Dress Your House for Success
By Timna Rutledge, CHMS
Thinking of selling your house soon? Everyone seems to know someone who has sold their house in quick order. How did they do it so fast? Super-hero real estate agent? Maybe. The perfect market? We have seen some good times. However, there are some guidelines that will help you dress your house for success and market with finesse and perhaps grant peace of mind that you’ve done what you can to notice attributes from a buyer’s perspective and present your property in an appealing manner.
First, look at your house objectively, through a Buyer’s eyes. The reason: Once Buyers notice something wrong with the house, they often stop noticing what’s right with the house. What negatives caught your eye when you walked through your house, as though it were your first tour? Your potential Buyers will notice them too. Make a note of things that may need a little tender loving care. If you find yourself saying, “That’s good enough,” ask yourself whether or not a Buyer would think it’s good enough. If you think it’s too much work, potential Buyers will think so too.
When Buyers notice more of the positive attributes, Buyers will slow down and begin to consider how your house may meet their needs, and imagine themselves living there.
So how do you begin preparing your home for the market? Here are some steps to take to dress your house for success:
- De-clutter. Consider removing at least half of what is currently in your closets, and get a head-start on packing. Store bedding sets together inside pillow cases and tri-fold towels, so no edges show. Pack away family photos and other collections to help create more of a sense of space, so Buyers can imagine how their things will fit into your home’s space.
- Thorough cleaning. Wash windows, light fixtures, and lightbulbs to make a room feel brighter. Don’t overlook doorknobs and railings. Things should be clean to the touch. Remember the outside of your house, too. If something cannot be made to look better by cleaning it, consider touching it up with some paint. This first impression can say, “Welcome home.”
- Make repairs now, in order to save money when tough negotiations come with offers on your home. For instance, if you need to replace some exterior siding that has some wood rot, do it now, so that a Buyer is less likely to make a lower bid out of concern for repairs they will need to make after closing.
- Neutralize odors. Odors can be the number one barrier to a home sale. Pet odors especially, can be offensive and bother those with allergies. Be sure to take your pet(s) with you when your house is shown, and empty your trash each night or early morning to help create an odor-neutral environment.
- Updates. Study current market trends. While you may enjoy bright colors painted on walls, or perhaps you have outdated wallpaper, now would be a good time to use some warm, neutral colors to paint and bring your home décor up to modern expectations and make your potential Buyers feel at home.
- Dynamize by strategically placing a blanket throw on a chair, turning on a lamp, open blinds during daylight hours, and make rooms more inviting.
- Curb Appeal. Consider any outdoor painting that needs to be done…the trim, perhaps? Empty the gutters. Clean outdoor light fixtures and replace darkened bulbs. Add mulch to flowerbeds, plant some flowers, or put up hanging flower baskets. Add seasonal décor for a more welcoming feel.
You want Buyers to fall in love with your house, and you can control approximately 70 percent of their first impressions by following these tips. For more tips on how to spruce up your home and lend elegance or even a bit of drama to the front entry, announcing your home’s tasteful poise, ask your Certified Home Marketing Specialist for advice.
Timna Rutledge is a REALTOR® and Certified Home Marketing Specialist (CHMS) with RE/MAX Landmark in Canton, Texas. Her web address is: TimnaRutledge.com and she may be contacted there, or visit her Facebook page.