First impressions matter. That’s true whether you’re going on a date, interviewing for a job, or selling a house. Before putting a piece of property on the market, though, there’s one important question you should ask yourself. Not “What is my home worth?” But “What does it look like it’s worth?”
Ensure your property looks as good as its asking price (or better) with these simple steps:
1. Focus on key rooms
Not all rooms are created equal. Don’t waste valuable time and energy trying to make the entire house perfect when potential buyers are likely to focus on just two or three rooms. According to the National Association of Realtors, the most important rooms to stage are the living room, kitchen, master bedroom, and dining room.
2. Get clean and organized
You wouldn’t go to a date or job interview with ketchup stains on your shirt, so why would you try to sell a house that’s cluttered and dirty? Getting your home ready for staging requires more than just wiping down the windows and vacuuming up the carpet. You’ll also want to “de-personalize.” That means putting away the knickknacks and collectibles and taking down the family photos. You want buyers to be able to picture themselves living in your house, and it’s easier for them to see it as their home when it’s not so obviously your home.
3. Repair, repaint, renew
There’s no better time to make those much-needed repairs than when getting ready to show your home to a prospective buyer. You wouldn’t want to buy a home in shabby shape, so don’t try to sell one. Tighten up that drippy faucet and replace those old light fixtures. Spackle over cracks, nicks, dings, dents, and scratches. When you’re done, consider giving the room a fresh coat of paint. Neutral colors work best for creating the kind of blank slate most would-be homeowners are looking for.
4. Maximize your space
No matter how big your house is, if it looks small and feels small then buyers won’t want to pay more than a small price for it, if they want to pay anything at all. Show off just how much space you’re offering by reducing and rearranging furniture and keeping decorations and obstructions to a minimum. A buyer should be able to stand at the entrance of a room and see the full breadth of it. All the better to envision themselves filling that space.
5. Soak up some sunshine
Hand in hand with the last step, nothing makes a property feel more open and inviting than natural light. Widen the blinds and throw back the curtains to let as much sunlight in as possible. Doing this will not only make every room feel bigger, but also more fresh and alive. A sunlit room is a happy room, and happy rooms make for happy buyers.
6. Don’t forget the outside
When you’re trying to sell a house, it can be easy to think only about the house itself and forget about everything else your property entails. But if first impressions matter, that means you have to start impressing buyers not just after they’ve stepped a foot inside, but before. That means keeping the lawn trim and healthy, decluttering the porch, washing dirt off the siding, fixing cracked walkways, removing seasonal decorations, and maybe even planting a few flower beds. Want to sell your home? Then make sure the exterior is just as attractive as the interior.