If the market is slow, you need to go above and beyond to make your house sell-able. It is necessary to have a clean, inviting and exciting home for buyers to view. Not only do the buyers need to want your home, they need to want it more than all the other homes around you.
A thorough cleaning is the first step in getting your house ready for viewing. You need to perform a deep clean of every room in the house. While doing this, start moving stuff out. Your house should be about half as full as it was before your started. One way to go about this is to get a storage unit to hold all of the extra stuff while your house is on the market. You want your buyer to focus on your house, not your stuff. When you think your home is clean and emptied, let your realtor walk though and review your space, they have the experience selling homes, and will be able to give you good advice.
Next, consider the arrangement of your home. For best results, make each room open and bright. Small, cluttered spaces without much light won’t give the viewer much to work with when imagining the room with their stuff in it. In an open space, the buyer can fantasize about how their furniture will look in your space. Keep the curtains opened and the lights on to help create a light, airy feel. Move your furniture around if you need to, and remove some pieces if a room is too crowded. Create clear pathways from room to room so that it is easy to walk through the house.
You will also want to consider how each room smells. Anything too strong can potentially turn a buyer off. It is a good idea to light candles or place air fresheners in rooms or hallways to make your home smell inviting, but be careful to choose light smells.
The small details can make all the difference. Always keep extra light bulbs around so that there is never a dark light when a buyer flips a switch. All the trash cans should be emptied and the bathrooms fully stocked with toilet paper and tissues. Place a fresh fruit bowl or flowers on the kitchen counter, and set the table in the dinning room. These little things will impress the buyer.
The areas you should attend to most are the front yard, porch and front room since these are the first places your view will see. Landscape your yard carefully and clear off your front porch. A new welcome mat can make the house seem extra inviting. The front door should open easily and the entry way should be perfect. First impressions are vital to selling your house.
Once you have made your home perfectly inviting, keep up with it. Don’t let time discourage you. Use current pictures of your home for advertising, and change up the design if it doesn’t seem to be working. If your house has been on the market for a long time, changing the staging inside can freshen it up. Selling your house can be a long process, and staging it correctly will be vital to getting a buyer.
If you are selling a home that is vacant, then some important crucial pro-staging reasons apply:
- When there isn’t anything to distract a buyer from a very close inspection (ie. the white-glove or portable microscope type) you are asking for more reasons why the home won’t work than reasons why it will be perfect. Every bit of dirty paint, bumped baseboard and ugly outlet will stand out.
- Rooms look smaller. Trust me. They just do.
- It is hard for a buyer to visualize their furniture. They might not agree with your furniture tastes, but at least they will know that a couch, chair and table will fit. There is a lot to be said for keeping walkways clear and minimizing large items, but not having any furniture makes a home look small and ceilings feel low
- Any dust, dirt or broken items will be very hard to miss
- Functionality issues will be magnified. If there is only one outlet in the entire downstairs, it will be there for the world/buyers to see. No ceiling lights? If there isn’t a lamp to show how cute and effective lamps are, then there will be no reason for a buyer to excuse what used to be acceptable thirty years ago.
Realty Marketing Solutions’ broker always pays to stage her own sales homes. For between $600-$1200 a month, a vacant home can be staged. A vacant home just looks desperate and sad. At Realty Marketing Solutions we can’t say enough how important it is to add furniture to a vacant home before the professional photos are taken.