If you’re thinking of selling your home, you want it to look so appealing that you consider not selling. The first rule of preparing your home for sale is to look at the house and property as if you’re seeing it for the first time—just as a potential buyer would.
It’s no coincidence that getting your home ready to sell is known as staging, which, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, means, “the method of presenting a play or other dramatic performance,” which is precisely how you should think of prepping your home to sell.
There are hundreds of lists describing the most important ways to get your home ready for sale, but many of those lists are just common sense ideas, like cleaning and decluttering your home and organizing closets. Here are five things you should do that may not be as obvious, followed by five definite don’ts.
Curb Appeal – Before anyone sets foot inside, it’s the outside of your home which makes the first impression. If buyers don’t like what they see from the curb, they’re not going to care about the rest of the house. Some fast, inexpensive, and easy ways to increase the visual appeal of your house’s exterior are:
- Cleaning the front yard by mowing, raking, and weeding. Also, trim trees and bushes and repair any damaged sidewalks or driveways.
- Painting the front door using a bold color which complements the exterior colors and draws the eye.
- Replacing the mailbox. Upgrade to a model that coordinates with your home’s exterior or your newly painted front door.
- Planting some flowers that will be in bloom during the time your house is for sale. If you’re worried about flowering plants in the Arizona heat, consider a bougainvillea.
Modernize – If your home looks like a set from the Brady Bunch, with shag carpeting and macramé wall hangings, get some magazines and do what you can to bring your décor into the 21st century. For the best ideas, visit several model homes and notice the simplicity of the décor, designed to entice buyers.
Smells – You’re used to your home’s aroma, but others aren’t. Find friends or family you can rely on to be brutally honest, and have them walk through your home. Whether it’s pets, mildew, or the olfactory consequences of frying bacon for every meal, any smells will need to be eliminated.
Lighting – Let as much natural light in as possible, while ensuring the following three types of light sources are also available for cloudy days: overhead, track, or pendant lights; table or floor lamps; candle, sconce, or decorative lighting.
Depersonalize – Rent a storage unit for items that are specific to you or to store furniture that is unnecessary. Again, if you browse model homes, their appeal is the generic nature of their content. Buyers want to picture themselves in your home, and your personal items make that more difficult.
The National Association of Realtors lists the following five staging props you should never use:
Alcohol – More people will find it offensive than endearing.
The Teepee – A cultural misappropriation used in kids rooms and play areas that can also be offensive.
Dead Animal Parts – That bearskin rug needs to go into storage, unless you want PETA protests outside.
Blow-Up Mattresses – These make it look like a real mattress and box spring couldn’t get into the room.
Word Art – Buyers should be looking at the house, not reading your walls.
For more tips on how to get your home ready to sell, ask the experts at RJ Homes who are always happy to help.