When it came time to putting our first home for sale, my husband and I took a good couple of weeks to prepare our home for showings and open houses. It was a lot of work, but I can honestly say that it paid off in the end.
First impressions count. Real estate is no different.
Buyers know if they are going to buy your home within the first seven seconds of pulling up to your driveway. Does your front door or garage need a fresh paint job? Could your front steps use some colourful flowers? The front of your house needs to be inviting and entice any potential buyer to come inside and take a look.
I can’t stress this enough. It’s so important to find a place for everything. And I don’t mean shoving all your papers and belongings in drawers and closets, because people will look there too! Take the time to remove anything from your home that no longer serves a purpose or has no meaning. When we sold our home, we saved ourselves from last minute packing and stress by packing a good chunk of our things and storing them at our local self storage. Storage systems are heaven sent, especially for young families with small children. Trust me, the kids won’t even realize some of their toys are missing!
When my husband and I went to look at homes for sale, we saw houses that had the seller’s wedding and family photos, and those were the only things that stood out for us for those homes. We didn’t remember the fabulous kitchen or the upgraded bathrooms.
Buyers want to envision themselves living in the property, and your photos can become a distraction for any potential buyer. You don’t have to remove your personal photos out of their frames. Keep them in there and cover it with some artwork you can print out from your computer or if you’d rather take down your frames and pack them up now, you can easily replace them with inexpensive prints from IKEA or HomeSense. By depersonalizing your home, it also gives you and your family some privacy.
You may think that warm white is boring compared to your purple accent wall, but neutral walls help buyers visualize what other colours they could paint each room. Bold colours can be distracting and take away from the other beautiful features of your space. Remember, not everyone has the same tastes as you, and most people won’t be offended by neutral paint. Don’t give any buyer any mental hurdles from purchasing your house because they just can’t get over the wall colours.
With any home, baseboards can get scuffed over time. I, myself, notice baseboards in homes all the time. They’re an indication that the property has been maintained and cared for, meaning the existing owner has taken pride of owning the home.
The majority of buyers want to move into a new home without having to do much work or repairs themselves. So make sure your baseboards don’t detract a potential buyer from the rest of the house. Clean your baseboards and paint over any leftover marks.
Replace your dated light fixtures with modern lighting you can find at your local IKEA or home store. You don’t need to break the bank.
Replace any burnt out lightbulbs, too. We found that replacing our incandescent light bulbs with light emitting diodes (LEDs), made our rooms were brighter. Plus, LEDs are so much better for the environment.
Our first home had an open concept, but it was still on the smaller size compared to the rest of our neighbours. When we first moved in and started decorating, one of the things that helped our space feel bigger were mirrors. We put up a mirror in our dining room, which reflected both natural and artificial light whether it was day or night. Our room consistently felt larger and brighter than it actually was.
We made sure our backyard was groomed and tidy. We put up some patio furniture that we borrowed from our parents. This made our small home feel bigger because we had an extended living space where any buyer could imagine themselves having dinner or inviting friends over for a BBQ!
When we finished decluttering and making some home fixes, we hired professional cleaners. If there is one thing you should do, it is THIS. It saves you so much time and stress by having professionals clean your home. You can also speak to them beforehand if you want them to focus on certain areas like baseboards or window openings that some homeowners neglect. Professional cleaners know how to make your house spotless. It may cost a couple of hundred dollars depending on who you hire, but completely worth it!
If you don’t want to dish out the full services of a home stager, consider inviting one to your house for at least a consultation. You can decide if you want to DIY or outsource to the experts any fixes and recommendations they may have. At the very least, get a consult. Staging your home is one of the best techniques to getting your house sold.