
Finally – You’re ready to show… Secure your animals. Make your potential buyers feel welcome. On warmer days, you might want to leave some small bottles of cold water or offer plate of freshly baked cookies. Light a scented candle to make your house smell heavenly.