There’s only one chance to make a good first impression on potential home buyers. In some cases, a buyer can find and purchase a home in as little as 15 weeks
. But the majority of buyers on the market today will decide if a house is right for them in mere minutes. It’s your job (and one of the tasks of your agent) to ensure that a potential buyer comes away from a home tour or online search with the best impression possible. Below, we’ve put together the top expert advice and DIY home staging tips to help you attract as many buyers as possible. Let’s get started!
Judging a book by its cover
As noted above, most home buyers aren’t going to give you a second chance to make a first impression. It’s up to you and your real estate team to prepare the exterior and entrance of the home in a way that invites buyers inside. Clean and powerwash the driveway and sidewalk encircling the home. Fertilize the yard at least two weeks before you expect visitors and trim the trees to make sure it’s safe for guests to walk around outside. Plant fresh greenery around the perimeter of the lot to define the border and put up a display of evergreens or newly cut annuals in decorative urns or vases beside the front door.
Spruce up spaces with purpose
When open house guests or online visitors first encounter the inside of the home, it’s important to catch their eyes right away. One of the best ways to do this is to draw attention to the functionality of each separate room. Make sure the bathrooms are sanitized and sparkling clean. The kitchen should encourage guests to feel that the counters, storage, and cooking equipment is efficient and modern. Entertainment spaces should be lively, minimally decorated, and have enough empty space to allow people to walk around comfortably. The foyer needs to emphasize warmth and hominess.
Do repairs and touch-ups where necessary
Speak with your agent early on before taking listing photos and virtual tours to decide which home repairs are essential. The odds are you’re going to have a list of defects or slight architectural issues to clear up at home. What’s important is that you distinguish between the touch-ups that will yield you higher initial offers and those that can wait till later. Some last-minute DIY home staging tips can even net you a positive return on investment if you know which ones to target.
De-personalize your space
The art of ‘de-personalizing’ a home is one that’s recently grown in popularity. And for good reason –– it is one of the best techniques available for home stagers to boost the number of initial offers on their home for sale. Depersonalization is simple. It basically means that you remove as much evidence of your living at the home as possible. When buyers visit the home in person, or virtually, they want to be able to imagine what living at the property will be like for them, not what it was like for you. Remove political and religious imagery, family heirlooms, and personal photos or objects from public display. By doing so, you’ll encourage a larger number of open house guests to feel at home.
Get new furniture or home accessories
Not every potential buyer is going to want to buy a fully furnished house. For these types of buyers, they won’t be putting a high priority on the condition and size of the furniture already on display. However, you never know when a slightly damaged sofa or a scuffed-up coffee table will be visually off-putting to a buyer. Buyers change their minds about purchasing the furniture in a home all the time, so it’s worth the effort to purchase new furniture or home accessories if you’re worried about their condition.
Decrease the clutter
This tip falls in line with the one above about ‘de-personalization.’ Clutter is another aspect of the home staging process that can quickly damper the spirits of a buyer if it’s too prominent. It goes without saying that you can’t remove all clutter entirely. It’s best to focus on the rooms that have the most. Whether it’s stray paper, financial records, trash, unworn clothing, or extra decor that isn’t adding to the visual layout of a room, it’s best to store it off-site. You want to feel secure that when a buyer happens to open a closet anywhere in the house, the space is clean, tidy, and mostly empty.
Clean, clean, clean!
One of the last aspects of the home staging process is to do a deep clean. The amount of sanitization you do will, obviously, depend on the age of the house. Don’t be afraid to hire the help of a professional carpet cleaner or odor specialist. Pay special attention to cleaning the kitchen of food smells and removing any signs of indoor pets. Odors are one of the first things that buyers will notice in the house for sale. Remove odors, and you’re already halfway to a home staging done well.
On the last few days before you take listing photos, video, 3-D virtual tours, and invite guests in for open houses, look over the property in detail. Ask friends and other family members over to the property to determine if there’s anything you missed cleaning or repairing. Open the windows for at least ten minutes before your guests arrive, and light a mild candle in the kitchen and foyer to create a welcoming ambiance. Swap out brand-new towels in the bathrooms, ensure the windows, mirrors, and lighting fixtures are dust free, and set up a floral arrangement for a last-minute accent piece.
Reach out to a local real estate agent today
With these DIY home staging tips, you’re ready to take listing photos and begin welcoming open house guests. If you have any questions or comments to share about luxury real estate
, get in touch today! Contact Marcie Gumieny
and the Gumieny Group for more information.