Preparing Your Home to be Sold
Preparing your home to be sold is crucial, as buyers often have difficulty envisioning the real potential of a property. They can’t always visualize how they would use the space. Staging a property will help your property stand out and emphasize its best qualities.
“Home staging is like dressing your house for success. Just like you would prepare for a very important interview, first impressions of a house are top priority.” — Patte Lau, Interior Stylist
Most buyers make an instinctual decision about buying a property within the first few minutes of arriving.
A 2012 study by the Real Estate Staging Association® shows staged homes spent 73% less time on the market. “174 homeowners had their property on the market for an average of 156 days before they decided to stage. Those same homes were staged and sold within an average of 42 days after staging.”
Omaha Homes Group will help you prepare your house to show well. Staging properties can include everything from eliminating personal belongings, replacing furniture and even landscaping! Depending on the condition of your house, and what kind of staging work needs to be done, there may be costs involved with this. You’ll want to keep the house in showable condition until it is sold.
Here are some basic things you can do to improve your home for showings:
- Remove all clutter. Put trashcans out of sight. Tidy up your porch and patio spaces and remove any old or dated patio furniture.
- Green grass invites images of picnics and summer lounging. Keep the yard trimmed and raked. Adding a little fertilizer to make that grass just a bit greener can go a long way.
- Keep your shrubbery and hedges trimmed, especially around walkways.
- Give those doors a new coat of paint or give them a good cleaning if they’ve been painted or stained recently.
- Don’t forget the garage door. Clean the door or repaint it (if it’s beginning to show wear and tear). Though you’ll want to have your garage door closed during showings, be sure that it opens smoothly, as buyers love to test the home’s features.
- Check all of your exterior lights and change light bulbs if needed.
- Clean your windows so they sparkle and make sure that they open easily. Buyers love to inspect windows and views.
- Make sure that your gutters and downspouts are clear. It may be true that buyers don’t often look too closely at the gutters, but if rainy weather hits during the showing, we want to be sure no one is walking out into a deluge emanating from compacted eavestroughs.
- Dress up your walkways with some blooming plants or a few planters. Make sure to keep those walkways clean and clear.
Around the home
- Remove family photographs. This puts you in the home instead of the buyer and we want the buyer to imagine themselves there.
- Remove any furniture that may impede traffic flow through the home. If a buyer has to step around something, they often feel as though the space is minimized. The more open floor space you can create, the bigger the house will feel.
- Switch to neutral colors as much as possible. Repaint rooms to neutrals and remove wallpaper (especially if it’s dated or heavily patterned). This helps buyers avoid being distracted by decorating choices and puts the focus on the room’s potential. Neutral colours can also make rooms look bigger.
- Spruce up the carpet. If your carpet isn’t in great shape, but you can’t afford to replace it, get it steam cleaned.
- Repair any damage to walls and floors. Even if the damage is minor, buyers often shy away from work (no matter how minor).
- Replace and update light fixtures. If this isn’t in your budget, make sure the light fixtures are clean and all the lights in the house are operational so that the home feels bright and open.
- Clean up those closets. A closet that’s stuffed to the gills makes it seem inadequate. As much as you can, move things out of the closet and into the attic to show buyers that there’s more than enough storage room.
- If necessary, re-arrange furniture to eliminate any exposed wires or extensions cords. These tend to make the house look cluttered and also makes buyers wonder if the outlets are adequate.
- New cabinet fixtures can be an easy, budget-friendly way to update and increase appeal
- Update light fixtures, if necessary. You can also consider adding light to the kitchen with under-mount cabinet lights or pendent lights along an island. A bright kitchen is very inviting.
- Replace dated faucets.
- If cabinets are a bit worn, consider re-surfacing or repainting to give them a fresh, new look just before a showing
- Replace or clean the caulk so that it’s bright white.
- Replace or repair all broken and cracked tile.
- Replace or repair dated or damaged floors.
- Repair dripping water faucets, or update them.
- Clean light fixtures to get the best light, or update them.
- Remove any trace of mildew and make sure the grout is clean as can be.
Just before a showing
- Clean, clean, clean. Make sure everything is dusted and vacuumed and the bathrooms and kitchen are sparkling.
- Open up the windows and doors to let some fresh air in.
- Spray some air freshener around the house to amplify that just-cleaned smell.
- Turn on all the lights. This makes the house brighter, airier and more inviting.
- Hide exposed wires and extension cords. These tend to make the house look cluttered and also makes buyers wonder if the outlets are adequate.
- Open the curtains and draw the shades to let as much natural light in as possible.
- Pick up any clutter and clear off counter spaces in the bathroom and kitchen. This should include storing small kitchen appliances.
- Open doors to areas you want buyers to explore.
- Make the beds in all the bedrooms.
- Put out fresh towels and decorative soaps in the bathrooms.
- Empty the dishwasher and put dishes away. Make sure cabinets are tidy and everything is clean.
- Remove any personal notes from the face of the refrigerator.