Prepping Your Home to Sell: How to Make Your House Appealing Real Estate
By: Alice Robertson
Throw It Out
If you want your home to be appealing to buyers, the first thing you have to do is declutter. Clutter in the home is inevitable — who among us can say we don’t have an errant pile of mail lying around somewhere? But if you are showing your house for sale, you have to create an image. That image should be elevated: the classy, clean home everyone always wants but almost never has.
To accomplish that image, you have to break out the trash can and dump everything that doesn’t have a purpose in it. Recycle old magazines, plastic cutlery, paper plates -- anything that takes up space on surfaces or in storage. Then, go ahead and clean out old books you’ll never read, toys your kids don’t play with, CDs you don’t listen to, and DVDs that have lost their purpose to streaming services. Donate and recycle anything you have no more use for and breathe a big sigh of relief, because not only does your house look its best for the real estate market, you have that much less stuff to pack!
Okay, so you’ve got all the things you do not want out of the way. But what about all those personal items that you can’t throw out? You don’t have to throw out family photos, diplomas, or anything else you love, but you have to box it up before your home is on the market. It’s true that these things make a house a home. However, when someone is touring your home, they have to see themselves in it. If they are trying to do that while there are images of you and your family every which way in their peripheral vision, it’s going to disrupt the fantasy. Depersonalize your home, and keep the boxes and bags out of sight or in an offsite storage unit.
Clean, Clean, and Clean Some More
Your home can’t just be clean if you want to sell it — it has to be cleaner than clean. Your average Sunday afternoon dust-and-vacuum routine isn’t going to do it for potential home buyers. That’s why it is a good idea to schedule a professional cleaning ahead of time. A deep, professional cleaning will iron out all of the details you have grown to overlook. In the weeks following your professional cleaning, you can touch up your house cleaner’s work and maintain its sparkling image for tours and open houses.
Take Some Great Photos
Once you’ve got your house in fantastic condition, it’s time to snap some photos. While you can always hire someone to take pics of your gorgeous home, you don’t necessarily need to head down that path. Instead, use your smartphone to take some snaps and post them online. For example, 360Panorama can help you take incredible shots that allow potential buyers to get a great 360-degree view of your space without setting foot in the house.
Of course, if your smartphone is a little out of date, you might need to think about upgrading, especially if you want to take high-quality digital photos or you’re keeping track of your listing through apps like Zillow and Redfin. If it’s been a while since your last upgrade, your phone might have trouble keeping up with those apps — or it might not support them altogether. Fortunately, these days it’s easy for those on Team Android or iPhone lovers to upgrade their device to a model that will fit all sorts of different budgets and needs, allowing you to quickly boost your tech without spending more money than necessary when selling your home.
More Tips for Home Staging
If you have holes in your walls or if the walls look dingy, go over them with a fresh coat of paint. Neutral colors are always a safe bet, but also check out these paint colors that can boost your home’s value. Your home’s curb appeal is its first impression. Improve curb appeal and create interest in your property by updating your landscaping and painting your front door.
However, before you spend a significant amount of money on paint, curb appeal-enhancing supplies, or any other staging or upgrading tactic, be sure that it’s going to be worth the investment and will actually add value to your home. It’s important to use a tool like an online calculator that will tell you how much your home is worth so you know if costly tweaks are worth making. Your real estate agent can also help guide you on which upgrades and repairs should be made based on the current value of your home and your local market.
If a home stager is not in your budget, then these simple steps will certainly help in making your home more attractive to buyers. Bring out the best of your home by throwing out clutter and putting away personal items that distract potential buyers. Make sure your home looks and smells its best with a professional cleaning you can touch up in the weeks to come. Other tasks like painting and landscaping are great ways to garner interest and please homebuyers checking out your property.
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