Because our homes aren’t just where we live — they’re also a significant investment — when we sell, we hope to get the most out of our investment. There are a few things you can do to make sure your home shows well and sells quickly — at the highest possible price.
Making the Most of Your Space
How furniture is laid out in a room can have a big impact on how big (or small) the room looks. Your lifestyle may really suit the two love seats, couch and chair you’ve got crammed into the family room, or the table, with both leaves in it that seats eight in the kitchen. The big toy box and all the shoes in the hallway may be necessary facts of life for you. Your home office, with its overflowing bookshelves and file cabinet, well… that’s just the way you work. But these things can really add up to making a good-sized space seem smaller, and less desirable to a buyer for the price you’re asking.
Consider making small changes while your home is being shown. Would your family room look larger with two love seats facing each other? Would the kitchen feel more open with a table for just four? Would the office be more accessible with the books behind doors and the file cabinet tucked under the desk? Would the hallway seem more welcoming if the toy box was in a closet, and the shoes were on a rack? By removing, downsizing and rearranging items you can ensure prospective buyers have a clear path to move through your space, adding to its feeling of spaciousness and increasing the value for them.
The Art of Un-decor
Your place is probably decorated perfectly to suit your tastes. You love it — but it’s entirely possible that only you could love it which could really limit the number of new purchasers that are going to love it and want to buy it.
Taste is a very personal thing, and if your style leans towards very bold, wild or dark colours, or having every room be very different from the last, most new purchasers will only see your home from the point of view of how much work and expense it will take them to reverse all your decorating decisions.
Keep walls and window coverings neutral and try to create a colour flow from room to room. Neutral is what shows best and sells best — something real estate agents have proven time and time again.
If you’ve already got a neutral palette, make sure it’s fresh and up to date. Sometimes just washing walls in high traffic areas helps, other times a single coat of paint to touch up is required. A fresh coat of paint on baseboards and ceilings can really open up and light up a room, making it seem clean and new and well cared for.
Whatever you can do to make buyers feel like they can move in without any work is a big step towards selling your home.
Clutter is a Bad Word
Clutter is a very bad word when trying to sell your home. Getting rid of your clutter is an absolute must if you want your house to sell. The added bonus is that you will have a lighter load to take to your new space.
If you really love all your stuff, can’t bear to part with it and know it has a place in your new location, by all means, hang on to it but clear as much of it as possible out of your home before you list.
Make use of your attic, crawl space, storage locker, or a neighbour’s extra room; and if those aren’t options rent a storage space for the interim. If you know you really need to edit out things and have trouble doing so, enlist the help of a friend or hire a professional organizer to reduce your clutter.
A professional will not only be able to recycle your unwanted items with companies eager for donations, some may even have sources who will pay for larger items and they get the job done fast. The goal is to leave room so prospective purchasers can see where all their things would fit in.
Clean and Clear
Nothing sells a home like cleanliness and nothing devalues it faster than dirt. Make sure your place sparkles.
Great views are often spoiled by dirty windows. Kitchens and bathrooms both look better when the sinks and work surfaces are empty and clean. So even though your routine may demand that all your products and tools are on the counters, they need to be tucked away while your place is being shown. Bedrooms are much more inviting when beds are made, and clothes are hung up or in the hamper. Newspapers, books, magazines, toys and stacks of mail take up a lot of visual space in living areas, and can make these areas look messy, even when they are clean.
A professional cleaning service can get into every nook and cranny and ensure that buyers see your home in its best possible light. Once it’s clean, make sure every room does get seen in its best possible light by ensuring all light fixtures have all their bulbs. Dim rooms not only look smaller, but can create feelings of unease for a lot of people — making them want to leave fast and never come back!
Setting the Stage
So you followed all the suggestions and now your home looks so good you’re starting to wonder why you’re selling it. After all, it seems pretty nice, you put out some fresh flowers, the rooms are a lot larger than they used to be, hmm…. But make sure you do leave, at least while agents are showing it. Go for a walk, to a movie, or for a coffee — the most effective way to sell your home is to not be in it!