Some simple staging will increase the likelihood of an emotional connection with a prospective buyer, thus allowing them to envision owning the property and seeing it with their own touches and finishes. Research has shown that most people make their buying decision within the first minute of seeing a property. Properly staging your home will give you a much better chance at getting that higher price as well.
Based on my experience, here are some simple and inexpensive things you can do to prepare and stage your home.
Probably the most important effort you can make. A clean house sells faster than a messy one. In addition to deep cleaning the entire house, don't forget to get the carpets and floors cleaned, the windows washed to let in more light, and eliminate any unwanted odors. Cleaning also sends an important message to a buyer that this home was greatly valued and well cared. A fresh coat of paint will help as well but make sure to keep the colors neutral. Unusual colors can cause potential buyers to strike your home off their list.
Making repairs now instead of later is always a good idea. It will generally put your property in a new light and probably increase its perceived value. Buyers who tour homes with much disrepair often will move on to the next property without a second thought. Most buyers will usually get a professional inspection done as part of any contract and ask you, the seller, to pay for any repairs. Try to get the property in a condition where the inspector won't find anything objectionable. Nothing will slow down a settlement more than needing to get repairs done. Air out any musty smelling areas. A new self draining de-humidifier in the lower level will help greatly.
Clutter distracts potential buyers from envisioning the house as their own. By eliminating clutter and getting rid of unwanted items you can make your property feel larger, brighter and more open. Cleaning out closets will make them seem bigger. Getting rid of excess furniture will make a room seem like it has more possibilities. Minimizing furnishings will also allow a buyer to imagine your property with their own touches - increasing the possibility of them making an emotional attachment to your house.
Improve Curb Appeal
First impressions are everything! Try to make your property the envy of the neighbors from the outside. Some good ideas to increase curb appeal include
- Have the grass cut and the lawn maintained
- Clean up any leaves and remove all debris from the yard
- Keep all walkways swept
- Remove dead shrubbery and spruce up the landscaping
- Repair any gates, fences, walkways, and driveways that need maintenance
- Touch up the outside of the house and other areas with a fresh coat of paint
- Keep the deck and dock area organized, along with any yard and patio furniture
- Pressure wash decks and walk-ways