Whether this is your first move or your third, there’s a lot to consider when it comes time to prepare your home for sale. From decluttering and cleaning, to staging and home repairs, we’ve put together a guide to help you get your existing home ready for sale, all with the help of professional stager and owner of Timeless Trends Staging, Heidi Newcomer.
1. Purge and Declutter
Picture yourself walking into a home and seeing clothes piled into a closet, personal belongings laying out across the countertops or boxes stacked in corners — not exactly the greatest first impression. When all you can notice is the clutter, it’s hard for potential buyers to see the selling features that make your home a desirable buy.
Take the time to go through closets, pantries, drawers, shelves and any other areas to organize, pack or purge old electronics, knickknacks, books, kitchen gadgets, clothes and shoes. Don’t be scared to part ways with things that you no longer have use for. Most buyers are looking for a home that has ample storage — in the words of Heidi Newcomer, “show them that it does.”
If you find yourself with a pile of items you no longer need, consider donating, holding a yard sale, or posting pieces to local buy and sell sites. If necessary, look into renting a storage space or locker to either temporarily or permanently house your extra belongings while you are going through the selling and moving process and beyond.
2. Get Busy Staging – Inside and Out
Many of us are drawn to aesthetically pleasing spaces — homebuyers, especially. Not only can staging help your home sell faster, it can also increase your financial gain. According to Heidi Newcomer, “the goal of staging is to create an open, clean and spacious feel to your home.” Especially for those that don’t have design experience, staging helps prospective homebuyers imagine what the space can look like and how the home can be utilized. Newcomer shares five affordable tips and tricks that can help you level-up your home in no time.
Freshen Up the Space with a Coat of Paint
Quit trying to position your furniture to cover any scuffs or scratches on the wall. Instead, head over to your local home improvement store for a bucket of paint and a brush to give your home the fresh, new look it deserves. Opt for neutral colors to make your home look and feel spacious.
Don’t Discount the Importance of Curb Appeal
For some buyers, the aesthetic appeal of a home’s exterior is just as important as its interior. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to wow prospective buyers by going the extra mile — stow away yard equipment, garbage cans and kids’ toys; trim your trees and shrubbery; keep the lawn cut and maintained; plant flowers to add a pop of color; or power wash the exterior. As Heidi Newcomer explains, “the exterior is the first thing that homebuyers will see when they pull up to your home — help make it stand out.”
Less is More
When you’re staging your home, you want to make your rooms appear larger than they actually are. You can achieve this by adding mirrors, keeping to a light and neutral color palette, and by reducing the amount of furniture in your home. In this instance, less is in fact more — make sure not to over-stage your home and distract buyers with what you’ve put in it. Give each room a purpose (ex., office, workout studio, game room, etc.) and design it accordingly. Eliminate bulky or excess furniture and accessories that don’t serve a purpose.
Enhance Your Home’s Architectural Features, Not Your Stuff
“Your home has been a wonderful reflection of you and your family, but we don’t want buyers to see how you lived in your home — we want them to see how they would live in it”, says Heidi Newcomer. Pack away items that would allow your buyer to profile you like family photos, personal collections, awards or certifications, and political or religious sentiments. Focus attention towards the areas of your home that matter most to buyers — your home’s architectural features. Strategically place brightly-colored objects or accents such as plants in areas where you want to draw attention and revel in the difference that it makes.
Give Attention to the Little Things
When you’re preparing your home for sale, giving attention to the little things is just as important as the bigger things. Whether it involves adding a vase of flowers to the kitchen, placing settings at the dining table or purchasing a potted plant for the bathroom counter — the little details make all the difference in the eyes of prospective home buyers. According to Heidi Newcomer, not only do these smaller details “create a warm and inviting environment,” but they also “give your home that wow factor.”
3. Make Minor Repairs or Renovations that will Matter
Newcomer says most buyers are looking for a turnkey or updated home. Instead of putting in new cabinets or flooring which can be costly and time consuming, replace light fixtures, faucets and hinges where upgrades are needed. Revive old cabinets with new hardware, remove old or heavy window coverings or update walls with a neutral coat of paint. It’s important to repair what is visibly apparent and what prospective buyers would need to repair themselves upon move-in. Fixing the leaky faucet, cleaning carpets, filling in the holes in the wall or repairing broken windows, shutters and screens are just some examples that can have a huge effect on how quickly your home sells and how much buyers are willing to purchase it for. After all, according to Heidi Newcomer, “a well-maintained home tends to net better offers.”
To make things even easier, download our checklist that covers everything you need to do to get your home ready for sale.