Showing your home takes more than just giving the realtor a key and letting him walk potential buyers through each room. To get the most value, you need to present your home in a way that will show off its best qualities and convince people that they want to live there. When you properly stage your home, the odds are better that you will receive more offers and that those offers will be higher than otherwise. Here are just a few tips you can follow as you prepare your home for a visit from potential buyers.
Remove the Clutter
One of the first things to do when staging your home is to get rid of any clutter. Objects and clothes strewn about will make a room feel significantly smaller, which is not the impression you want to set. For nearly two-thirds of home buyers, the most influential characteristic of a home is living space; a cluttered room could drive them off. If you need to box up several things you won’t necessarily use for some time while your home is on the market, it will be worth the extra value down the line.
Clear Out Personal Touches
Remember, when you are showing your home to buyers, you want them to be picturing themselves living in the space. To encourage this, remove personalized decorations. This includes things like family pictures, decorations using your family name, and other things that set the home apart as yours. You want the home to look nice, but you still need to provide a blank canvas for the buyer to paint with his or her own imagination.
Paint in Neutral Colors
Bright colors may feel more personal and represent your personality, which is great when you’re living in a home; however, it’s not the best tactic when you’re trying to sell a home. Stick with neutral colors to appeal to a wider range of people. Neutral doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with basic white or beige, though. Soft tans can warm up a room, and even pale blues and greens can give a room a welcoming feeling without being overwhelming. Take the opportunity to remove any old or dated patterns to give your room a fresh, modern feeling.
Brighten the Room
A well-lit room feels much more inviting than a room with dim lighting and shadowed corners. Make sure that you have plenty of light fixtures in each room. If the permanent fixtures are insufficient, don’t hesitate to bring in stand lights or table lamps. Don’t skimp on the wattage of the bulbs, either. A good rule of thumb is 100 watts for each 50 square feet in a room. Include several fixtures of different varieties. General and overhead lighting provide ambience, while table and wall lights accent specific areas. Also, if the weather will be sunny, throw open the drapes and let the natural light brighten and warm the atmosphere.
Keep the Lawn Looking Fresh
As the old saying says, “You only have one chance to make a first impression.” Your yard is the first thing buyers will see when they view your home, so make sure it is presentable. Keep hedges trimmed, leaves raked, and grass watered. Make sure no garden areas are covered in weeds, and take care of any dry or bare patches. Proper lawn care can add significant value to your home when you sell, so make sure your yard is looking its best when potential buyers visit.
Decorate with Fresh Flowers
While you’re keeping your garden fresh outside, you can use it to keep things fresh inside as well. Displaying fresh flowers around your home can bring life into the space. Freshly picked flowers from your garden can add a nice touch, and the smell is sweet and relaxing. Make sure that you take care of any flowers you are displaying, though. A wilting bouquet can have the opposite effect. Refresh or replace any drooping displays before a buyer comes through.