You don’t have to hire a professional stager to prepare your home for sale. Here are five proven tips that will help convince buyers to offer a higher price:
- Clean every surface. Buyers don’t want to see, touch or smell anything that’s grimy or sticky. Everything has to be thoroughly cleaned, including walls, light switches, door handles, bathroom fixtures, carpet—everything! If this sounds like too much work, hire a professional cleaner for a day. On the day of a showing, eliminate odors by emptying trash containers, litter boxes, laundry hampers, etc. Open windows and avoid cooking. Rather than adding deodorizers or scents, bake cookies before a showing, and leave them out for guests.
- Freshen up the front door. This is the first thing buyers see and touch, so it has to make a positive impression. Clean away any grime or cobwebs. Give it a coat of paint. Consider shiny new hardware. Make buyers feel like they’re entering a lovingly-maintained home.
- Brighten things up. You may like subdued lighting and closed curtains, but buyers don’t. A bright room feels bigger and cleaner. Bright light is uplifting and puts buyers in a positive frame of mind. And it gives them the impression nothing is being hidden in the shadows. So open the curtains, wash the windows, and make sure all bulbs are working and bright enough.
- Paint. This one’s a little more expensive, but you’ll know when it’s necessary. Do the walls and trim. Use light, neutral colors that brighten things up while appealing to the widest range of buyers.
- De-clutter. Your possessions have special meaning to you. But from a buyer’s point of view, they can look busy, too personal, and make rooms feel smaller. Clear out oversized furniture, de-clutter closets, remove most of the knickknacks and replace multiple pictures with single larger pieces of art (inexpensive art is fine!).
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