Here’s a truth every home seller needs to know. Most potential buyers will attend several open houses on a given day, and making yours stand out requires more than a quick tidy up.
The good news is that there are many things you can do to create a strong first impression and even boost the perceived value of your home.
Decluttering will make your home appear larger, removing family items will help potential buyers build an emotional connect to the property, and installing new fixtures can freshen up your interiors in lieu of an expensive renovation.
Here are seven tips for effectively presenting your home for sale:
Create a strong first impression
Put some thought into how your entry way is presented. Outside, ensure your front gardens and lawn are well presented and any necessary repairs have been made to pathways, porticos and verandahs. Inside, consider placing a vase of fresh-cut flowers in the foyer. It also pays to consider lighting. If you have a dimmer, set your lights to low to create a feeling of warmth, or use a few strategically placed lamps for the same effect.
Declutter to clear space
Remove all your personal possessions and minimise the amount of furniture you keep. This will make each room appear larger and limit distractions as your potential buyers tour your home. You’ll also want to neutralise interiors to appeal to the widest market, which may mean painting your favourite bright red feature wall a less challenging shade of white.
Remove family items
Remove all family photos, souvenir ornaments and other personal possessions. The aim of the game is to encourage your potential buyers to envision their family living in the home. Bombarding them with photos and reminders of your family will make them feel like a visitor to the home and block them from building an emotional connection to the property.
Appeal to all senses
Our sense of smell has a powerful affect on our cognitive processes and emotions. A certain aroma may recall a childhood memory, for example, and has the power to put us at ease in an unfamiliar setting. Slide a tray of cookie dough into the oven a few minutes before your open house begins, or pop a couple of cinnamon quills into a pot of boiling water. However, avoid using artificial fragrances or burning incense – the last thing you want to do is trigger an allergy.
Do a spring clean
You want your home looking as fresh and clean as possible. This is particularly important in the kitchen where dirty dishes or grubby surfaces will make even the best gourmet kitchen look decidedly below par. Likewise, keeping windows crystal clear will highlight any views, and cleaning decks and patios will instantly boost the appearance of outdoor areas. And if you have pets, be sure to deodorise your carpets and keep your furry friends away from visiting buyers who may be allergic.
Install new fixtures
Installing new light fixtures, switches and tapware is a great way to modernise the look of your home without going to the expense of a full renovation. Likewise, ensure your flooring is in the best possible condition – replace chipped tiles, address carpet stains or refinish worn floorboards to freshen up your home.
Stage your home
There are a few tricks of the trade you can borrow from professional real estate stagers who use interior design to boost the perceived value of your home. Hanging mirrors can add a sense of space to a smaller room or bring extra light to a dim area, and replacing a king- or queen-sized bed with a regular double bed can make a bedroom appear larger. And arrange furniture to help buyers visualise how a space can be utilised – for example, adding a desk to an open space can suggest a study nook.
Get the presentation right and your home will conquer its open house and attract more attention from potential buyers.