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8 Ways to Help a Stranger Fall in Love with Your HomeJune 12th, 2015 by
There are many steps you need to take in preparation for a move, and selling your home is by far the biggest part of the process. The real estate market moves quickly, and you want your home to sell as fast as possible. Help prospective buyers visualize themselves inside your home by trying a few of our tips and tricks for making your home as appealing as possible.
Do a deep clean. You want your home to be as clean as possible when people are coming through to consider it. Too much clutter will look messy to potential buyers, so make sure your books, collectibles, and children’s toys are put away. Dust your ceiling fan blades, wash your baseboards, and make sure you get any cobwebs out of hard-to-reach places. If you’re busy, think about hiring professional cleaners to really get your home ready to show.
Remove your personal touches. Minimize personal items, like art on the refrigerator and framed family photos, and opt for neutral paint colors. Strangers coming through the house will have an easier time picturing themselves living there if they don’t have to imagine around your family’s presence. The more buyers you can appeal to, the greater your chances are of selling quickly.
Minimize clutter. Storage space is always a big selling point, but if your storage space looks overfull or inadequate, it will detract from the appeal of your home. Closets should look well stocked and organized but not stuffed. Kitchen cabinets should look neat, not cluttered, and counter space should be clear and usable rather than stuffed full of appliances. Pack some things ahead of time, and store them out of the way if necessary.
Make obvious repairs before you list. If there are issues that would likely come up on a home inspection, go ahead and fix them before you put your house on the market. This will save you the hectic back-and-forth about repairs and costs when someone’s in the process of trying to buy the house, and it will keep any major repairs from turning away potential buyers.
Spruce up the entryway. The first thing people see when they come to look at a possible new home is the front yard and entryway. Pressure washing concrete walkways and driveways, freshly painting the trim and door, and making sure the lawn and plant beds are free of weeds will go a long way toward impressing people.
Consider the smell. When showing your home, you’ll want to minimize lingering unpleasant scents in your home. Ensure that any pet odors are mitigated when you clean, and reconsider a bacon breakfast on a day that you’ll have people coming through the house. Invest in air fresheners and scented candles, or even try baking something—a batch of cookies or a loaf of bread fresh out of the oven will fill your house with a scent that says “home.”
Don’t forget the small stuff. Little touches here and there can really add up. Draw attention to great features of your house, like adding brightly colored throw pillows to a beloved window seat or staging your soaker tub with decorative soaps and a nice set of towels. Open all your window shades to let in as much natural light as possible, and close your toilet seats for a more visually appealing bathroom. Small touches, such as a bouquet of fresh flowers or a bowl of colorful fruit, can add warmth and tone to any room.
Make a good impression online. An online listing with photos is typically the first exposure a new buyer will have to your house. Post plenty of pictures for a buyer to look through, and ensure that they are well lit, crisp, free of clutter, and staged to maximize the appeal of your home. Photos can make or break the listing for some buyers, and your goal is to appeal to as many people as you can.
A bit of investment and some elbow grease will give your home the boost it needs to really stand out to a buyer. Catch a person’s attention from the get-go by considering curb appeal along with the interior details. Every effort you make will help you sell your home faster, and the faster you can sell your old home, the faster you can get settled into your new one.
Sources: Chicago Tribune; Forbes; HGTV; LifeHacker; Time Money.