Step #3: Clean, Clean, Clean
There is nothing more attractive, satisfying, or welcoming than a clean home. If you’re too busy to deep clean—which is ok, most of us are—consider hiring someone to help. And yes, we mean deep. Top to bottom, ceiling fan to baseboards, and everything in between.
Nothing tells a buyer to “stay away” like unsightly grime, unpleasant odors, or unkempt bathrooms or kitchens.
Fewer things can have a bigger influence on potential buyers, whether positively or negatively, than a clean home. Think about it: when you were a potential buyer for your home, did the former owners keep it tidy? Did it smell nice, or not? And how did that make you feel? Welcomed and comfortable, or gross and repulsed.
If you’re selling your home, giving it a thorough cleaning—or hiring someone to do so—is going to be one of your easiest wins.
Step #4: Mind the Fabrics!
Imagine again that you’re walking through a potential new home. If you’re anything like me, tops on the radar is going to be any dirty fabrics: grimy towels and sponges, stained pillows, ratty blankets, old carpets, dingy upholstery. Nothing makes buyers wonder what they don’t see like the dirty fabrics that they do see.
Towels, Sponges & Drapes
When it comes to towels and drapes, and the like, run them through the wash, or swap them out for some clean ones. Sponges are easy. Spend 99¢ on a new one and toss the old one. In the kitchen and bath, consider setting out guest towels and soaps. In all likelihood, a visitor or two will even need to use them.
Rugs, Carpets & Upholstery
For carpets and upholstery, if you can’t borrow a shampooer from a neighbor, you can usually rent one for a good price. It’s also not a bad idea to go ahead and hire a professional carpet cleaner if the DIY route isn’t working. And definitely hire a professional for any custom upholstery.
Take a good look at your throw rugs and carpets. If carpets are badly stained, consider having them replaced. If rugs are tattered to the point of being a trip hazard, it may be that you’ve gotten your money’s worth out of them and can safely throw them out. Re-carpeting a room or purchasing a new area rug can be a tug on the pocketbook, but it could also transform a space for a potential buyer and be a nice transition in preparation for your new digs.
Sometimes we use rugs in unnecessary areas, like in a house full of beautiful wood floors. Take a second look at your entry way. Does it really need that runner? Accents should enhance the beauty of the room. If they’re functional, even better. But if they feel like they’re hiding something that shouldn’t be hidden, go back to the drawing board and consider whether less is actually more.
Bedding & Pillows
The focal and envy of a bedroom is a made bed. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but it does need to be clean and presentable. Worn, stained, or tattered bedspreads may seem like a small thing, but they can kill the feel of a beautiful room. At the very least, make sure they’re washed and smelling fresh. Clean, comfortable, and inviting is not only preferred, but necessary.
Tip: We typically spend 1/3 of our time in bed. If the bed is not kept up, this tells buyers that the rest of the house probably isn’t either.
Step #5: Rearrange
Well-placed furnishings can open up a space to a big, beautiful smile. If you’ve been thinking about rearranging, there’s no better time than when you’re trying to sell your home.
In the living areas, include an area for cozy conversation. Or, if space allows, an out-of-the-way corner for reading is marvelous. Many times, our tendency is to line furniture along all four walls. Instead, consider placing a piece or two on an angle to create interest as well as a unique arrangement.
Tip: If a room has a focal point like a fireplace or bay window, arrange furniture to emphasis and enhance it.
Step #6: Let Your Lighting Shine
Light makes a room happy, so show your rooms in the best possible light. Natural light is by far the best of all worlds, so if you’re lucky enough to enjoy good ol’ fashion sun light, you’re definitely more fortunate than most. Or, it may be worthwhile to consider a new lamp or even new light fixtures. Lighting is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most effective ways of transforming a room.
If heavy drapes or curtains block the view, you can always leave them open or consider switching them out for something lighter. Select a material that lets the sun light shine through. The same goes for any kind of blind.
While you’re at it, make sure to clean windows and screens. Like the perfect pair of shoes, a beautiful strand of pearls, or a handsome tie, clean windows can take a house from ordinary to extraordinary, inside and out!
Tip: Arrange lamps in threes, and if possible, in a triangle. This will allow light to extend throughout the room. Don’t forget about candles, which can add intimacy when other lighting options aren’t possible or realistic.
What’s Your Buyer-Wooing Super Power?
We’ve given you our two pennies on how to encourage potential home buyers, but we want to hear yours! Let us know what you think in the comments, and feel free to share any tips, tricks, or how-to’s that we haven’t mentioned.