With the large inventory of homes for sale it's more important than ever to have your home looking it's best. Home staging involves neutralizing the decorating and color schemes of the house, removing clutter and accentuating a home's postive aspects.
How can you ensure that your home will make the best impression possible? Here are five tips for savvy home sellers:
- Focus on curb appeal. The outside of your house can be the source of a very good first impression. Statistics show well landscaped homes seller faster and for higher prices. Keep the grass well-watered and mowed. Have your trees trimmed. Cut back overgrowth. Plant some blooming flowers. Keep toys, bicycles, gardening equipment and the like out of sight. If you have a pet be sure to pick up all debris. Remove any excess lawn ornaments or furniture. Replace or paint the mailbox if it's looking worn. Add a colorful doormat that welcomes people. Have at least the front of your house and the trim painted, if necessary. Sweep the porch and the front walkway. After dark, turn on your front porch light and any other exterior lighting, create a warm, inviting look.
- Uncluttering. When in doubt, throw it out, sell it, store it, or give it away! Real estate agents say buyers won't purchase a home they can't see. Or more importantly, see themselves in it! If your home has too much furniture, overflowing closets, crowded kitchen and bathroom countertops or lots of family photos or collectibles on display, potential buyers won't be able to really see your home. Send a message of space and organization by removing up to half of the contents of your closets and cupboards.
- Neutralize. Many people are oblivious to scents, but others are extremely sensitive to offensive odors. To eliminate bad smells, bathe your pets, freshen the cat litter box frequently, shampoo your carpets, dry clean your drapes, and empty trash cans, recycling bins and ash trays. Place open boxes of baking soda in smell-prone areas, and refrain from cooking fish or strong-smelling foods. Introduce pleasing smells by placing flowers or potpourri in your home and using air fresheners. Baking a fresh or frozen pie or some other fragrant treat is another common tactic. Create a home for any lifestyle and taste.
- Repairing. Making the repairs now can save money and negotiation stress down the road. Buyers expect everything in their new home to operate safely and properly. Picky buyers definitely will notice-and likely magnify -- minor maintenance problems you've ignored for months or even years. Leaky faucets, burned-out light bulbs, painted-shut or broken windows, inoperable appliances and the like should be fixed before you put your home on the market. These repairs may seem small, but left undone they can lead buyers to question whether you've taken good care of your home. You may also want to consider a Seller's Inspection or a Home Warranty as an added bonus!
- Dynamizing. Set the dining room table with your best dishes. Put out your only-for-company towels. Make up the spare bed, pillows are a great way to accessorize. Hang some fresh curtains. Put some logs in the fireplace. Open a cookbook on a stand in the kitchen, Dress your home as if it were being photographed for a magazine. Use your imagination. From the curb to the basement, evaluate the subtle message that every area sends. You want it to say "Welcome Home"!
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