OK, truth time: There’s nothing more disruptive to home life than to have your home on the market.
Chasing the kids around, nagging at them to pick up their clothes and toys, ensuring the dishes don’t pile up in the sink and the dirty laundry is tucked away, out of sight.
And, if you have pets, it’s even more challenging
Yes, it’s stressful to have to keep the home clean all the time. But, presentation is everything when it comes down to getting the most money possible for it.
Consider the following tips to help buyers see your home for the gem that it is.
1. Get rid of the stink
We’ve all walked into someone else’s home and smelled it – the stale cigarette odor, what they had for dinner last night or the über stinky cat box.
The problem, however, is that we are so acclimated to our own homes that we typically can’t determine if they stink or not. If you have kids, pets and smokers in the house, however, it’s a safe bet that it does.
Cigar and cigarette smoke is the most difficult to get rid of, but check out our blog post, here, for some tips.
Cooking odors tend to cling to anything upholstered, so clean and deodorize the carpets, wash the curtains, bring in a pro to dry-clean the furniture and clean the filter in the range hood.
Pet owners need to ensure that the cat box is cleaned daily and the dog is bathed frequently while the home is on the market.
Other tips to consider include:
- Washing indoor trash containers thoroughly with hot, soapy water. Then, take the trash out before showings.
- Bathrooms can get pretty rank, so Better Homes & Gardens suggests filling a decorative dish with cotton balls that you’ve dabbed with essential oils.
- Fill decorative containers with potpourri and place them randomly throughout the home.
2. Mask the noise
Have you ever lived close to an airport or, even worse, railroad tracks? The noise may have been deafening for the first month or two. Then, you got used to it.
Potential buyers touring your home are in the early stages of noise sensitivity and they will most definitely hear the neighbor’s annoying, yappy dog.
If noise pollution is a problem in your neighborhood, mask it. Here are some tips:
- Set the computer up to play a sound effects loop (rainfall and babbling water are soothing).
- Leave music playing, softly, during showings.
- Purchase a white noise machine.
3. Lighten up
There’s a reason that real estate agents tell their clients to open all the window coverings and turn on all the lights before showings. Light and bright rooms are far more appealing than those that are dark. Consider the following as well:
- Use higher wattage light bulbs while the home is on the market.
- Don’t forget the closet lights – turn those on as well.
- Use a lighter-weight fabric for drapes during the marketing period.
4. Sell the lifestyle
Model home decorators know exactly who they are trying to appeal to and sell that potential buyer on the lifestyle the home offers.
You can do the same with some strategic staging.
- A vignette in home staging is a small grouping of several objects. Vignettes can help convey the story of your home and the lifestyle it provides. Set the dining room table, create a front porch or deck vignette with a table and chairs and potted plants (like this one at suchthespot.com). Get more ideas on Pinterest.
- Fresh flowers throughout the home will help add color and freshen the air.
- Stage the kitchen and bathroom to make them more appealing. Rid the counters of clutter and glam it up with new towels and rugs.
5. Guard your privacy
Homeowners are told to skedaddle before home showings and open houses. Before you go, lock up valuables or take them with you. This includes jewelry, cash, small, high-value collectibles, weapons and prescription drugs.
Home showings are critical to the sale of your home. Doing all you can to make the home appear ready to move into will make yours the queen of the neighborhood real estate market.