You love your house. It suits your personality and style, perfectly representing your family. How could others not see how wonderful it is and want to buy it? Many a real estate agent has heard this from clients when it comes time to stage their home for sale. Unfortunately, an abundance of personal style can keep potential buyers from envisioning your house as theirs. Follow these tips when staging to make potential buyers feel at home during open houses and showings.
Declutter and clean inside — Fingers crossed, you will be moving shortly anyway, so why not take the time now to go through everything and eliminate what won’t make the move to your new house. This includes cleaning out cabinets and clearing off countertops. If a room has too much furniture, consider moving nonessential pieces to the garage. Start boxes for smaller items and thin out the number of framed photos and personal mementoes on display. You can store the boxes in the garage, as buyers don’t mind a full garage as much as they do a cluttered room. Who doesn’t have stuff in their garage, after all?
Once you have gone through everything in your home and streamlined the rooms, bring in professional cleaning services to make everything sparkle and shine. A cleaning crew can move through your house in a fraction of the time. Also, have the carpets and/or tile professionally steamed so buyers won’t mentally add that to the list of tasks that would need to be done before moving in.
Create curb appeal outside — Potential buyers get their first impression of your home when they pull up outside, so make it a good one. Have your landscapers clean up any seasonal debris from the yard, trim trees, power wash porches and patios, and patch any bare spots on the lawn. If you have flowerbeds already, replace any dead plants with fresh, colorful flowers. If you do not have flowerbeds, install portable planters to add greenery and color to your outside spaces. Their portability also allows you take them with you when you move. And just as you did inside, reduce the amount of personal mementos outside. For example, if you have a flag from your alma mater hanging out front, pack it up now.
Keep your house show ready — Depending on your home and the local housing market, it may take a while for your house to sell. Keeping it ready for potential buyers proves vital to getting an offer, as you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity because you didn’t keep your home neat and tidy both inside and out.
Have everyone in the family keep their respective areas in order and have your cleaners in once a week at a minimum. On the day of any open house or showing, add fresh flowers throughout and open all window treatments to let in sunlight. If weather permits, open the windows and doors, as well, to let in fresh air. Avoid using any fragrance sprays or burning any scented candles, as you have no idea how particular potential buyers may react to what you consider a pleasant smell.
In addition to these tips for staging your home, also stage your family. While you will have plenty of notice to clear the house of kids and pets before an open house, you might not with all showings. Simply send the kids outside to play while the potential buyers take a look, and be sure to keep Spot on a leash so that when the buyers head outside, your family dog doesn’t make an impression of his own.