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Home & Garden

The Dos and Don'ts of Getting Noticed - Prepping a Home For Sale

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Clear it all out. I mean it, move a ton of stuff out of your place. That goes for your beloved doll collection, family photo collages, and that couch that has followed you from house to house. As sentimental as these things might seem to you, buyers want to be able to imagine themselves living in the home; seeing personal items, family photos, and random knickknacks prevents them from doing so. Then place back in only necessary furniture, keeping in mind that you want the space to look BIG, CLEAN, SPACIOUS, and UNCLUTTERED. This isn’t supposed to be a functional room. Nope. In your home its better to clear it out if it creates more room!

Freshen up the style. Aim for a style that most buyers would like, even if it’s not your cup of tea. Furnishings that seem homey and comforting — yet fresh and contemporary — give an aura that your home is updated and well cared for. Neutrals work best; just add colorful touches here and there with pillows and simple home decor. For this home, the sellers used bright curtains and throw pillows to punch in some color and pattern to an otherwise neutral room.

Mirror, mirror on the wall. Using mirrors will make your area look bigger, lighter, brighter, and encourage sunlight to bounce all over. If you have a large family photo already hanging, switch it out for a mirror.

Don’t forget the details. Light clean- or non-scented candles, place plush towels and fancy soap in the bathrooms, a tray on the bed or coffee table with a candle and good book. I also recommend mild scented fresh flowers on the kitchen table. If all goes as planned, your potential buyers will want to stay forever.

The Kitchen. Clear the kitchen counter of appliances, spice racks, towels, and cooking utensils and leave only a few things: a couple of cookbooks and a shiny tea kettle. Random? Not at all. The cookbooks give the impression that this kitchen is built for serious cooking.

Small furniture, big space. It’s the trick of the trade: downsize your furnishings to upsize the room. If your rooms are not 20 x 20 then get rid of the big furniture. An average size room with a king-size bed, two nightstands, a dresser, and a bookcase is too much; most rooms are not big enough to have all that stuff crammed in there. Replace it with a queen-size bed, a piece of art and two lamps placed on nightstands. That’s it. I’m not even against you ironing those sheets!

Don’t forget the outdoors. Those spaces add as much interest for the buyer as the interior. Clean up your yard, garage, deck and driveway. That goes for all seasons.

White is nice. When in doubt, use white in the bathroom. It spells CLEAN, and that’s what buyers want in a home. Especially in the bathroom! (Lose the bath rugs, toothbrushes, and fuzzy toilet covers).

Plan your arrival. To the MLS that is. Many people shotgun their home for sale too soon. Be prepared with professional photography, video tours, printed marketing material and an open house schedule. My clients start preparing about two weeks ahead of the listing hitting the market. Don’t let your home go active without it. The most exposure you get is when you go live. If you don’t have your marketing plan ready buyers will skip right on by.

Round up the troops. Social marketing is a big part of my marketing game plan. People talk online, share online and shop online. Get as many people as you can to share your homes marketing to take your exposure to the next level.

Try out these tips and let me know how it works out. Cheers to the future sale of your home!


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