1. Deep Clean
Buyers want to see a fresh, clean home – a dirty home will turn buyers off.
- Kitchens sell homes. Give special attention to countertops, grout lines, appliances, and cabinets, inside and out. Clean the refrigerator and pantry, and hide any trash cans.
- Clean floors until they shine, and clear away pet areas. Dust all surfaces, including those above your line of sight. Don’t forget the ceiling fans!
- Make bathrooms look good and smell fresh. Scrub toilets, and clean shower doors. Invest in fresh bedding, linens, and towels. Odors will turn off buyers. Refresh the space with room deodorizers, but don’t use heavy scents.
- Clean corners, doorways, and window frames. Don’t forget the garage!
- Clear out closets, and store what you’re not using. A half-filled closet looks much larger than one that is stuffed.
2. Add Curb Appeal
- Invest in professional landscaping. Make sure the lawn is mown, re-seed where the grass looks thin, and trim hedges, trees, and anything that blocks the view to your home. Add colorful flowers along pathways and by the front entry.
- Power wash the outside of your home, including paths and driveways. Wash windows to make them sparkle and let in light, and clean gutters and walkways.
- Give your front porch a makeover. Add a bench or chair and a decorative touch. Don’t forget the mailbox! Give it a touch of paint, and be sure it’s standing up straight.
- Park cars in the garage–or even better, out of the way entirely.
3. Fix What’s Broken
You want buyers to focus on the best features of your home, and not on problems from deferred maintenance. This is the time to do those ‘fix-it’ projects that you’ve been putting off. It may cost a bit up front, but it will pay off in the long term.
- Walk through your home with a fresh eye to see if there are obvious maintenance issues. Fix the things you can yourself, and hire a handyman for larger projects. A fresh coat of paint in a neutral color will go a long way!
- Small details add up. Replace worn, dated hardware and knobs with new pieces that suit the style of the home. Replace worn switch plates and old heating and air conditioning registers with new ones that are clean and uncracked.
- Lighting makes all the difference. Replace old bulbs with higher wattage, full spectrum light bulbs. Open curtains to let in natural light.
- If the weather allows, open the windows for fresh air.
4. Stage It!
Home staging is one of the best steps you can take when preparing to list your home. Statistically, a staged home will sell 80% faster, and for 10% more than an un-staged home! The cost of staging is one of the best returns on investment a seller can make over any other improvements. If you can afford to, hire a professional stager. You will be surprised at the difference they can make for a small investment. A stager will:
- Showcase the best features in your home, placing furniture to define focal points and maximize the space.
- De-clutter to help create a feeling of spaciousness.
- De-personalize the home so that potential buyers can envision themselves in your home, rather than focusing on the things you own
- Highlight the best features of your home–a beautiful kitchen, a stunning view, a great fireplace, or whatever it is about your home that makes it special.
- Organize furniture placement so that it helps to create visual space and good flow, and define rooms, so that buyers can see how each room in your home can be used.
5. Invest in Professional Photos
Today’s buyers are more likely to see your home for the first time on the internet. Great professional photos will make your listing stand out over similar homes, and encourage potential buyers to come see your home. Once you get your home looking its best, be sure to keep it “show ready” for a quick sale. Put out some fresh flowers, and you’re ready to go! All photos courtesy of Graciela Rutkowski Interiors