Real estate experts call it “staging,” or presenting the home in the best light so that potential buyers can envision themselves moving right in. These are just a few changes here and there can position a home to sell faster than the competition.
1. The nose knows. A house can be perfect inside and out, but if it smells bad, buyers will likely be put off. Make sure there is no noticeable odour, such as pet smells, garbage, stale smoke, etc., to turn off others.
2. Clear out. Make sure the interior looks as spacious as possible. This could mean taking out some furniture and temporarily putting it in storage. Be sure countertops in bathrooms and kitchens are free of clutter. And pack away knickknacks that can collect dust.
3. Cater to the lazy person. Potential buyers generally want to move in and simply unpack. They don’t want to make major repairs. Therefore, homeowners should do whatever repairs are possible, within reason. If that means tearing down dated wallpaper or replacing carpeting with hardwood floors, it could mean a faster sale.
4. Do a deep cleaning. Whether a cleaning service is hired or the homeowner does it himself, tackling necessary cleaning projects could make the home shine. Now is the time to wash the windows, shampoo the carpets, re-grout the bathrooms, and tackle all of those messes that could compromise a sale.
5. Add a fresh coat of paint. If walls are bright colors or eclectic, it could pay to paint rooms in more neutral shades to appeal to the masses. Just be aware that some buyers are suspicious of paint, especially freshly painted ceilings. They may think a homeowner is trying to hide something, usually water stains.
6. Keep the home updated. While one doesn’t have to follow every trend, ensuring the home is ageless can make for a better sell. So if the cabinets scream 1985 and the bathroom is circa 1967, it could be time to do some updating.
7. Create “happy” spaces. Buyers don’t want to purchase a dark home that seems full of doom and gloom. Open the windows, turn on the lights, add lights to dark rooms and use light colors as room accents. Generally buyers want a bright and light home.
8. Avoid provocation. One potential buyer could be an animal lover, another a political activist. No one can tell who will view the home. So don’t display personal items that might offend. Take down mounted deer heads and put away books that may seem offensive. It can be a good idea to store religious items as well.
9. Clean out closets and cabinets. Partially empty closets and cabinets give the suggestion that the home is large and has plenty of storage space — so much so that it doesn’t even all need to be used. Buyers who see jam-packed closets could wonder what’s up with storage. Selling a home in a tough market can be easier when homeowners take the steps needed to stage homes for a faster sale.