A question in many home sellers’ minds is, “What do I need to do to get my home ready to sell?”
It goes without saying that major issues like a leaking roof or a cracked foundation need to be addressed. But beyond those major issues, one of the biggest influences on whether buyers will love your house (and jump to make an offer on it) is how appealing it looks… and that’s where staging can make a huge difference.
Lots of people think that staging means hauling all your stuff out of the house and replacing it with expensive designer furniture and accessories. And while some sellers do go to such extremes, it’s not necessary in most cases. There are tons of ways to make your home look like a show house without spending an arm and a leg.
Here are a few of the best ones:
1 – Clear the clutter. The single biggest thing most homeowners can do to make their house look better is to remove as much “stuff” as possible. If it’s not something you use every day, pack it up and get it out of sight. If it’s not in the budget to rent a separate storage unit, just box all the excess items up and store them in the garage. Home buyers are much more forgiving of a packed garage than a cluttered house.
This goes for closets and cabinets, too. If they’re jam-packed full of your possessions, buyers will assume that their things won’t fit in your house either. Besides, you’re moving anyway, right? By putting away items you don’t use regularly, you’ll have a big jump on your packing when it comes time to move out.
2 – Clean it until it shines. Another way to add lots of value to your home is to clean every visible surface until it shines. There’s a big appeal to a house that has sparkling-clean windows and dust-free shelves. It makes the buyer subconsciously think “Wow! If I lived here my house would always be shiny and clean — unlike that dusty, jam-packed-full-of-stuff money pit I live in now.”
3 – Neutralise and de-personalise. You may absolutely love your merlot-colored living room walls and your abstract-pattern multi-hued bedspread, but many buyers won’t. It also makes it difficult for them to picture their own family in the house if it’s full of YOUR family’s pictures and mementos.
You don’t want to have a buyer who would have paid big bucks for your home to be turned off by something as easy to fix as painting or some simple de-cluttering and redecorating.
4 – Accessorise. Once you’ve cleared the decks and have a semi-blank slate to work with, go through each room and try to create a single focal point and a pop of colour. Whether it’s a couple of carefully selected throw pillows or a vase of fresh-cut flowers, a hint of color and visual interest will make the room far more visually appealing and mentally soothing.
To get some great ideas about how to showcase your home, tour a few local builders’ show houses and take notes. They don’t decorate their homes like that for no reason – it’s so they can sell houses for the most money possible.
The good news is you don’t have to spend thousands of pounds to make your home like a show house. Just pack up the things you’re not using anyway and then use your creativity to show off your home’s best features in a subtle and tasteful way. When you’re trying to sell, your mission is to make your home look as appealing as possible to as many buyers as possible, but you definitely don’t have to spend a lot of money to do it!
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