Before showing your house: When potential buyers look at a property, small details can make strong first impressions. There’s only one chance for a good first impression. We encourage you to try these ideas for Cleanliness & Staging to Sell to give the best first impression possible. This is one of the first steps in our 4-Step Seller Guide.
“The way you live in your house and the way you sell your house are two different things.”
Remove items that could cause visitors to stumble, trip, or become injured in any way. Inspect the house from top to bottom. Correct any potential hazard. Check carpeting and floor covering; tighten loose stair treads and handrails. This protects the homeowners and the guests.
Small repairs could make the difference between a house that is appealing and one that has to be “sold”. It is easier to show how beautiful a home IS, than to ask buyers to imagine how it COULD look after simple repairs are made. A small amount of time and money invested in “sprucing-up” can pay off. A loose doorknob or leaky faucet can make potential buyers wonder about other repairs, and cause them to look harder for problems. You can try to tell a buyer how easy and inexpensive a repair will be, or you can repair it to prevent discouragement that could impede a sale.
How does the driveway look? First impressions start with “curb-appeal” and continue as the prospects approach the house. Keep the lawn cut and edged, leaves raked and shrubs trimmed. Of course, “spring cleaning” inside and out, is one of the first steps in preparing a house for sale. Check everywhere for odors, and remember to change the air conditioning filter often.
A freshly painted front door and touch-ups around screen doors and windows add “eye-appeal.”
Breakables & Valuables
These should be stored temporarily in a bank, or maybe with family.
Light and Sound
Bright cheerful lighting creates a positive environment when potential buyers look at a house. Replace burned out light bulbs. During showings: turn on lights, open drapes, blinds and shades to reveal clean windows. Turn off the TV, dishwasher, washer, and dryer.
Kitchens and Bathrooms are very important
A bit of extra scrubbing and caulking here, can go a long way to help a sale. Potential buyers judge how the entire house is maintained by the condition of the bathrooms and kitchen. A bowl of fruit in the kitchen, or a plant in a bathroom, is a nice touch.
“Thin out” furnishings to expand pathways and create more open space. This gives the rooms a feeling of more size.
Tidy closets and store or dispose of unwanted items, before showing the house. Is it time for a garage sale? Neat closets seem larger. Here is a decorator’s tip: fresh white paint inside of an almost empty foyer closet creates another good impression.
Animals should be away from the premises during appointments and Open Houses, or at least safely confined. People who avoid dogs, cats or other pets, may not react well to them.