Here are our top tips to whip your home into shape and wow potential buyers.
Landscape. Curb appeal is crucial to a good first impression, so make sure your home's lawn is immaculate as you can. This doesn't mean go out and spend a fortune on landscaping. It does mean mow the lawn, prune the bushes, weed the garden and plant a few flowers or put some in a nice planter.
Photograph: Take pictures of your home's exterior at different times of the year. You may want to show it with spring-blooming bulbs, or as the leaves are changing in fall. It is helpful to do this now even if you aren't considering selling now but MAY want to sell at some point in the future--near or distant.
Declutter. Box up knickknacks, photos, extra furniture and other personal items. When you think you have removed clutter from a bookcase or tabletop and it looks perfect...... remove two more things. LESS is MORE. Buyers want to envision themselves in your home and pictures of your own family are distracting. Pack them up--you're moving anyway! There will be plenty of space in your next home to display those photos.
|Yes, you can leave your coffee maker out on the counter, but try to clean off most everything else.|
Repair. In a buyer's market, you want your home to be in the best condition possible. Take care of major defects like broken windows or a leaky roof that could discourage buyers. The home inspector is going to find it anyway, so go ahead and fix those things. And, this time--DO sweat the small stuff. Use a magic eraser on scuff marks on walls and molding. Be sure to touch up nicks in your paint and any other minor imperfections.
Invite. A fresh coat of paint and a new welcome mat will make the front door stand out. Replace faded house numbers so buyers can see them from the curb. Take down less expensive brass knobs and hinges and spray paint them black. Don't forget an eye-catching potted plant or 2 (if you have the room!)
|Paint color is Cheerful by Sherwin Williams|
Great tip from It's Overflowing: Keep a laundry basket in the family room that you can use to pile the left out toys and then throw that basket into the car with you when you leave during a no-warning showing.
Sparkle. From ceiling fans to floors and everything in between, clean your home until every surface shines. This may sound as if I'm stating the obvious, but seriously; clean it until your fingers hurt. You don't have to do this deep clean for EVERY, SINGLE showing but before you list and periodically thereafter you need to make it SHINE!
Neutralize. You might like your tennis-ball-yellow kitchen, but potential buyers may not. Paint your walls a neutral color that will appeal to a wide range of buyers. Just go ahead and assume that the wallpaper you chose in 1995 will NOT appeal to anyone. Take it down.
Our top five neutral paint colors are:
Eliminate. Hide the litter box and spray air neutralizer throughout your home. You don't want to use a typical air freshener or you'll end up with rose-smelling kitty pee. Trust me on this one. I've just spent months looking at houses with our good friends. The air "fresheners" in some of those houses could gag a maggot. Fresh wave gel is the best neutralizer I've found. Neutralize the odor; don't cover it.
During an Open House, fill your home with inviting smells by putting out fresh flowers and/or baking a batch of cookies.
Stage. When selling your home, you have one chance to make a good first impression.You have to sell your home TWICE; first online through the listing's photos, and then again when the potential buyers walk through your door.You know that forest green pleather couch you hate? Potential buyers will think it looks dark and dated too. Sell, Sell, Sell; some poor college student would love to spill beer on that sofa! And, you can pad the coffers of your NEW HOUSE DECORATING FUND!
With Spring approaching, now is a good time to make a to-do list for yourself. Whether or not you are about to enter the real estate selling game, it's always smart to spruce up. And, you will be surprised what a little declutter/pare down can do for you. It worked wonders for Catherine. Tell us about your attempts at Spring Sprucing! Your comments make our day!