In today’s over-saturated housing market, it is increasingly difficult to sell a home – which is why real estate agents talk about ‘staging’ the home to sell. The goal of staging is to beef up the appearance of the home to highlight its best features while minimizing any negative aspects of the home – and to create a feel that potential buyers can relate to. You want them to see themselves living in the home. The trouble with staging is that it can eat into your wallet. This article focuses on ways that you can improve the appearance of your home without spending a lot.
Your mother probably already told you that first impressions are the most important, and boy was she right! The first thing that potential buyers will see when looking at your home is the exterior, so you want to create curb appeal with an inviting lawn and other small details. These low cost improvements can help you put your best foot forward when appealing to potential home buyers:
- Mow your lawn, preferably with a diagonal slant that makes it look more manicured.
- Take advantage of the power of yellow to sell your house by planning yellow flowers along the walkway or in planters by the front entrance.
- Wash all exterior windows and sills.
- Paint your front door an eye-popping color, like red.
- Rent a power sprayer and spray the entire house to rid it of cobwebs and dirt and to give it a freshly painted look without the paint.
- Place a new welcome mat on the front steps of the home.
- Buy a new mailbox and invest in good lettering for the side.
- Buy a plaque that bears your house number and display it near the front door.
- Make sure that all of your outside lighting fixtures are working and in good condition; also make sure that there is adequate lighting for the outside should someone view it in the evening after work.
Rid Your Home of Clutter and Excess Furniture
Does your home contain too much furniture? Too much furniture can make any room look smaller, and you want just the opposite effect when trying to sell your home. Two to three pieces of furniture is all that you need in any room when you are showing a house; anything above that should be placed in a storage unit.
Clutter can be a real distraction when selling your home and it also sends a message to the potential buyer that you really could care less about your home – making them wonder if you have taken care of it over the years. Clean out your closets, pack up your books, rearrange your kitchen cabinets; in essence, remove all non-essentials and place them in storage or if you don’t need them, donate them to charity. Remove all personal items like photographs and replace with general artwork; you want the potential buyer to envision themselves in the home, not to wonder about the people who live there.
Clean with Frenzy
The importance of cleaning a home before showing it to potential buyers can never be stressed enough. You can do the cleaning yourself or hire a cleaning crew, but you want to be sure that your home is clean from top to bottom. Don’t overlook:
- Polishing the floors, including ceramic and wood flooring.
- Renting a carpet steamer to clean all carpeting.
- Dusting the tops of window frames and doorways.
- Washing light fixture covers and ceiling fan blades
Budget Makeover for the Kitchen
You might also consider a few small improvements in the kitchen. The kitchen is a big thing for most potential homeowners, and a nice kitchen can sell a home faster than any other room in the home. Update your kitchen inexpensively by:
- Re-grouting counter tiles
- Stripping wood cabinets and refinishing them
- Buying new hardware, like knobs and pulls
- Replace that old kitchen faucet with a new electronic, hands-free model
Freshen Bathrooms for Pennies
Although some buyers will just glance in the bathrooms for a quick peek, others will scrutinize them thoroughly. Make sure to replace any peeling wallpaper or repaint to give the bathroom a fresh look. Replace any old light fixtures with new ones, and install new switch plates. Hang a new shower curtain and curtain liner, and display fresh towels alongside a new bath math. Adorn the sink with scented candles, and stash away your personal hygiene items below the bathroom sink.