Home Buying

Stage to sell

You've listed your home and you need to get ready for your potential buyers. There is a tricky balance here; you want it to look like someone lives there, but you don't want it so personalized that your potential buyers can't envision themselves living there.

Here are a few ways you can create instant appeal:

If it's Empty, Have it Staged: You might think a blank canvas is helpful for a buyer (it's not). People need a frame of reference in terms of size/proportion. They'll know if their sofa will fit in the room if they see one. There's a tendency to think that by taking everything out of the room that it will appear bigger (it won't). This is not to say that you shouldn't pare down what is in the room, but don't leave it empty.

Fix a leak: A drippy faucet suggests expensive plumbing repairs.

Tighten a wiggle or jiggle: Get a grip on loose doorknobs and drawer pulls.

Safety First: That objet d'art might create an obstacle course. If someone is in danger of tripping over it, store it away. Avoid Magic Carpet Rides and get rug pads for area rugs.

Curb Appeal: When your yard is weeded, trimmed and mowed you'll get the right attention before someone even walks through the front door. Speaking of the front door…give it a fresh coat of paint (first impressions count).

Spruce Up, be Smart: avoid major money-sucking improvements: Pot some plants and flowers, but don't build a new deck.

Lighten up! Lose heavy drapery and flood the home with light. Wash the windows.

De-Gender: Your daughter loves everything pretty princess pink, but not every homebuyer does. Make sure a room isn't too gender specific; buyers might have a hard time envisioning themselves in a room with a sports theme or a cartoon character.

Amplify Storage: Isn't your home always cleanest right before you are expecting company? Make an appointment to have clothing and housewares collected. Freeing up that space in your closets makes your storage space look larger.

Board the pets: Some members of your family have four legs, but your potential buyer might have bad allergies or a fear of dogs or cats. It's best to find them a place to stay while you show your home. Vacuum thoroughly and give the place a good spritzing with fabric refresher/odor eliminator.

Practice Minimalism: Purge closets, eliminate clutter, and remove knickknacks.

Touch it Up: Erase wall scuffs, touch up paint where needed.