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Tips on staging your home for a quick sale

Alicia is a freelance writer who covers everything from pets to cocktails, with cocktails being her favorite. Her loves in life include cheap wine, overpriced lattes, and avoiding exercise at all costs, all while trying to stay slim. She...

Clear out the clutter

Selling your home can be a stressful process filled with mixed emotions. Having it sit on the market for weeks on end doesn’t make the situation any better.
Home for sale

With a few simple tips that are free or relatively cheap, you’ll set your home apart from the other options buyers will see to help you get a quick sale.

We all get comfortable in our homes -- we like the decorations, the colors on the wall and the furniture placement. We often see no need to change or update any of these elements in our home when it comes time to sell. However, when a buyer walks into your home, they often have an entirely different perspective. The goal of any homeowner should be to appeal to the widest range of buyers possible, and that means that you have to take some steps to make your home neutral, clean and clutter-free. If you're about to move, you'll have to pack anyway. Consider this an opportunity to get a head start!

First impressions are everything

Buyers can make a decision about your home before they even get to the front door -- and once inside it can be just minutes before they decide if they will be interested or not. Don’t neglect the importance of making sure your house looks beautiful on the outside. Sweep off your patio, give the door a fresh coat of paint or at least wipe it down, set out a few pots of flowers and tend to any weeds or overgrown areas. We often hear agents tell buyers to overlook cosmetic aspects of a home that can be easily changed. While that is true, the less you give the buyer to overlook, the better. No buyer wants to move into a home and know they have a chore list waiting for them before they even unpack.

De-personalize your space

Buyers want to envision themselves in your home, and having your photos and trinkets everywhere will make it difficult for them to do that. Jessica Garard, a Realtor with The Flagstaff Elite Team at Re/Max, thinks this is the most crucial and easiest way sellers can prepare their homes. “You want any buyer to be able to picture themselves in the home. Therefore, your huge family portrait or the mounted elk head should be removed. You want the home to look as neutral as possible,” she says. No need to leave the walls completely bare, though. Garard suggests replacing your photos with more generic items like clocks or paintings.

HammerFix it and clean it up

Minor improvements can go a long way and will likely pay for themselves in the end if you have a quick sale. Holes in your drywall, stains on the carpet or toddler crayon masterpieces on your walls will distract buyers from the best features of your home. They are fairly easy to , and eliminating the minor issues will stop buyers from wondering if there are more major issues they should be concerned about. They want to feel like your home is in good repair. A fresh coat of paint will cost very little in comparison to the impact it will make for buyers.

Get tips on fixing up your bathroom on a budget >>

Fresh smells

One of the first things anyone notices when they walk into a home is odor. A strong odor can put off even the most interested buyers in an otherwise beautiful home. Smokers, pet owners and even people will children should be aware that others may smell odors in their home that they may no longer notice. For set-in smells like cigarette smoke, a paint job and new carpeting can make a huge difference. The small investment can make the difference between someone making an offer and someone walking away. Don’t overdo it with the candles or air freshener, though. Even pleasant smells can turn buyers off if they are too strong. Many buyers may wonder what you are trying to cover up or may be distracted by the smell in general.

Stage it

You may not have to purchase a thing to get your home staged appropriately. Often, taking away items is more important. The goal is to have each room look as spacious as possible. Remove unnecessary furniture, or items and furniture that makes the room confusing. For example, a desk and computer in your guest room gives the vibe of a bedroom and an office. Get rid of the office area if possible while you are showing your house. Fresh flowers, houseplants and a few bright accessories can take your home up a notch. “On average, a buyer will look at 12 other homes. They are comparing your home to many others,” Garard says. While it may seem like a pain to move furniture and items you may use regularly, the small sacrifice will be worth it in the end.

cameraPhoto-ready

Once you’ve made a few minor improvements, cleared out the clutter, taken down your personal items and have staged your home appropriately, you’ll be ready for photos. Make the beds, turn on all the lights, open the windows and remove unnecessary items. When potential buyers are browsing homes on the Internet, they may be instantly turned off just based on your photos. Don’t underestimate the importance of having a clean and organized space that looks fresh and taken care of when you take your photos.

More tips on selling your home

6 Cheap renovations to make your home more sellable
Help sell your home with professional staging
6 Tips to prep your home for showing

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