Guest Blogger: Making your New Year’s Home Appealing to Potential Buyers
Guest Blogger #835, Entry #1976, January 1, 2013
When trying to sell your home, first impressions matter. Your home should look its most attractive before you invite potential buyers in for open houses and private showings. A clean, open-space home will appeal the most to potential buyers and help them imagine what the space could look like once they move in.
Image via: BHG
Clean Those Carpets
A clean carpet is brighter and fresher than one that’s been accumulating dust, stains, dirt, pet hair, dander and odors for years. Save yourself the effort by calling in a professional carpet cleaning team. In less than a day, they can make the carpets in your home seem like new. Give the carpets a day or two to dry before you move back furniture and let in potential buyers.
Clean carpets are crucial to maximizing your home’s sale value, and the cleaning won’t cost as much as installing new carpets. Plus, there’s a chance the new owners will dislike the carpet and tear it out and install new carpet anyway. There’s no need to spend hundreds or thousands on new carpet when a simple cleaning will suffice.
Clear Out Clutter
Even though you might be living in your home while trying to sell it, it’s crucial you make your home appear less lived-in when potential buyers come by. Buyers have a hard time picturing themselves in clearly defined, cluttered spaces. Get rid of clutter through donation, online auction or a garage sale — having fewer things will also prove helpful during your move. Put away things you want to keep but won’t use for months in a storage unit or in the attic or basement.
If you can’t put a great deal away in storage, do your best to make the home appear clean and organized. Remove clutter from tables and counters and move it into cupboards, shelves or boxes. Leave only attractive, simple decorations out in the open, such as flower vases or books on a coffee table.
Image via: Convoy
If money were no object, you’d completely renovate your home before a sale to make it as modern, clean and attractive as possible. Even if you had the money, though, there would be little point to changing your house to suit your design tastes before you pass ownership on to someone new. You can, however, make small investments that will go a long way.
Focus on affordable, small renovations that will help to erase the signs of wear and tear on your home. Some ideas include:
- Painting chipped walls.
- Removing outdated, dusty wallpaper and painting the walls instead.
- Swapping out the handles on cupboards for brighter and cleaner handles.
- Buying new shower curtains.
- Replacing the shower heads.
- Swapping out old curtains for new ones.
- Planting flowers outside the home in spring or summer.
Clean the House
The carpet isn’t the only area that could use a cleaning, although it’s often ignored when sellers try to spruce up their homes. Wherever there’s mold or mildew, you have to get rid of it, as no one will look favorably on that. Use bleach to make tile grout brighter or repaint bathroom walls when necessary.
Clean windows, dust shelving, vacuum the floors and sweep the porch of trimmings and leaves. If you have a pet, run the vacuum one extra time before potential buyers stop by, and use a pet hair attachment on furniture, curtains and anywhere else where fur tends to stick. Even if you’re not selling the furniture, excessive pet fur around the house can be a turn-off. Keep your pets away from the buyers, too.
Image via: Brown Dress with White Dots
Let In the Light
One last thing: If you’re showing the house during the day, open the curtains and let in natural light, even if you usually don’t. If you’re going to have a number of showings at night, put in brighter light bulbs, or add lamps or light fixtures so that rooms appear brighter when people are looking around.
Shanae Rosado is a contributing blogger and real estate agent. She advises sellers on how to spruce up their homes for open houses in ways such as using carpet cleaning by Coit.