The increased popularity of HGTV shows where professionals do their magic in making a less than desirable house look incredible have increased the expectations from both sellers and buyers regarding the look and feel delivered by the home shopping experience. Even if the house is older and inhabited the expectation is for a magazine-life uncluttered look that allows the buyer to imagine their furniture and accessories in the same context. Since most of us won’t ever be able to be casted for Love it or List it here are a few tips that will help you create an ambiance that will make buyers fall in love with your abode.
Less is More
The very first move toward successful staging is to remove clutter and items that convey your individuality and that of your family members. What works for us is to purchase several large storage bins and name them after each room or area of the house. For most houses you will need at least two large bins per room. Remove family photos, awards, toys, and controversial books. Say bonjour to travel souvenirs and taxidermy if you are into hunting. While that Moose head may be cool in your personal opinion it can become a deterrent in securing a sale.
While some realtors may suggest that you store these bins in your garage we feel the best approach is to secure a storage room. After all, you want potential owners to also fall in love with your garage. After removing items that fit inside your bins consider how your furniture works together. You may want to remove some pieces to create a sense of space or use them in a different room of the house to increase the feel of comfort and luxury. When we stage homes we often look for opportunities to create sitting and relaxation nooks in every large bedroom.
Potential buyers will open your cabinets and drawers. They will peek into the water heater closet and will most certainly look under your kitchen sink. Be prepared. Deep cleaning includes closet organization, dusting of higher surfaces, lamps, fans, grout, tile, faucets and flooring. If you have carpeted surface it is imperative that you secure a professional cleaning service. If the carpet is way past it’s prime investing in replacing the carpeting will most certainly increase the speed of the sale and the possibility of getting a full price offer for your home.
Replace Damaged Goods
A coat of paint in a single color across the whole house will create visual cohesiveness. Replacing linoleum with tile will convey value and quality and replacing carpets for a trendy but neutral color may be the thing that tips the balance in your favor. Caulking and adding crown molding is a low cost alternative to more expensive updates and you can complete the whole house in a few hours over a weekend. If you have a white metal sink you can resurface it using spray paint. If needed install new and more updated faucets and showerheads.
Invest in a few natural plants to give an air of freshness and modern hospitality to your home. You don’t need to go for big and expensive plants. A few little succulents or bromeliads here and there will do the trick.
Make it Smell Neutral
Don’t use heavy perfumes to mask odors. Instead opt for candles with fruit or food fragrances such as vanilla or chocolate chip cookie.
Shannon Smith is the lead blogger for Master’s Touch Carpet Care, a Professional Group dedicated to Carpet Cleaning in Mckinney, TX. Shannon provides tips on DIY, home improvement and cleaning.