I don’t want to spoil your day, but if you are thinking of selling your home, you need to prepare yourself for what could be a very emotional, physical, frustrating experience. However, there are certain things you can do to lessen the pain. It’s summed up in the word: staging.
Staging is best described as the things you can do to make your home shine. Here are some tips:
• Start from the outside. Make the house warm and inviting from the minute someone pulls up. Tidy up the yard, make sure the outside lights are on, add a clean doormat, paint the door if needed, and display a seasonal wreath or other door hanging.
• Once someone opens the door, make sure your house smells fresh. Don’t overwhelm them with a strong fragrance, but be sure any smoke, cooking or pet odors are gone. A good trick is to bake cookies or simmer some vanilla extract in water on the stove.
• Look around the house and be sure all the floors are clean, carpets don’t have stains, walls are wiped free of smudges, and counter tops, bookshelves, fireplace mantles are free of excess clutter. Displaying a few items is okay but it’s probably best to box up your collections and keep them stored for your next house.
• Especially remember to remove all personal photos. You want the people looking at your home to think of their family living there.
• Re-arrange furniture so there is space to walk through each room. This might require removing a few extra pieces of furniture. You don’t need to move everything up against the walls. Try to create cozy areas, especially in the living room and family room.
• Open your closets. Yes, the buyers will be looking in all your closets. It may be time for to box up and store out-of-season clothes or to thin out your wardrobe. You want the buyer to see that there is a lot of space.
• Do the same in the basement or attic. Invest in some storage totes and get everything organized. If you must, store some items at a friend’s house or rent a storage space. Don’t overlook the garage either.
• For most buyers, the kitchen and bathrooms are especially important. Be sure everything (even inside the stove) is scrubbed clean. You might even plan to have a fresh set of towels that go out just for showings. And keep a bathroom tote handy so you can keep all your personal items (toothbrush, shampoo, etc.) in there. You can plan to put it in the trunk of your car whenever there is a showing.
Remember, none of these suggestions cost a lot of money, just time. Anything you buy can be moved to your next house. These steps could result in a quicker sale and perhaps a better price for your home. And the sooner you sell, the sooner you can be moving on to your next “home sweet home”.