With the housing market looking better and better, many homeowners are taking the plunge and putting their homes on the market. And that means showing them off!
Very few buyers want to buy a house sight unseen. This is why real estate professionals hold an open house: it’s a great way to get large numbers of potential buyers through the door and into the home. But in order for that home to be properly appealing, you must make sure it is ready to be seen.
Prospective home buyers want to envision how they’ll use the space in your home. This means staging your home so that it looks inviting but not overly “lived-in.” While there are many experts out there willing to provide you with great staging for a fee, there are a number of things you can do yourself without expert help.
Here are 10 tips to prepare your home for a great showing:
Make visible repairs.
Buyers will see things that are damaged, broken, or not working. This is the time to fix leaky faucets or slow-running drains. You should replace broken windowpanes and burned-out light bulbs. Any noticeable maintenance tasks need to be addressed. There is probably a list of home maintenance projects that hasn’t been gotten to. This is the time to do them. Make sure all broken windows, leaky faucets and nonfunctioning light switches are in working order before your open house.
Clean your kitchen.
You can spruce up your kitchen with new linens and curtains. Once your kitchen is spotlessly clean, give it some style. Remove magnets and photos off the refrigerator. Clear off your countertops, except for the essentials. You don't want your countertops to be cluttered with every small appliance you own. Consider adding accessories with a theme. Use flowers and plants to fill in empty corners and to add color. And some fresh paint can also work wonders on outdated cabinets.
Spruce up the bathrooms.
Like the kitchen, your bathrooms will benefit with a little bit of added style. Replace your old linen with new towels. Also add a new shower curtain and new soaps. Put away and hide toothbrushes and other toiletries in covered baskets or other containers. This way they are still easily accessible, but can be put away quickly before an open house. Consider adding some candles or a silk flower arrangement. Make sure you have emptied the medicine cabinets of any medications. A common crime is pharmaceutical theft so this is a good time to dispose of anything you're not using and secure anything else in a safe place.
Dress up your other rooms.
Stage your dining room table using your best china (or some that you’ve borrowed or rented) and a new neutral tablecloth with matching napkins.
The living room is usually the first room buyers see when they enter your home and is another one that needs to be visually engaging and appealing. Generally speaking, less is more when it comes to living rooms. Remove large furniture, like huge sectional sofas. Arrange the remaining furniture to create a focal point, such as a fireplace or a large window. And don't push your furniture all the way against the walls. If your sofa or chairs are starting to show their age, you can dress them up with slipcovers or nice throws.
A good approach for staging your bedrooms is to emphasize luxury and comfort. Your master bedroom should look the part. Remove any extra beds for the kids or work desks. Cover your beds with luxurious bedding or nice throws. Buy or rent bed frames if your mattresses are sitting on the floor.
Remove family photos.
Buyers need to see a home that they can envision as being their own. Personal items like family photos, however, can be distracting and should be put away before your open house. Also, if you have anything that could be considered the least bit provocative or even controversial , like hunting trophies or overt political posters, take it down for the duration.
Neutralize any house odors.
Every home has a unique atmosphere, but this is when it should be unnoticeable. Shampoo your carpets before the open house, and if you have pets, give them baths and clean their bedding. If possible, remove all your pets' paraphernalia, such as food bowls and litter boxes. And if you can't take the items with you, make sure they are quite clean. Set out vases of fresh-cut flowers. They’ll help to make your home smell nice and add a touch of color. Let in some air and sunlight. Buyers want a bright, open house, not a dark and dreary cave. Turn on all the lights and open all the curtains and some windows, if the weather allows.
Enhance curb appeal.
Take a good look at your front yard and entryway. Even though it's not an interior of your home, don't overlook these areas. Trim your lawn, weed your beds and prune your shrubs. Sprucing up your yard and your home's entrance is essential because it's the first thing buyers see. If the season is right, plant some bright, colorful flowers. And replace old welcome mats with clean, new ones. Perhaps you might even give your front door a fresh coat of paint. Also, replace old, faded house numbers, clean out your gutters and even pressure wash your home's siding, if possible.
TLC for your backyard.
For many people, the backyard is neglected and serves as a “storage area”. Clean up the back yard area and turn it into an inviting space to spend time. Consider adding furniture such as a bistro table and chairs. Stage it as a place for entertaining. Set out a tray with a pitcher of lemonade, or put out some coffee and bagels for a breakfast scene. If you have pets, be sure it is not apparent to anyone who happen to wander into your backyard. Any storage units or sheds should be clean and secured.
Clear out clutter.
Organized clutter is clutter all the same. For example, having too many appliances on the kitchen counters, piles of magazines on every flat surface of the living room, or too much furniture can make it hard for visitors to picture their own items in your house. Since the goal is to sell the house and move, this can be a good time to pack up anything that you don’t need in the short-term and put those surplus items in storage. You might even want to store a few of the larger items, like a sectional couch, while your home’s on the market.
Organize closets and storage space.
Buyers will look there and messy, overflowing closets can give the impression that there isn’t enough storage space in the house. Be sure to clean out these spaces, as well. Storage space is a vital selling point of any property. More is better when it comes to cupboards, shelves, cabinets and closets. Removing seasonal items like winter coats and holiday decorations is a good place to start. This can be a good time to sort through and donate items such as old clothes and toys your kids have grown out of.
And a bonus tip:
Hire a cleaning service.
Buyers may not notice if your home is spotlessly clean, but they will definitely notice if it’s not. A cleaning service tackles all those dusty places you might forget such as vents, baseboards, tops of door frames, and ceiling fans. Having your home thoroughly cleaned is a great investment and an easy way to make your home show much better during your open house. Pay special attention to your kitchen and bathrooms as they tend to get dirty the fastest.
In addition to cleaning your house, make arrangements for hauling any junk, old furniture, broken appliances and excess trash. Hiring a professional junk hauling firm to take care of these items can make your life easier and your property cleaner. Another option is to rent a Mini-dumpster so you can have a central place to dispose of junk and debris over a period of time while you complete your house clean out.
Hiring the Best Team for Your House Clean Out
Once you decide to outsource the house clean up part of your real estate deal, you need to determine which firm is the right one for the job. And while you can certainly find plenty of guys with trucks willing to do the job, choosing that alternative may end up costing you more than you hoped to save. This is why Junk King really is the firm of choice.
Junk King provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly residential trash removal service so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of household items and debris after the sale is complete.
Our team specializes in large waste removal and furniture hauling. We can be on location in mere minutes, so call us today! Our crew is fully insured and well-trained, so you can trust them to get rid of your unwanted items in a professional and courteous fashion.
One of the best things about hiring Junk King is that we recycle a much of the material we pick-up. This is proof of our commitment to being an eco-friendly removal service. If you have questions about what we do or what we believe, give us a call at (707) 744-4254.