After you have finished any needed repairs, it's time to think about
how best to present your home to buyers. REALTORS® often call this
"staging". The first thing I recommend is that you
take the same hard, cold, objective look at your home that your
prospective buyers will. Would you want to buy this house?
Cleaning Your Home
The Wall Street Journal ran an article on this subject. Their
number one recommendation was to make sure that your home is
absolutely clean. I concur whole-heartedly. Your home should
sparkle! A dirty, untidy home tells buyers that they don't want to
live here. If you don't have time to invest in really cleaning your
home yourself, it is worth hiring a professional cleaning company.
This includes washing windows inside and out, cleaning blinds and
screens. Buyers want to be able to see out!
The Kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house. It
should be spotlessly clean. Clear off counters of appliances and make
space in cabinets and pantry. Clean cabinets inside and out (make
sure you get rid of those pesky fingerprints). Clean appliances,
walls, and floors. Remove all magnets, pictures, etc., from the
refrigerator. Clear off the top of the refrigerator.
A sparse kitchen helps the buyer mentally move their things into your
kitchen. Set out some green plants or a bowl of fruit. Put out some
colorful cup towels and place mats. Keep the trash emptied.
Again, these should be extra clean and sparkling.
Make sure all soap scum and hard watermarks are removed from shower
doors and all tile. Clean the mirrors. Clean out cabinets and
Remove all unnecessary items that sit out on the vanity. Keep only
your most needed items in one small group on the counter.
Coordinate towels to one or two colors only. Consider adding some scented
soaps or candles.
Living and Dining Areas
Remove all unnecessary objects from furniture and shelves throughout
the house. Keep decorative objects on furniture restricted to groups
of 1,3, or 5 items. If you have a large selection of collectibles,
consider packing and storing these objects. Less is much better when
showing a house.
Arrange furniture to create an open affect. If necessary, remove
extra pieces to make rooms look larger. Once again, less is better.
Polish furniture and hardwood floors.
Put logs in the fireplace.
Add magazines, books and flowers to coffee table and discard excess papers.
Place a centerpiece on the dining room table.
Store games and sports equipment or place them in attractive containers.
Place chairs and sofa in a conversational group.
Bedrooms should suggest peace and tranquility.
Avoid a crowded look; remove excess furniture and personal items. Use
attractive colorful linens with a coordinated bedspread; add
decorative pillows and shams to the bed. Arrange books or plants on a
nightstand. Keep the room light and bright.
Make closets appear as large as possible. Remove old clothing and
cartons. If possible, remove out of season clothing and pack it
away. Even a large closet will appear small if it is too full.
Arrange clothing and other apparel neatly. Consider adding a cedar
block for a refreshing odor.
Selling Tips and Information