When you are selling your house, you have to realize it’s a product. If you were to go into a store, and the clothes hanging there that you want to buy are dirty, and the housewares are dusty, would you buy? It is the same with a house. Whether you get professional help or do it yourself, it is important to present what you are selling in the best light. Here are some things that you need to do.
This is a fancy way of saying make the outside look nice from the street. You have lived and loved there, so you do not see all the imperfections, you don’t even notice that oil stain in the driveway, even if you are standing on it. A professional will see it all as it’s all new to them, just as a buyer will. If you can’t afford a professional, you will have to try and look with new eyes. Power wash everything, driveway, and sidewalk. Get rid of all oil stains. Put new, easy to read, house numbers up. Wash the walls and the windows. Use touch up paint where needed. Whites should be white, and the colors should be bright. Add plants and flowers, preferably blooming ones. If you can afford a professional, it is worth it, you will make the money back in the sale.
Make sure the entryway is inviting. Make it a stage set. Depending on your entry, if you have a porch, put some furniture on it, and a magazine. Inside make sure you have a clean mat, and get rid of any clutter, you want them to feel invited.
Ok, this is obvious, but you really need to get obsessive about it. Not clean it well enough, you need to go over the top and clean it like your life depends on it. That smudge you can’t get off the wall? Paint it. This is spring cleaning on steroids. This includes bathroom grout, the toilet, kitchen tiles, etc. If you think to yourself “naaa that will be ok”, trust us when we say it won’t be. Buyers are worse than critical mothers-in-law that hate you.
This is one of the hardest, but if you are selling, you are not going to be living there anymore anyway. Get rid of at least 50% of your stuff. Put it in storage temporarily. When buyers see a cluttered house, the clutter just makes them think that they will be cluttered too. You need to make it as sparse as you can, leave lots of room on the shelves and counters. Use decorations sparsely. You need to make the rooms look as roomy as possible, even if that means moving pieces of furniture out. You still need to make it lived in, but, go for vacation home look rather than magpie nest. This includes taking 90% of the clothes and such out of your closets and storing it. Project a roomy feeling.
Style and design
Keep it simple. Depending on how far your house is from normal, you might have to rein it back into the mainstream. If you have a Goth house, you might want to start painting it light airy colors. A Goth house is not going to sell. Ok, we know you don’t have a Goth house, but you get the idea, your style might not be theirs, so keep it simple and stylish, and mainstream. Go for neutral colors. Another thing to think about is don’t decorate for gender. You don’t know who the buyer is, or who makes the decisions. A hello kitty room might look cute, but if they have a 16-year-old son, it won’t cut it.
This is one of the most overlooked aspects of buying a house, especially if you have pets. You need to deodorize everything. Get carpets professionally cleaned and deodorized, and same with the furniture. You might not be able to smell anything, as it is your smell, and you are used to it, but a buyer will smell it, and it will be strong. You can add deodorizers to the rooms and make sure that before a buyer comes that the house is aired out, fans help with that.
When you need to make your house a stage set, you have to think about it that way. We advise going to multiple open houses and have a look. Make a list of what you didn’t like about them. Focus on the changeable things. It doesn’t matter if they don’t have enough bedrooms, what matters is if you look at the way the house looks old, or messy, or smells or anything like that. If you notice it in another house, then you know others will notice it in yours. Good luck with the sale.