When preparing your home for sale, the most important thing you can do is help potential buyers see themselves in your home. That means leaving it in as neutral a state as possible while still making it feel inviting. By de-personalizing and de-cluttering your home, you leave a blank slate upon which buyers can project their own belongings. This guide will list a few tips you can use throughout your home to make it stand out. If you're planning to do some renovations, This blog post will help you decide which areas of your home to focus on.
To get things started, there are a few things you can do throughout the entire home that will make it look and feel newer, cleaner, and more inviting.
Clean or replace:
- Light switch and electrical outlet covers
- Light bulbs (use the highest safe wattage for the lamp / fixture)
- Front door inside and out
- Interior doors and door knobs
- Scrub down or repaint walls to make your home look newer
Dusting is one of the easiest ways to improve the look of your home. In just a few minutes, things will look brighter, less worn, and much brighter.
Break out the duster for:
- Ceilings (get those cobwebs in the corners)
- A/C and heating vents
- Ceiling fans
Making buyers feel comfortable throughout your home will help them to imagine themselves and their family living there. Brightening up dark spaces and de-cluttering are simple and effective ways to help buyers feel welcome while viewing your home.
Make your home inviting:
- Rearrange furniture to maximize your floor space
- Put away all of your figurines, trinkets, gadgets, widgets, and all manner of personal collectables.
- Trim, prune, and water all of your houseplants
- Remove all furniture you can live with out. Your home may look spartan - this is a good thing
- Declutter shelves until only a few books remain, if anything
- De-personalize the home. This is a big one! Remove family photos and replace with neutral art or nature photos
- Remove hanging wall art and limit to one or two pieces per room
- Use floor lamps to brighten up darker spaces
- Avoid scented candles and air fresheners. Instead opt for essential oil diffusers
Make your Living and Family rooms feel liveable by keeping them tidy and maximizing visible wall / floor space:
- Keep the coffee tables clear
- Remove any unncessary furniture including ottomans and recliners
- Put away the kids' toys
- Add some coordinated pillows or throws to make guests feel more comfortable
In the Dining Room, focus on showcasing the shape and size of the room by emptying the room apart from a few critical pieces:
- Ensure the bottom of the chandelier is at least five feet off the floor
- Keep the table clear apart from a small and tasteful centrepiece
- Limit the number of chairs to between 4 and 6 depending on the size of the room. You should be able to walk around the table wthout bumping into chairs
- Remove extra leaves from the table - we want to make the space feel big
For many buyers, the kitchen is the most important room in the house. It is important to demonstrate clenliness, order, and functionality. Remove as much as you can from the counters, fridge, table, and stovetop.
- Clear everything from the countertops
- Clean the tile grout. Use bleach if necessary
- Clean the stove, oven, and microwave
- Clear the fridge of all attachments
- Put all cleaning supplies away
- Empty the garbage and put the bin away before each showing
- Organize your pantry so it looks neat and tidy
- Minimize the number of dishes and cooking supplies on hand. If you can live without it, put it in a box!
- Scrub and polish the sink and faucet to make them look new
The Laundry room is often the least organized in the house with stray socks and long-forgotten garb lying about. You'll get a bit more foregiveness here but if you really want to wow your buyers, a tidy laundry room will imply a tidy lifestyle and a well-kept home.
- By and large, the number one tip for your laundry: put it away!
- Store sops, detergents, dryer sheets and the like in a cupboard
- Keep all surfaces clear and tidy
- If in the basement, use higher wattage bulbs to brighten up the space
- Put all of your clothing away. don't hide it in the machines
- Keep the floors tidy. Sweep and mop regularly to get rid of dust bunnies and dryer lint tumbleweeds
Bedrooms are often the most personalized rooms in the home. When it comes time to show your home, they need to be highly de-personalized so as to allow shoppers to project their own belongings into the space.
- Make the beds before each showing. Use neutral comforters with mild patterns if any
- Clear off your bedside tables and dressers
- Store daily necessities in a drawer or closet to keep them out of sight
- Organize your closets to look neat and tidy. Remove any clothing you haven't worn in a while
- Keep closet doors and dresser drawers closed
- Keep the floors clear. Vaccuum or sweep regularly
- Keep the walls as empty as possible apart from one tasteful piece of art
- Repair any holes in the walls
A bathroom should be one thing above all else: clean. The best thing you can do to make your bathroom look great during showings is to keep it clean and manage dampness after the shower. Keep an old towel handy to mop down the walls and floor after a shower to keep things fresh.
- Clean and clear all surfaces
- At the sink, have only a pump or new bar of hand soap and a clean towel
- Ensure all linens are color-coordinated
- Remove as much as possible from the shower. Get rid of the shower caddy
- Clean or replace the shower curtains
- Clean any moldy or discolored areas around the bath, toilet, and sink
- Re-caulk to make fixtures look new
- Keep the toilet lid down and remove any covers.
- Hide the garbage can, cleaning supplies, plunger, bowl brush
- Organize your cabinets to keep them looking neat. People will open the cabinet and look under the sink.
Unless it is spectacular and you really want to show it off, the garage can be one of your lowest priorities. If you need a place to store excess furniture and boxes, go right ahead but do your best to keep things organized.
- To the extent possible, sweep out the garage and get rid of clutter
- Ensure your storage strategy has a focus on order
- Repainting the walls or re-sealing the concrete pad is a great way to bring new life to an old garage
- Pack away whatever tools, toys, and stuff you can live without
Let's talk curb appeal. Your front facade is the first thing a potential buyer will see before walking in to your home. Go stand on the street and take a long hard look at your home. Do you see chipped paint, crooked storm shutters, or wilting plants? That will need to be fixed.
- Clean and repaint the front door and garage door if needed. This can go a long way to livening up your home's first impression
- Examine your trim around the garage door, windows, and porch. If it needs repainting, get to it
- Sweep off the porch, walkways, and driveway
- Borrow a pressure washer and clean off the driveway, concrete, and stone
- Give your wooden deck some TLC. Re-stain it if needed
- Clean the windows. Not just the glass but the trim as well
- Set up some patio furniture to show off whatever usable outdoor space you have. Go sparingly
Similar to your home's exterior, a yard is one of the first things buyers will see and one of the easiest ways to improve your home's perceived value. Take the time to maintain the lawn, trees, and plants and it will pay off.
- Prune bushes and shrubs to look healthy and full-bodied
- Trim back plants to keep them out of the line of sight of windows
- Pull all weeds from the gardens and lawn
- Use either red or black mulch to add some contrast to gardens
- Keep the lawn mowed, edged, and fertilized
- Remove any dead plants
- Add flowers for a splash of color to any corners that look a bit dreary
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