Home routines tend to come to a standstill while your home is on the market. The need to keep the house clean – and not scare potential homebuyers away – means that kids can’t throw their school books on the dining room table, Dad has to pick up his stinky socks, and even the pets need to toe the line.
Keeping the house clean is a good first step toward presenting the home in the best light. But it isn’t the only step. Here are 5 tips for home sellers to prepare your home for the best showings.
Have you ever walked into a home and been immediately assaulted by nasty odors? Cigarettes, grease, cooking odors, diapers and pets all leave their mark on the way a home smells. While it’s almost impossible to rid the home of cigarette smoke without painting, there are ways to get rid of other odors.
Have the carpets professionally cleaned and deodorized.
Launder or dry-clean all curtains and drapes.
Consider having your upholstered furniture professionally cleaned.
Clean the grease from the range hood.
Keep the dog bathed and groomed to keep doggy smells at bay.
Place dishes of potpourri or scented candles in random areas throughout the home.
Like the smell of a favorite perfume, we become habituated to certain things, including sounds. If you’ve ever lived under a flight path or next to railroad tracks, you understand how quickly one can get used to annoying sounds and not even hear them after a while. Strangers in your home, such as potential buyers, will hear the yappy dog next door, however, so here are some tips to mask the noises in your home.
Play some music, softly, while the home is being shown.
Invest in a white noise machine.
Play a sound-effects CD softly in the background.
Light and bright are the operative words when considering the ideal way to present your home to buyers.
Change all the light bulbs in the home to higher wattage bulbs. Leave the lights on for showings, including closet lights.
Paint the walls. If you can’t paint, clean the walls.
Remove heavy drapes and replace them with lightweight fabric that allows natural light into the home.
Don’t neglect the outside of the house. Before a showing, make sure that the planting beds look clean and attractive and that the lawn is mowed.
4. Set the Scene
If you’ve ever toured model homes, you are familiar with the concept of staging – the art of carefully crafting interiors that appeal to homebuyers. If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford a professional designer, make some simple changes that appeal to buyers.
Create vignettes throughout the home. Set the dining room table with attractive dinnerware or create a cozy nook in the bedroom with a small table and chairs. Group items in threes, use different heights, and keep it simple.
Fresh flowers add so much to a home, from masking odors to adding pops of color and texture. A gorgeous bouquet on the dining room table can take the place of a fussy centerpiece. Night stands are ideal places to set small vases of flowers.
Bathrooms are important, so pay close attention to how you stage yours. Get rid of the countertop clutter and add fluffy towels and a new shower curtain.
Since sellers should make themselves scarce when the home is being shown, it’s important to take security measures. Lock up or remove valuables, weapons, prescription drugs and money.
Don’t leave personal items – especially paperwork with your financial information – lying around in plain sight.
Whatever you can do to make your home appear move-in ready will appeal to buyers. Tour some new home communities for more ideas and inspiration so that your home shows like a model.