Impressions are hard to change, get ‘em right the first time!
When you put a home up for sale, your fingers are crossed. You want to get the asking price and you want to get it quickly. But unless your home has been exceptionally well tended and maintained there may be a few extra important details that you should consider implementing.
1. Improve the Exterior View
When a prospective buyer pulls up to your home, the best you can hope for is that they are immediately impressed. First, the home’s address numbers must be easily VISIBLE. You don’t want your visitors driving by and missing you because the numbers are obscured. Be certain that the front is well-landscaped with fresh greenery. Power wash the siding and walkways so they are as clean as possible and look new, fix any obvious flaws and repaint where needed.
2. Embellish the Appeal of the Front Porch
From the moment your guests approach the house, you want everything to say “welcome”. The front porch should be entirely enticing. Dress it up with a new doormat, blooming potted plants, and clean porch chairs. Obviously, the area should be well-swept. You want everyone who steps up to feel at home instantly.
3. Major Clean-Up
Sweep and mop those floors, get them spotless! Make the counters shine! You want the room to be the epitome of freshness! De-clutter where necessary and have everything appear spacious and trim. You may even want to hire a cleaning professional to come in and delve deep into the nitty-gritty. This is perhaps the most important step, make it work!
4. Don’t Go Overboard
Of course you want the home to be immaculate, but be realistic. You still want it to have a ‘lived-in’ feel. Otherwise it may not be relatable, making it damaging to your cause. There are a few obvious little touches to add. Put a basket of fruit out, have a laptop or book open on the living room table, or brew a pot of coffee. The most strategic home-style trick is an old favorite – bake a batch of cookies just before a visit and place the plate of warm cookies on the kitchen table. It makes the house deliciously aromatic and – sometimes – irresistible!
5. Set the Tables
Set your kitchen table as you would for a nice family dinner, so it will be easy to imagine how pleasant dining there would be. Since the dining room is typically reserved for lavish affairs, decorate it so its arrangement reflects an elegant design straight out of a home décor magazine. Use flowers, a centerpiece, cloth napkins… Now you are providing the best of both worlds, the practical and the exquisite.
6. Allow Closet Visibility
Folks will want to see ‘what’s doing’ in the closets. They want to see how much space there is. Open house patrons will expect, well, an open house. If there’s a closet that’s shallow and not particularly spacious, show how well and efficiently the space may be maximized, despite its limitations. And if you have a walk-in closet, don’t over crowd it, you want to display just how much ample space there is – hopefully more than enough to accommodate large wardrobes.
7. Eliminate Odors!
Sure, in a perfect world, everyone would love dogs! They’d understand that with our beloved pets comes a set of inherent odors. But the truth is odors can be off-putting, and it’s not a unreasonable reaction. Also, if you’ve been a heavy smoker, non-smokers will gag – they know when an area has been smoked in! Air the home out. After your extensive cleaning, spray a mix of air freshener all around and you should be good.
So there you have it. Hopefully you can address the finer details (like dishes in the sink, toothbrushes on the counter, unmade beds, etc…) with common sense. The bottom line is to create a space that any potential buyers can place themselves in for a long haul. It’s not a far stretch for them to imagine living there. Facilitate that feeling. Any factor they find undesirable, fair or not, will detract from their ability to feel comfortable. And it ain’t home if it ain’t pleasant!