Are you considering putting your house up for sale, but not sure where to start? Afraid it will take too long to sell, or that you won’t get the price you want? Think about staging, or in other words, setting the scene for immediate buyer interest in your house.
To be really effective, you need to look at both the outside and the inside of your property. Here are 6 tips to get you going, starting with the inside:
1. De-clutter. This is one of the most important things you can do. It might be easier to do this with the mindset that you will be moving soon, so why not start packing now? Pack up everything you don’t need and store the boxes out of sight in the garage (or consider temporarily renting a small storage space).
2. Organize your closets – put similar colors together, pants together, skirts together, shirts together etc. Why? Because it will make the closets look bigger. (Really.) Leave some empty space to give the appearance that you have plenty of room. An organized closet appears bigger, and you want your closets to look as spacious as possible.
3. Make your home feel like a model. You want to de-personalize as much as possible so potential buyers can imagine themselves and their own belongings occupying the space in your house. That means minimizing and putting away everything you don’t need or use. Clear off kitchen counters as much as possible and stash all those appliances you don’t use, and put miscellaneous small clutter in a few attractive baskets or boxes. Don’t forget the smell! Eliminate any pet, cooking or other odors. Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies remind most people of a cozy home. The smell of lavender has been proven to trigger happy memories.
Once the inside is ready, change your focus to how your house will show from the outside:
4. View your home from the street. This will allow you to see what clients see when driving up to the house. Be aware that any negative impressions they get outside the house (landscaping not maintained or non-existent, peeling paint, etc.) is just going to make them think that the house itself has not been well cared for. So even if you have spent the time and money to fix up the interior, it would all be wasted if the clients get a bad first impression as they drive up to the house. Fresh mulch and a few seasonal plants that provide color can have a big impact.
5. Stand on your front porch and look around for 5 minutes. While the real estate agent fumbles for keys and tries to figure out how to open the door, the clients are standing behind and looking around. So what are they seeing? Dead plants or bugs, old holiday decorations, cobwebs, a broken doorbell, cracks in the masonry? Again, not a good first impression!
It’s definitely worth it to take some time and clean it up. Want to go a step further? Try a new coat of paint, pressure-washing the walkways and house exterior, washing windows and possibly adding some new furniture or accessories (if space allows) to make it feel inviting.
6. Don’t forget the backyard. While that might not be part of the potential buyers’ first impression experience, you still should make sure it’s in the best condition possible. Pull up weeds, water plants, do some sweeping (if that’s applicable in your case) and maybe even purchase new furniture or accessories (potted plants, bird houses, etc.) Make the prospective buyer feel like they could relax there at the end of a long day.
And the biggest tip of all? Imagine yourself as a potential buyer looking at your property for the very first time. What impressions are you getting? Would YOU buy your house? What would you like to see changed before you put an offer on your house? It’s a challenge for sellers to look at their own property objectively – perhaps a trusted friend could help, or your REALTOR may have some professional advice.
Don’t worry about spending money to get your house ready to sell. Proper staging helps you sell your house in a shorter time and closer to the price you want.
Curious about how your house stacks up against your neighbors’? Visit KendallBexarHomes.com to view pictures and information for homes on the market in your neighborhood.