So, you’ve decided you’re ready for a new home. Now what? First things first, you likely need to sell or find a renter for your current home. How are you going to move it quickly for top dollar? Well, think of the emotions you feel when you enter a home, restaurant, or store. Do you pay attention to smell, clutter, curb appeal, and cleanliness?If you say no, we’re gonna call your bluff.
First impressions matter to everyone. They are going to matter when you buy your new home. And they matter just the same to the potential buyer of your current home. This is why staging your home is so important. Think minimalistic, clean, bright welcoming show home.
Here are our top tips for staging your home to sell quickly:
- Clean up. Clean, clean, and just when you thought it was clean, clean some more. Start by purging and decluttering your garage, shed, deck, and yard. This will make room for the things you want to keep and tuck away. Wash your walls, invest in a Magic Eraser for scuffs, and patch holes.
- Maintain the yard. Keep the lawn trimmed and weeds pulled; in the winter, clear sidewalks and driveways of ice and snow. Trim/prune trees and bushes. Patch/repair dead grass. Pick up after your pet daily.
- Maintain your home’s exterior. Pressure wash the siding/stucco. Invest in at least one can of paint and touch-up the most obvious imperfections first. If you have extra paint, get at the smaller flaws. Clean windows. Re-caulk windows where necessary.
- Improve your home’s exterior. Update exterior lighting, address numbers, doorknobs, and your mailbox.
- Maintain your home’s interior. A quick coat of paint has been known to work more wonders than some magicians. If you’re up for painting, ensure you stick with something very light, airy and neutral. RDo a walk-through of your home and replace burnt out bulbs and ensure all bulbs are the same colour.
- Beautify your yard. Add some plants and flowers and maintain them. Choose low maintenance plants (Wildflowers and Blue Junipers are our personal favourites, and they do well in Alberta prairie climates).
- Consider investing in necessary repairs. If your home is over 10 years old, you might want to consider replacing the windows, and freshening up the painted surfaces and perhaps exterior. Painted stucco looks sharp, too. Select a neutral colour. Dark grays are the most timeless.
- Make the entrance welcoming. Paint your front door a fun colour, add a welcome mat, a portable water feature, or even a family made snowman. These details promote positive feelings about your home. When buyers are home shopping, they can see about 5 – 10 homes in a day. It helps if they have a memorable characteristic to reference your home by, like the house with the red door.
- Minimize your pet’s presence. Great – you’ve found some potential buyers! The last thing you want to do is scare them away with the smell of kitty litter and pictures of all your cats. Be prepared for your potential buyer to be allergic to animals – because a pet occupied home could be a deal-breaker for a buyer. Consider all the items that might be on your buyer’s wish list but show more consideration to details that might be deal-breakers.
- Invest in professional deep-cleaning services. If you smoke or have pets, consider having your furnace and carpets cleaned to help reduce unpleasant odours in your home.
- Give potential buyers some space. If you know your home is being shown, don’t hang around. Who likes a lurking Leonard? No one.
- Set the mood… the buying mood, that is. Turn on ambient lighting and soft music, and make sure the temperature is comfortable before you leave. Avoid cooking aromatic foods the same day your home is being shown. No one wants to smell what you are having for supper unless you’re feeding them too!