A guide to preparing your house to sell
As you get your home ready to sell, your real estate agent will likely talk to you about staging your home. This refers to the process of getting your house ready to be viewed by potential buyers, whether that’s in person or through a virtual tour. Either way, this is when people with a discerning eye will be evaluating whether your property is right for them, so you’ll want to get everything in tip-top shape!
But how do you stage your home to ensure it attracts interested buyers? Here’s a guide to getting your beautiful home open house ready.
1. Depersonalize the space
Over the years, you’ve likely personalized your home with details that are important to you and your family. While, of course, you love your kids’ artwork that hangs on the fridge and the family keepsakes on the bookshelves, this can be distracting for prospective buyers. When they tour the home, they’ll want to imagine themselves living there, which is hard to do when someone else’s personal items surround them.
Take down any framed family photos, store your clothes out of sight, and keep bathroom counters clear of items like toothbrushes or contact lens solution. Removing these personal items will keep the focus on your home instead of on who you are.
2. Do a scent check
During an open house, nothing kills the mood more than an unpleasant smell! This can be one of the biggest contributors to a first impression for prospective buyers. Before anyone comes to look at the house, make sure to take out the garbage from all trash cans and, if possible, spend some time letting fresh air in through the windows.
You might also choose to add some small plug-ins to high traffic areas like the living room or kitchen or light some candles. Make sure to select scents that are light and pleasing without being overwhelming — vanilla or citrus are good options. Some other great hacks to get your home smelling great? Bake cookies or cinnamon-covered apples ahead of time, or grind half a lemon in the garbage disposal to get rid of any yucky, lingering smells in the kitchen.
In the bathroom, make the space feel like a luxurious spa by adding small but fragrant potted plants or a vase of fresh-cut flowers. Scented lotions and hand soaps should be the only items on your counter so that potential buyers can use them if necessary. Consider using relaxing scents like lavender or jasmine to add a calming vibe to the space.
3. Let the light in
Make your home as bright as possible — both so potential buyers can easily find their way around the space and so they can see each room in all its glory! Natural light instantly makes homes feel more welcoming, so make sure to raise the blinds and pull back the curtains.
For rooms that don’t receive as much natural light, keep all the lights switched on. This is especially important for the kitchen and bathrooms, where buyers will want to view the appliances and countertops in detail and make sure there’s adequate mirror lighting. Help buyers find their way around by ensuring they don’t have to fumble for light switches in an unfamiliar room.
Are some rooms in your home looking dark or drab? If you’ve got the time and resources, consider painting the walls a neutral color, like tan, pale gray, or off-white. Not only do these tones make the space look inviting to buyers, but they’ll also serve to brighten up rooms and even make them look more spacious.
4. Spotlight on the kitchen
Studies have shown that the kitchen is the most crucial room for potential buyers. Most people will have strong opinions about the amount of counter space, the age and look of appliances, and other preferences, like whether there’s an island, a breakfast nook, or space for their favorite coffee maker.
Consider making some small improvements to highlight your kitchen. Add some beautiful plants or a bowl of appealing fresh fruit to the kitchen table, switch on any overhead lighting, and clean every nook and cranny, checking for crumbs, rust, or dirt! You also want your kitchen to appear as spacious as possible, so put away any objects like toasters, paper towel holders, or blenders.
5. Make small repairs
While you don’t need to break the bank preparing your home for staging, you should consider making some small adjustments and repairs to ensure that everything is in working order. Ensure that all kitchen drawers and doors open easily, check that your gas fireplace starts up, and change the bulbs in any light fixtures that may need it. Potential homebuyers will want to know that the home comes with all the promised working amenities and will likely check these things to make sure they’re functional.
Do a walk-through of your home and fix anything that jumps out at you. This is a great time to patch up any cracks in the basement with spackle or caulk or touch-up chips in the living room paint. For any more significant repairs you’re not sure you can accomplish on your own, schedule maintenance well in advance of any open houses.
6. Deep clean — and then clean some more
When preparing for an open house, you don’t just want to clean like you would for a family visit or a get-together with friends. Your home should look as spotless as possible! This includes not just simple tasks like vacuuming, scrubbing the sink, or straightening sofa cushions but also a major deep cleaning.
Get the carpets steamed to help with any lingering smells, especially those that come from pets, and clean the windows inside and out. Keep appliances clear of fingerprints and unclog any sink drains. You’ll also want to check the small, hidden spots that you may typically overlook, whether that’s window blinds, ceiling corners, or behind the toilet.
Even though you won’t be leaving them behind when you move, consider updating decorative items around your home. No one wants to see a dirty shower curtain liner or a torn, faded bedspread; after scrubbing the bathtub, add a fresh shower curtain, bathmat, and new or freshly laundered hand towels. Update your bedding and pillows with something neutral and pleasing to the eye. You’ll be amazed by how much fresher and cleaner your space will look with just some simple sprucing up!
7. Clear a path
Potential buyers will want to walk easily through the space, which is hard to do with lots of furniture jammed into the rooms. When homes are professionally staged, it’s common for many pieces of furniture to be removed entirely. Consider temporarily storing things like clunky ottomans and extra dining room chairs to ensure that all the rooms in your house look spacious and inviting.
Furniture in the living room should be arranged in a way that doesn’t obstruct anything important. Pull couches away from the windows so prospective buyers can check out the windowsill and fixtures — and, of course, the view! Remove any cumbersome furniture items like firewood holders or end tables if you feel like they get in the way. Traffic flow should be clear through all of the rooms in your home.
8. Make a great first impression outside
From the moment a potential homebuyer sets foot on your property, you’ll want to make sure they feel comfortable, welcome, and interested in viewing the space. Keep the lawn neatly mowed, remove any weeds or unpleasant plants, add an eye-pleasing doormat, and spruce up any other details that people might notice as they approach your home. Make some improvements by power washing the sides of the house, touching up the paint on window shutters, or adding some tasteful outdoor furniture to your patio. During the holiday season, make sure to tone down or remove any decorations; you don’t want the space to look cluttered, and these items will also make your home look dated in photos.
To ensure a safe experience for everyone, make sure that walkways or driveways are well-lit, especially around stairs or front porches. Also, double-check the safety of these areas — does your porch need a floorboard replaced, and is the doorbell in proper working order?
If your property has a backyard, make sure to keep it looking pleasant and appealing, whether it’s a tiny patio or acres of sprawling greenery. Help buyers envision themselves living in a relaxing oasis by adding comfortable furniture with cute throw pillows or a cozy hammock with a blanket. If your Boca Raton home comes with a pool, it should be cleaned and well-maintained; consider adding stylish lounge chairs to help potential homebuyers picture themselves relaxing poolside. You should also maintain any landscaping in this area, adding tasteful plants where appropriate.
Are you browsing Boca Raton luxury homes? Contact the Jessica Gulick Group
today for all of your Boca Raton real estate needs. This team of seasoned luxury real estate professionals will be happy to help you find the home of your dreams in beautiful Boca Raton.