Get the House Ready to Show
Make Sure it's Your House they Come Back to for a Second Look
Here's a critical bit of home selling advice: don't even think of putting your house on the market until you've taken a close look at its condition. You usually only have one shot at impressing potential home buyers, so take some time to prepare the house for showings. You may be rewarded with a faster sale and a higher offer.
Start with the basic home selling advice on this page, then move on to page 2 if you want to kick it up a notch and WOW! buyers from their very first look at the house.
Start with the Basics
Tips for Vacant Homes
Vacant homes often greet agents and home bbuyers with a blast of stale or mildew-laden air. As soon as buyers smell mildew, they are out the door. Deal with the mildew before you list the house.
Have you ever noticed that during cold months the interior of a house without heat always feels colder than it is outside? Leaving the heat or air conditioning running while a home is on the market reduces odors and makes the house more inviting.
Keep the lawn and landscaping tidy, even if you have to hire someone to do it.
Don't Take it Personally
Okay, you have the basics behind you. The house and lot are spotless and decluttered. Now it's time to enhance the home's features so that you can nab those potential buyers.
Your first home selling step: separate yourself from the personal feelings you have about the house--it's not your home now, it's a commodity you intend to market.
Trust your instincts. Try to evaluate the house as if you are seeing it for the first time. If you were a home buyer, what would you think about the house?
How about a look that says 'comfort,' or using a popular decorating theme, such as the vintage, casual look of Shabby Chic?
Create a Mood
Is there a mood that you could create? If you're near a coast, how about breezy fabrics and blue-green colors that remind us of the beach? If you're in the mountains, maybe you could go rustic.
Study the house and brainstorm with friends or family members to come up with ideas.
Pack It Up
When home buyers start deciding how their furniture will fit into your rooms, you're on your way to a contract.
Make It More Spacious
Expose Desirable Features
Add Some Life
Plants go hand-in-hand with nearly any decor--living plants, not artificial versions.
How about fresh paint. Are walls in the house dingy? Are the colors dated? Should you clean curtains or other window coverings?
Essential Curb Appeal
I mentioned keeping the lawn nicely trimmed, but how about adding other elements to grab a buyer's attention before they walk in the door?
Your goal is to make home buyers fall in love with the house as soon as they see it from the street. And that comes with a bonus--a great overall impression is often enough to make a buyer more lenient about minor repair issues.
Every house is different, and no one expects you to be a professional home stager--but taking the time to prepare the house to the best of your abilities may put extra dollars in your pocket, and in less than average time.