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Get your home ready for sale

Selena Dehne is a marketing and public relations manager for JIST Publishing, freelance writer and life-long Hoosier. She covers home, entertaining, and holiday topics for SheKnows.com and FabulousLiving.com. Selena has also published do...

Prepare for success

When your home is for sale, preparation is the key to a successful showing or open house. If you’re wondering what simple steps you can take to impress buyers and make your house stand out from the hoard of others flooding the market, consider the following tips.

Realtor showing a house

Prepare for success

When your home is for sale, preparation is the key to a successful showing or open house. If you’re wondering what simple steps you can take to impress buyers and make your house stand out from the hoard of others flooding the market, consider the following tips.

Depersonalize the house

When potential buyers tour your home, you want them to be able to envision themselves living there. That can be difficult for them to do if your home’s style or décor clashes with their own preferences. That’s why Lisa Lynch, a home staging professional, says, “It is best to minimize your personal taste so that your home will appeal to a broader range of people.”

In regard to bedding, area carpets, drapes, and pillows Lynch suggests replacing strong patterns with solid colors. She also recommends taking down dramatic art that may not be appealing to other people.

According to Sheila Salvitti, a realtor and accredited home-staging specialist, leaving personal photos out for buyers to see is a big mistake if you want them to picture themselves in your home. “If you like the accessorized look, fill your pretty frames with gorgeous sheets of wrapping paper or graphic scrapbook paper instead,” she suggests.

paint canTransform rooms with fresh paint

“A new coat of paint creates a fresh atmosphere in the home,” says Lynch. “Consider repainting a room if you have dated wallpaper or dirty walls that won’t come clean. Also, whenever possible, paint over dark or dramatic colors. A wider range of people will like soft, neutral hues that are not too taste specific.”

Give your kitchen appliances a makeover

A gorgeous, highly-efficient kitchen is a must for many buyers in the housing market. According to Lynch, “Your kitchen appliances are the heart of the kitchen and the newer they look the better they look.” She recommends using Mr. Clean Multi Purpose Cleaner spray to give appliance surfaces an instant facelift.

If a thorough cleaning isn’t enough to give your appliances the transformation you were striving for, Salvitti suggests painting them with high-gloss black appliance paint or covering them in stainless steel contact paper to instantly make them look new.

Spend extra time cleaning your bathrooms

Nothing turns potential buyers off faster than a gritty, grimy bathroom so, if you want to sell your home, you better ensure these spaces look spotless. Lynch suggests running the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Bath Scrubber around sinks and tubs to give them a polished, unused appearance.

If your tile looks outdated, Salvitti suggests glazing it white instead of replacing it. “Make sure you hire a professional for this job. You’ll have to spend a little money, but you’ll still spend far less than you would on a remodel,” she explains.

Lynch adds that part of the cleaning process involves tucking away personal hygiene items such as a toothbrushes, deodorants, and lotions. “Because most bathrooms don’t have much counter space, show off what you have by keeping them mostly clear,” she explains.

Another inexpensive trick that will go a long way in boosting the wow factor of your bathroom is to update your bath and hand towels. “White works well with almost any décor and helps give your bathroom the ‘spa look’ that is currently very popular,” says Lynch.

Use appealing scents to make the house seem cozy

“When your home is on the market, always try to create good feeling through the senses. Keep scents simple and not overpowering. Light a few candles, use reed air diffusers, potpourri, or bake cookies,” suggests Lynch.

Salvitti prefers another trick: “Instead, put cinnamon sticks on a tray in your oven. Warm them up and leave the oven open for a few minutes before you leave the house.”

More on home ownership

Buying a home on the post-recession market
How to decide if you should buy or rent a house
The hidden costs of home buying

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