ATTENTION ALL MOTIVATED SELLERS. Congratulations! Your home is on the market! Now that you have worked out all the details with your agent, it is time to bring on the buyers and get ready to show. Your agent will be working hard to provide the right marketing for your home to attract buyers. If you are wondering how you can help once the shoppers arrive, here are 3 simple steps and reminders I found helpful for sellers when preparing their home for showings.
1) CURB APPEAL- Our first step is curb appeal. First impressions are everything, and it is no different when selling your home. Buyers are judging your home from the moment they pull into the driveway, so take a long look at your front yard. Does it feel welcoming? If not, you have some work to do. Aside from the simple yard clean up, which is more than half the battle, grab a few shrubs from your local Home Depot. Seasonal Petunias run for $5.99 and can easily be planted in your yard to liven it up with some color.
(Petunia photos via Home Depot)
2) CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN- Whether your home will be occupied or vacant during the time of the sale, it is important to keep it CLEAN. This means keeping organized with the toys in the toy box (if you plan to still occupy the property) and taking the time to give your home the old scrub down. A dirty bathroom or greasy stove is not appealing to any buyer and we want them to focus on those nice counters, not the stains on top.
3) STAGING- Our final step is www. It can be a bit different for those who plan to vacate the property, as opposed those who continue to occupy the home. If your plans are to vacate completely and it is an empty house your buyers will be viewing, I find pleasant smells or a simple flower arrangement upon walk in can be an easy dress up for the house. Walking into a home with the smell of flowers in the air feels inviting and will make the showing of the home pleasant for the buyers. Nothing turns shoppers off faster than unpleasant odors in the house. When staging a home that is occupied, there is a lot more to keep in mind because buyers can easily feel overwhelmed in a home still cluttered with the owner’s belongings. Start by stashing away all your personal items. After all, you are planning to move anyway. The sooner you start, the smoother the process will be. The goal is to un-personalize your home. Take down the family photos and anything that would feel personal to a buyer. The reason for this is so they can imagine themselves in the home and do not feel they are invading someone else’s living space. We also do not want buyers distracted by your unique rock collection and miss an important selling feature in your home.
IDENTIFYING LIVING SPACES- This one will follow the staging step if you are having trouble deciding which items, such as decor or furniture, should stay or go. Ask yourself if the item helps identify the living space. If not, it can be packed away. Let’s take an office desk, for example: if the desk is placed in a room that was utilized as an office, it works. This also includes filing cabinets and any piece of furniture that identifies the space as an office. If the desk is placed in the kitchen, it may make the kitchen area feel small and cluttered. This goes for each room in the house. Take the time to look around and find the items that look out of place. This is important when showing your home because a space not utilized correctly will not allow buyers to envision themselves living in the space.
Keep these 3 simple steps in mind when preparing your home to show and you will have buyers falling in love in no time.