It’s not just a matter of tidiness – though that’s certainly crucial. It’s about helping potential buyers to connect emotionally with your space. That means making your home welcoming to as many people as possible, often at the cost of your own personal taste. This isn’t easy, but a professional stager can help; your realtor may even have one on staff. If a stager isn’t in the cards, there are steps you can take on your own.
First off, de-clutter. Chances are you’ve got twice as much stuff as you need to show your home to its best potential. In addition to removing obvious messes, this includes things like extraneous furniture, children’s toys, knick-knacks and family photos. This can be emotionally difficult, but remember: the goal is to make it easy for potential buyers to imagine their own possessions in your space.
Next, fix unfinished projects. If buyers see loose floor tiles and cracks in the wall, they’ll wonder what other issues are lurking under the surface. Don’t give them cause to worry.
To make rooms appear larger, replace puffy, over-sized furniture with sleeker pieces. In the bedroom, you’re better off showing a queen-sized bed and two small bedside tables than a king with none. To find the right pieces, you can beg, borrow and, if necessary, lease.
Bright paint or outdated wallpaper? Replace them with neutral wall colours and add vibrancy with throw pillows and vases. Splurge on fresh, sweetly scented flowers for an open house; they’ll pay for themselves. Mirrors are a wonderful tool for filling empty walls. And, whatever the décor in your bathroom, thick white towels will lend a hotel-like vibe.
For extra curb appeal, give your front door a fresh coat of paint and temporarily take your storm door off the hinges. Invest in two urns; plant them with pretty, seasonal flowers. In winter, cedar branches draped with ribbon are just as beautiful.
I can guarantee that all this work will have a huge payoff, so keep your eyes on the prize. After all, in your brand new home, you can have things exactly the way you want!
Marnie Bennett is the marketing consultant for Bennett Property Shop Realty, a full premium service real estate brokerage specializing in marketing and selling new and resale homes, condominiums and investment real estate. Marnie is the host of the weekly radio show the Real Estate Hour, a millionaire real estate investor and a wealth management coach. bennettpros.com