Walking into an inviting home touches all the senses and instantly brings warm feelings to the buyer. Walking into a stale home yells "take it or leave it", and I have had buyers walk in and walk right back out. You don't have to spend a fortune, although you can. Doing the most with what you have is the best place to start. Here are a few of my top recommendations:
Put some lipstick on! Mow the lawn, clean up shrubbery, rake any leaves, clean the walkway and driveway, plant in-season flowers, pull weeds. Power wash the exterior, driveway and sidewalks. Paint the door a fun color if it fits your likely buyers. Remove any evidence of a pet cemetery (immediate sadness will encompass the air around your would-be buyer). Consider a book exchange box, inviting outdoor furniture, anything that says "love lives here". Consider a backyard garden. Don't have time for that? Call Yard Farm.
Pack up all your personal items to make it easy for buyers to imagine themselves making your house their home. Remove personal photos and knick-knacks from shelves, walls, and counters. Replace with a few items, simple décor, lamps. Make room for small appliances in the pantry or cabinets. Leave nothing on the floor except furniture, floor lamps and pets.
Organize your storage areas. Storage is a huge selling point. Tidy up and clear out the accessible closets and cupboards in the home and make them fun to open. Pack up clothing items that are out of season to create more space in your closets. Make the front closet a coat closet and the hall closet a well organized linen closet. Remember when it comes to storage, it's the little things that buyers love.
Clean! After you have packed up the personal items and all that you will not use or need before your move, consider having a professional cleaning crew come in and get it done. Bathrooms and kitchens are the quickest and easiest to turn buyers off. Replace damaged light fixtures and worn out faucets. Have carpets professionally cleaned. Paint as needed (baseboards especially). Clean your oven. Think twice before tossing it all in the garage-an attractive garage with room for the car, a freezer, the bikes and all the fun stuff is appealing and memorable. Clean the windows, inside and out. Remove any curtains and clean the blinds.
Avoid air fresheners and cleaning products with offensive odors. Essential Oil diffusers are nice. Scents of lemon and orange are refreshing and clean. Run a cleaning cycle on the washing machine.
Consider turning to an expert. With their knowledge of current trends and great eye for design, professionally certified stagers can transform a home in a variety of ways and have a keen sense of what homebuyers want and expect in a home. As my favorite stager and friend once said "I'm not cheap, but I'm a lot cheaper than their next price reduction." Check out Home Stretch Staging and take a tour of a home Martha and her team staged. Their work is amazing! Dress her up to shine.