Did you know the average buyer makes up his or her mind to purchase a home within 8 seconds of their first visit? Time to get busy! We all know first impressions count so getting your home ready to knock the socks off potential buyers takes some energy. Your agent will have a plan for you to follow, but generally you want to make the space welcoming so buyers can picture themselves living there.
Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and exercise equipment. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, light fixtures, and baseboards to make the house shine.
Do you have big-ticket items that are worn out or will need to be replaced soon, such as your roof or carpeting? Get estimates on how much it would cost to replace them, even if you don’t plan to do it yourself. The figures will help buyers determine whether they can afford the home and will be handy when negotiations begin.
Staging can mean making meaningful, thoughtful edits to the space yourself or it can mean hiring a professional. If going it alone, consider starting with curb appeal by sprucing up your yard, landscaping and entry.
As you move inside, declutter and edit your furniture selections, choosing furnishings and accessories that create focal points and emphasize space. Agents agree decluttering is the number one area upon which to focus. You’ll want to streamline every room to minimize the objects on display, paying special attention to packing away items that are personal. Decluttering allows potential buyers to see their own objects in your home and will truly showcase its potential. Consider renting a low-cost storage unit for your excess stuff.
If you hire a professional stager, you will have access to a trained expert who knows how to highlight your home’s strengths, downplay its weaknesses and tailor its décor to your neighborhood’s demographic. A professional will know whether you should rent furniture and accessories. If you decide to invest in a staging professional, remember that it’s a lot cheaper to spend your money on staging than it would be to take a loss on the lowered sale price of your home. Your agent will have a keen sense of whether or not professional staging services are needed.