You’ve done your homework, consulted a real estate agent, and listed your property for sale. If the requests for showings haven’t started to come in yet, you will most likely see them soon. Once potential buyers have decided on a budget, a good portion of the rest of a sale hinges on psychology; buyers need to picture themselves living in your home. Keep this fact in mind whether an agent schedules a showing or you hold an open house with your agent. Here are seven tips to wow buyers who come to see your home:
1. Boost Your Curb Appeal
The outside of your home is the first thing that potential buyers see, so it needs to look appealing to draw them inside and make them start to fall in love with your home. You can spend thousands to add curb appeal, but you can do and should do many things without spending a dime. The best things to do to add curb appeal add value to your home and don’t require you to break the bank. Here are some examples:
- Make sure that your lawn is freshly mowed and remove any piles from furry friends.
- Prune, trim, weed any hedges, flowers, or gardens.
- Pressure wash your siding and clean your gutters
- Remove any excess from your yard such as toys, tools, or anything that looks unsightly
- Check the little details like your house number, front door, and mailbox and replace or paint them.
- Plant some hearty and beautiful bushes and flowers near your entryway.
2. Declutter and Then, Declutter Some More
Whether you give things away, put them on consignment, sell them online, pack them up, or put them in the trash, you need to start removing items from your home. First, it makes it much easier to deal with last-minute showings if you don’t have to worry about dusting your family photos and accumulated knickknacks. More importantly, the old “less is more” cliché applies in this situation. Potential buyers cannot picture themselves and their stuff in your home, if you have excess clutter, family photos, your child’s artwork, a fridge full of magnets and papers, doilies that your grandma made, and any other really personal things. It’s best to pack your precious items up and get excited about where to put them after you sell and move to a new home.
3. Clean, Clean, Clean
It might be obvious that you need to clean before a showing, but sometimes life gets in the way. Once you list your home, if you haven’t done a really deep clean, you need to take the time to do that or hire a service. This includes cleaning out the fridge, shampooing carpets, cleaning and resealing grout on your tile floors, dusting and vacuuming blinds, cleaning ceiling fans, and any other thing that isn’t normally done on a weekly basis. After you have done a deep clean, you can maintain your home for showings fairly easily.
If you have a large family or small children, keeping your home spotless might be easier said than done. If you have a last minute showing, focus on removing daily clutter like coats, backpacks, shoes, etc. and cleaning your kitchen and bathrooms. Typically, the kitchen is the centerpiece of most homes and can make or break a sale. Make sure dishes are washed and put away, counters are cleared, and that it smells lovely. You can spray some deodorizer, throw some cookies in the oven, or throw a simmering pot on the stove with some spices to get the desired effect.
Bathrooms are almost as important as the kitchen. Make sure to clean vanities and remove any beauty products. Also, expect buyers to have a look at your tub and shower, so they need to have minimal products and be free of mildew and stains. If you run into last-minute problems and don’t have the right product to take care of the issue, vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda have endless applications to help you get the job done.
4. Show Off Your Storage
Storage remains one of the top concerns for buyers, so they will look in every space. Whether it’s closets, a bonus room, or your garage, make sure these areas are empty or clean. Once again, this gives potential buyers the opportunity to picture where their tools will go in the garage and where they can store their tubs of holiday decorations. Cluttered and messy storage spaces signal that your home may lack storage. When they are tidy and not overflowing, it makes them appear larger than they are. Remove as much off of the floor as possible and don’t forget to clean out drawers too. In areas that you can’t remove things, take the time to get some bins or closet organizers so your things are stored neatly when buyers visit.
5. Paint and Decorate
Before you let the first potential buyer visit your home, you need to paint your walls. A fresh coat of paint adds to the cleanliness factor, but you need to avoid wild and vibrant colors. Make sure to apply a fresh coat of white paint to your ceiling, too. Sticking with the idea that you want buyers to envision themselves and their things in your home, going neutral is best. Although there was a time when real estate agents would advise you to paint your rooms all beige or white, these days you can mix it up a bit. White is great for many kitchens and allows you to add a pop of color with a vase of flowers or bowl of fruit. You can certainly go beige in other rooms, but you can also use other light earthy neutral colors like warm grays, shades of ivory, and more.
Although you need to declutter and remove personal items, don’t leave your walls, countertops, and tabletops completely bare. Use some statement pieces, keep a centerpiece on your table, and perhaps a vase of flowers on your kitchen countertop. If you struggle with items that you have or don’t have a great eye for decoration, spend the money to have your home professionally staged; you should also do this if you have already moved from your home. Your real estate agent can recommend a staging company to make sure your home will wow buyers at your showing.