You have made the decision to sell. Now what? Contact a Realtor, stick a sign in the yard, and sit back and watch the prospects roll in? Not so fast. It’s time to shift your thinking a bit and see your castle from the viewpoint of prospective onlookers. It’s time to get real with yourself.
Next time you are out and returning home, don’t pull on into the garage. Come with me, park out front, across the street from your home, and let’s take a tour.
You are now a potential buyer looking at your home. What do you see?
Here is what the majority of buyers hope to see – a nicely manicured front yard: weeds pulled, yard art removed, a couple of nice flower pots with cheerful welcoming flowers, plantings mulched, shrubs trimmed, a front walk free of weeds or stains, clean windows, a nice front door that shows no signs of weathering, a fresh welcome mat, and a doorbell that works.
Let’s go inside. What is your first impression? What do you see and smell? Believe it or not, this can make or break a sale. Does the Eau Du Fido immediately greet you before he or she does? Can you tell what culinary delight you enjoyed for dinner last night upon entering? Is the entry clean and free of clutter or dust-collecting items?
Fresh and clean is the go-to mantra for everything you do here-on-out, which means removing cobwebs from hard to reach areas, cleaning ceiling fans and light fixtures, dusting all surfaces with a good, natural cleaning product. Laundering all pet beds and cleaning all pet areas is a must. Cleaning or removing carpets or rugs which hold lingering odors, and vacuuming dusty drapes or window treatments will remove any stale, stuffy scents. Freshen comforters or duvet covers by laundering or replacing, and pare down the throw pillows to just a few, neatly-placed in highlighted areas.
Let’s continue to take the tour of your home room-by-room. Note anything that is broken or in need of updating, such as red walls in your formal dining room, shiny, bright, brass fixtures and cabinet hardware, or dated wallpaper. Be very observant – really look hard for things like wall or window cracks, grimy electrical/light-switch faceplates, or features in the home that no longer operate correctly.
In the kitchen, clear the countertops of appliances such as the food processor, coffee grinder, or juicer. The clearer the surfaces, the more you showcase what a great workspace your kitchen has to offer. Make each surface sparkle – that means scouring the oven, microwave and refrigerator. Remove hard water stains from the dishwasher, and clean tile grout and cabinet fronts. Organize the insides of cabinets and drawers and box up most of the extras, leaving only the essentials to highlight the amount space available.
Next time: Part 2 Bedrooms and Bathrooms.
By Janice Brittain, Contributing Writer for Reveal Home Staging