No matter what your goals are in selling a home—whether you’re trying to fetch the best possible price, or are merely trying to unload the house as fast as possible—you need to make your home appealing to prospective buyers. There are many ways to do this, from making renovations and additions to your home (in an attempt to objectively increase its value) to “staging” the home with last-minute strategies designed to make the home more welcoming or subjectively pleasing.
There are hundreds of tricks you can use to stage your home more effectively, so it can be overwhelming to a new seller—but it’s far easier when you break it down into the five main senses, and try to focus on each one individually.
Sight is the strongest and most relied-upon sense, so it should be your biggest priority. Your incoming prospective homebuyers will judge your space first by what they see, so it’s a big opportunity:
- Create space. Try to create as much space in the interior of your home as possible. If you have furniture clustered together, consider moving those items further apart, to create the illusion that each room has more space on the floor. You can also rearrange your decorations to create more minimal, open spaces on the walls.
- Choose the right colors. Next, make sure you have the right colors showcasing your home. It’s a good rule of thumb to add a fresh coat of paint to every room; doing so will only cost a few hundred dollars (especially if you do the work yourself), and it can make your rooms look much more modernized. Choose bright, yet neutral colors, and make sure you choose strong accenting colors for things like window frames or specific areas you want to highlight.
- Accent with lighting. Speaking of highlighting, you’ll want to install and/or point lighting that highlights some of the most important features of your home. For example, if you have a beautiful mantle, make sure at least one strong light is pointing at it. This will help draw prospects’ attentions to the most important features of your home, and draw them away from things you may not want to highlight. Good lighting will also make the home seem more appealing and more welcoming overall.
- Clean everything. Finally, in a step that should be obvious, make sure you clean everything, including the floors, the walls, and any nooks and crannies you can find. All it takes is one stumbled-upon pocket of dust or dirt to turn someone off from the home, or leave them with a bad first impression.
Next, you’ll want to work on sound. You won’t have as much control here as you will over sight, but it’s still an important sense to consider.
- Minimize noise. If you can, try to minimize the noise your prospects will hear—especially the ones inside the house. For example, if you have a noisy washing machine, make sure it’s not running when your prospects arrive. You can also try to time your showings to avoid periods of high traffic, or the noise from school letting out, or other repeating sources of noise.
- Correct audible defects. Do a clean sweep of your home and try to correct any audible defects you notice. For example, if something squeaks, try to oil it. If your wood floors groan, try to put rugs down.
- Play soothing music. When preparing for a showing, consider putting on some light, agreeable music. It can set the mood and leave a more memorable impression.
You’ll also want to work on the smell of your home, however much you can:
- Eliminate pet odors. Many people are pet lovers, but if you want your home to sell, you must get rid of any pet odors that could influence your chances. Give your carpets and furniture a deep cleaning, stash any litter boxes you have, and keep your pets somewhere else as a temporary measure.
- Introduce aromas. Make your house smell more inviting with gentle aromas like lavender, vanilla, or lemongrass. It doesn’t take much to turn your home into something far more welcoming.
- Let in some fresh air. Try to get the windows open for at least some time before your prospects arrive—even if it’s cold or hot out. The fresh air can make a big difference.
With some strategies, you’ll focus on the tactile experience of exploring your home:
- Invite interaction. Try to invite interaction where you can. For example, you can make your chairs and couches easy to access, so your prospects can try them out. Even if the furniture isn’t staying, it can give them a feel for how the room “works.”
- Check for sticking points. Look for anything that could cause an unpleasant tactile experience, like a door that doesn’t close all the way, or a gritty feel to the stairwell’s handrail, and correct it.
- Set the right climate. Finally, make sure your home is a comfortable temperature. Prospects won’t be there long, but the wrong climate can leave a terrible impression.
Taste is, admittedly, the least useful of the five senses for selling a home, unless you’re planning on baking cookies for all your attendees (which might actually be a good idea if you’re hosting an open house). So instead of focusing on the literal “taste” sense, focus on design tastes:
- Remove personal photos. You may have great family photos, but it’s a turn-off to new homebuyers. Keep things impersonal and neutral by removing them.
- Keep decorations neutral. Now isn’t the time to put out your favorite pieces of controversial art. Instead, choose decorations that are likely to appeal to the broadest range of people. You never know who might be interested.
- Allow empty space to prompt the imagination. Take advantage of minimalism by including as much white space and empty space as possible. Let people fill in the gaps on their own.
Selling a home can be a complicated and stressful experience, but it’s much faster and easier when you have an expert on your side. If you need help organizing the sale of your property, or you aren’t sure how to get started, contact Green Residential today!
We’ll help you sell your home as fast as possible—and for the highest price we can get.