If you do a quick Google search, you can (literally) find a million different sites with tips on how to stage your home to sell it quickly. Upon doing a little digging however, you find that each one offers contradictory advice. You’re supposed to either make your home look lived-in (like they could raise their family there) or a clean slate (so they can imagine themselves there). So what’s a home owner to do?
There’s a simple answer:
We all know the quote, “You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.” When we’re talking about homes, that means when they pull up to the house. And trust me, I’ve been with many a would-be buyer that decides the house isn’t for them before they get out of the car.
Make sure that your yard is clean, your trees are trimmed and that your house looks good compared with your neighbors. It also may be a good idea to pressure clean your driveway and house to make sure it sparkles. Want to add an extra touch? Plant flowers in bloom by the front door to draw people in.
Odds are your personal tastes won’t match your buyer’s, and that’s ok. You just need your place to be a calm and relaxing sanctuary (which is easier to accomplish than you think).
It’s easy to be penny-wise and pound-foolish by insisting on cleaning your house yourself, but trust me, when your home is on the market it’s best to leave it to the pros. Also: make sure everything is put in its place. And if you have young children, make sure their toys are put away. Storage space sells homes, and clutter kills deals. If your home looks organized, people will see your home in its best light.
You won’t believe me if I tell you how many sales have been stopped in their tracks by a litter box. I’m not saying to get rid of your cat, but it is a good idea to clean the litter box multiple times per day (and keeping some Febreze on hand just in case) while your home is on the market.
On the other side, I’ve known realtors that have encourage their clients to bake cookies right before a showing. You don’t need to go that far overboard; just a clean, neutral, and odor free.
If you want to take things to the next level, you can bring in an interior decorator (or a general contractor) to make your home ideal for showing. But in the end, the best thing is to price your home properly and market it through the right channels.
If you have any questions about the best way to stage your home, I’m more than happy to come by and give you a personalized strategy. And if you’re thinking of selling sometime in the next year, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’ve found that my clients that have the best success ask me to come out and let them know what’s best for them to do at least six months before hitting the market.