A potential homebuyer needs to picture themselves in your rooms, quirky decorating or pictures of the kids hurts the illusion. Remove all family photos and, if necessary, paint brightly coloured walls a more neutral shade.
- Make sure everything in the house is in top condition. No torn screens, cracked plaster or burnt out light bulbs. You may have gotten used to seeing them, so tour your house with a critical eye (or ask us to help) and repair anything that needs it.
- One of the best low-cost, high return investments is lighting. People think you have spent a fortune on lighting, but you can go to any big box store and get beautiful lighting for a few hundred dollars. Many houses don’t have enough lighting to begin with.
- Be aware of scale in the house when it comes to furnishings. You might have a giant sofa that you love, but if it makes a room look small, it has to go.
- A clean kitchen. Kitchen counters should be clear and clutter free. A single bowl or vase holding cooking utensils can take away from the counter space available in your home.
- Kitchen decor. If your kitchen doesn’t have a backsplash, this is a weekend job that a reasonably handy person can tackle for little money. Invest in some gorgeous tiles. Since you’re doing such a small area, it shouldn’t cost too much money.
- Replace boring or worn cabinet pulls with high-design new ones. Consider brushed steel, which look great with stainless steel appliances, or decorative ceramic.
- Fresh Linens. Make sure any visible lines (tea towels, chair cushions, oven mitts, etc.) are brand new or at least look brand new.
Fix up the bathroom. In the bathroom, an ugly builder’s mirror can be replaced with a pretty framed mirror for under $100. For a little more. Switch out the lighting for a nice chandelier or LED lighting. It will look as if the bathroom had been renovated.
- Keep clutter to a minimum.
- Get a hotel-chic look. Replace bathroom towel bars with well-designed ones from a designer bath boutique. You can get matched ensembles that include toilet tissue holder, wastebasket, trays, etc. Aim for the hotel chic look: Crisp white towels neatly stacked towel holder, small trays on the vanity holding attractive toiletries or soaps (wrapped or unused) and scented candles.
- Fix up the master bedroom. Continue the luxury hotel look in the master bedroom. Multiple new pillows with shams or toss pillows in front, crisp white linens and a throw at the end of the bed. Keep end tables uncluttered, with matching lamps and nothing else except, perhaps a tiny vase of flowers.
- The exterior of your home should look as polished as the interior. This means neatly trimmed bushes, mulched flower beds and fresh seasonal arrangements in urns by the front door.
- A great smell makes a house memorable. Baking cookies has become a cliché, but buy a room spray with a fragrance you love and spray the house sparingly before each showing. Home staging can be easy and inexpensive, especially if you focus on the small details. Then, just stand back and let your house shine and it is sure to impress potential homebuyers.