In this competitive market, it’s time to up your game.
You think you know the basics when it comes to getting your home ready to sell: remove any clutter or personal effects, fix what’s broken, and stage your rooms. But 2016 buyers are a picky lot, and they can fall in — or out — of love with a home for any number of reasons, some so subtle and slight that the buyers themselves aren’t fully aware of their logic, or lack of it.
If you really want to make your home attention grabbing for all the right reasons, it’s time to up your game with these tips:
1. Set the mood with good lighting
Do swap out your bright white light bulbs for a soft and flattering wattage that gives off a cozy, yet welcoming feel and hides any tiny imperfections. Opt for bulbs that emit yellow-toned and red-toned hues. Reveal bulbs are good choices.
2. Make your windows sparkle
It seems obvious, but most homeowners overlook this one. Have your windows professionally washed, or devote an afternoon to washing them yourself from both inside and out. Even on cloudy days, clean windows will let in more light and make your rooms sparkle — and today’s picky buyers will definitely notice if it isn’t done.
3. Pay attention to details
Small details can make your home look dated without you even realizing it. Freshen up rooms with new switch plates and outlet covers if yours are grubby from fingerprints or yellowed from aging. At the very least, scrub them clean. Polish handles and hardware and use (my favorite) a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to remove minor spots and scuffs on walls.
4. Make up your beds beautifully
Create the impression that your home is your castle; your bedroom is a retreat. Make up your bed using neutrals and be sure all the beds are made everytime your home is shown. Here is an idea of how to make your bed look gorgeous:
4. Make it welcoming
You’ve got the curb appeal, but what about “walking up to the door” appeal? Invest in a new doormat and take the time to scrub down your front door since it’s probably covered with dust, dirt, oils and Pollen. Better yet, repaint it and add some new house numbers and a new porch light.
5. Don’t forget your side yard
Turn that dead space into a selling point by creating a potting station or kitchen garden, or even set up breakfast nook with a table and chairs.
6. Get creative with color
Go ahead paint two adjacent rooms the same color to give the appearance of an open floor plan. Paint your walls to match your drapery (or buy drapery to match the walls). This will give a high end custom feel, as well as open the space. Use the same colors and patterns in the master bedroom and bath to create an “ en suite” feel.
7. Update your own furniture
Empty rooms do not show well. “Stage” a spare bedroom with a futon or air mattress and bed frame. Create a living room arrangement by throwing matching slipcovers over clashing chairs and sofas. It’s all about presentation.
8. Brighten up trim
Walls aren’t the only things that need a fresh coat of paint. Dirty and dinged up door and window frames will drag down the prettiest of rooms. Repainting wood-toned trim white will also make your space brighter and updated.
9. Employ scents
Bake a fresh batch of cookies to create a homey feel (or fake it with a scented candle). Use soothing, spa-like scents like vanilla and lavender in bathrooms and bedrooms. Stay away from overpowering scents.
10. Make your space look bigger
Hang floor-length curtains above your windows to give the illusion of higher ceilings. Lay down a striped rug to make your floor seem more expansive. Use a clear shower curtain to open up a small bathroom.
11. Fake a closet organization system and get the pantry in order
Yes, buyers will look in your closet! Make your storage look custom with DIY shelves, hangers, and bins that you can get from Home Depot or Lowes. Organize clothes by color for added impact. A small bit of organizing in the pantry lets buyers know you have enough room to store everything!
12. Dress up your laundry area
Whether it’s a separate room or a corner of your basement, make your laundry area look welcoming by adding a folding surface, bins, and baskets for storage, and a designer element like a fun rug or cool wallpaper on one wall.
13. Tidy up the garage!
Install overhead or wall shelves or hooks to store bikes and sporting equipment. Create a workshop area in one corner — show buyers it’s more than just a place for cars.
14. Prepare for snoopers
Buyers will open your fridge, peek in your medicine cabinet, and check under your sinks. Make these areas so tidy Mr. Clean would be proud. Be sure to hide all medications that are narcotics-you would not want someone to be tempted to take these.
15. The power of Feng Shui
Many of its teachings can help make your rooms more attractive: avoid having the backs of furniture facing entryways, close the toilet lid, and don’t place anchor pieces like beds or sofas against a window, make sure your address is visible from the street, your entrance way should be free of trees or bushes that block the walkway.