If you are ready to put your home on the market, here’s a simple checklist you can run through to optimize your homes beautiful features. There are the obvious things like making sure your home is clean and tidy!!! You may want to hire a professional stager or simply ask a friend who has a good eye for furniture placement to help you arrange each room to showcase its size, function and livability. So, now that your home is spotlessly clean and your furnishings are staged to impress there are actually some additional and easy things you can do to really make your home stand out.
SIGHT: So, we have addressed the cleanliness of your home… I can’t stress how important this is! No dirty dishes in the sink, laundry laying around…neat and tidy!! Aside from a clean home, that first impression is tremendous. Make sure your front entrance is welcoming to prospective buyers but don’t overdo it! I love pinterest as much as the next person, but don’t let seasonal decor take over and be distracting to the buyer.
Front door: you may want to see if your front door needs some freshening up. Perhaps a fresh coat of paint and possibly a brass kick plate or new knocker. Sweeping and removing cob webs will go a long way and show your buyers that your home is well cared for, it’s surprising how many people don’t do this easy step. Adding a wreath is always a great way to welcome guests but stay away from a monogramed lettering. It’s important to help buyers feel like they could see themselves living in the home and monogramed anything will not help with that! Symmetry is your friend at the front entrance. Use a couple nice planters on either side of the door with nicely shaped shrubs and maybe add a few flowers in the mix for some color…but DON’T OVER DO IT!
Foyer: Open up your foyer as much as possible by removing too many furnishings or knickknacks. Make it bright, open and airy. This is the first impression of the inside of the home. A simple foyer table with a couple of lamps and a potted plant or candle is sufficient.
Family Photos: So, I know many professionals recommend removing family photos from your home when trying to show it…I agree…sort of. For me, I actually like seeing a few family photos here or there. To me it makes the home feel…well…homey. Again, DON’T over do it, but a sweet family picture here or there never hurt anyone.
LIGHT: For crying out loud…let the sun in! It’s one of my biggest pet peeves when I see pictures of a listing on zillow or walk into a home and it is dark and dreary. Pull back your curtains, open up your blinds and let some vitamin D in your home people!!! Of course, you want to make sure your windows are clean and free of spider webs but please don’t be afraid of the light. It will make your home show so much better and feel so much nicer.
SOUND: Ok, so I hope I haven’t scared too many people off at this point. If you are still reading this, thank you! The rest of the senses will be much easier if you have already done the above recommendations. One of the things I enjoy when I go through a model home or attend our area’s homearama, showcasing several new homes, is when they play (very softly) some smooth jazz or some kind of music that makes me want to relax and hang out there for a bit. So why not do it in your home? The key is softly! This will also help if you live in a noisy area or you hear a lot of traffic or possibly if there is construction nearby. Plus, who doesn’t love smooth jazz?
TOUCH: This one is a little tricky because you may not be thrilled about people going through your home touching all your stuff, I get it. BUT, try to include throw pillows on your furnishings with a variety of soft textures and a cozy blanket thrown over a chair or at the end of a bed. Again, it’s all about making people feel like your home is warm and welcoming and they would want to live in it. Additionally, you will want to make sure your surfaces are not dusty, that’s not pleasant to see or touch.
TASTE: The sense of taste is actually a fun one. If you want prospective buyers to linger a bit and really get a feel for the loveliness of your home, provide some tasty treats. A pot of fresh coffee, bottled waters, fresh fruit or cookies will be hard for anyone to pass up.
SMELL: I left smell for the end because I think it is the most important of all of the senses when showing a home. You could have the most beautifully decorated and clean home in town, but if it stinks then…well… you’re just in trouble. Now, if your home is clean and you’ve worked hard to shine it up and make your rooms sparkle, then you are probably ok. But, there are some things that can make even the cleanest of homes smell bad. One of the worst offenders are our little furry friends. We love them, but they stink bad sometimes.
A note on candles: A candle or two placed strategically in your home can be nice if you are having an open house but they can be problematic if using one too strong or if there are children that could burn themselves. Some people may even have an allergy to a specific candle scent. But I say don’t be afraid to use them, just be extremely cautious and use a subtle clean scent, you don’t want it to seem as if you’re using the candle to cover up something bad.
Baked goods: If you are providing a snack at your showing or open house, try baking it right in your kitchen so that the wonderful smells permeate the home. If you don’t like to bake, just buy something at the grocery store that you can simply throw in the oven and viola… you’re house smells like an inviting coffee shop and you have something nice to offer your buyers.
Open up the home: if the weather permits open up some windows and let some fresh air in, nobody wants to hang out in a stuffy room. If you have celling fans, use them to keep air flowing as well.
Upholstery: if it smells like fido, you may need to get it professionally cleaned or invest in some furniture coverings and try to keep pets off the furniture. It may be time to throw away a few of your smaller rugs in bathrooms or laundry room that are not smelling great and are showing too much wear and tear.
A bit obvious but important enough to mention: make sure all toilets are flushed, trash is taken out, dirty laundry picked up and washed or placed in a covered hamper and if you smoke…STOP it’s bad for you…or just do it outside. Pets should be crated and left in a low traffic area while the home is being shown.
Wow! I know this all seems like a lot and honestly it’s not even a comprehensive list BUT it’s some of the most important aspects of showing real estate. Our homes are our biggest asset and it’s important to make them shine! Make your home a memorable and comfortable place where hopefully the buyer will have a great first impression and very positive experience. Happy Selling!