Before you erect that 'For Sale' sign outside your house, you'd better make sure you are fully prepared. Allowing potential buyers onto your premises before you are ready could mean you lose a sale. So how should you present your home for sale? How do you create a home that a potential buyer simply can't resist?
Clean and classy
Focus on getting your home shiny and ship-shaped well before inviting scrutiny. Try and imagine you are seeing the house for the first time – make a note of flaws, imperfections and faults that need fixing.
Finding it hard to see with fresh eyes after all this time? Ask a good friend for some frank and honest feedback – better that they spot the problems rather than a potential buyer.
Clean every part of the house from top to bottom. Don't neglect under the beds, over the mantles and inside the closets – house buyers feel they have the right to snoop everywhere, even the fridge!
Be warned: dirt quickly puts people off. If you don't care for cleaning and are way too busy, hire a specialist firm to perform a deep clean on your property – they will get better results and it will be fast and efficient.
Ace it with space
People like spacious homes so maximize the size of your rooms by de-cluttering. Freshen up walls with neutral shades like grays, creams and tans. Remove large bulky furniture that shrinks room dimensions. Open up spaces to natural light by disposing of heavy drapes, replacing with streamlined interior shutters that allow for total control of sun and shade. There's a large range of shutters available to fit all types of window aperture and such improvements make a positive difference to how viewers assess your home.
Exploit every inch
Define the use of any spaces that lack purpose. If you have a room that is full of discarded items never used, clear it and turn it into a useful space. Perhaps it could be an office, a nursery, a craft room or playroom?
Look for other redundant spaces that could benefit from an injection of inspiration. Is the side yard full of garden tools and neglected pots? With a little effort it can be transformed into a potting up area or a sunny spot to have a morning coffee. When you make it easy for people to imagine themselves enjoying living in your home, it virtually sells itself.
Kitchens and bathrooms are where many sales falter. As these are the most frequently used places in the home, they need to impress. Freshen up tired kitchens with sparkling faucets, painted cabinetry and new handles. Give your bathroom spa-quality by staging it with neat piles of soft towels, artisan soaps and scented candles on hand for extra allure. You are moving on, so investing in a new kitchen or bathroom is inadvisable – but transforming the look of these key rooms can be effected with just a few dollars, a little time and some clever presentational tweaks.
Preparing your house for sale is all about remembering the mantra – clean, light and spacious. Not forgetting a lay-out that makes sense, enhanced curb appeal and kitchens and bathrooms that deliver – tick all these off the list and that 'For Sale' sign won't be hanging around for long...