In life and in home sales, first impressions are
everything. Prospective buyers may look at many
homes before deciding which one to buy. Often, the
first viewing factors into whether a home receives a
second look. In preparation for the prospective
buyers who will look at your home, it’s important to
put your property’s best face forward with presale
home improvements or, in other words, to “stage”
your home for sale.
The very first image that prospective buyers see is
your home’s exterior, so pay attention to the
landscaping. It may be worthwhile to mulch and
plant a few new bushes or flowers in your yard to
spruce it up. Keep in mind that as a seller, you want
to show prospective buyers the possibilities your
home offers. You don’t have to plant a lavish new
garden, but some simple, attractive landscaping
can allow potential buyers to imagine what they
could put in the outdoor spaces, too. Also consider
hanging a seasonal wreath on your door and filling
planters for your porches. A little goes a long way in
beautifying the exterior of your home, so be sure
not to go overboard.
You should also determine whether the exterior of
your house needs to be repainted in order to sell it.
A house that has peeling paint and bare wood
spots may present as a home that has been
neglected, which in turn could lead buyers to
wonder what else hasn’t been kept up. Then,
calculate the cost of painting the house. Are you
able to paint it yourself? Or, do you need to hire a
crew to do it? Perhaps you don’t need to repaint the
whole building, but a fresh coat on the front door
could accent your home’s attractiveness just
enough to create a favorable first impression.
For the interior, cleanliness is essential when it
comes to showing your home to prospective
buyers. While buyers may realize that some
properties are “fixer-uppers” that will require some
elbow grease, a cluttered, unkempt house tends to
discourage buyers from even considering the
property. After seeing any number of prospective
homes, buyers are more likely to eliminate messy
or unclean homes up for sale.
In addition to general housekeeping, a new coat of
paint in each room can also help freshen up your
home. While you may prefer walls in espresso
brown or deep indigo, your tastes may not be
shared by the prospective buyers. In staging your
home, you want to offer a blank canvas to help
buyers imagine possibilities. This means painting
the interior in neutral colors. It also means de-accessorizing your home, especially if your
personal taste runs toward the eclectic. Keep your
accessories simple, spare, and tasteful so buyers
can envision a living space that matches their own
pictures, lamps, and furniture.
The most common mistake prospective sellers
make is to showcase their personal decorating
tastes and styles to impress potential buyers.
Instead, when staging your home for sale, think
Thoreau and “simplify, simplify” by offering the
prospective buyer a blank canvas to draw on.
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