I know this all seems terribly obvious, but I can not emphasize enough how important these things are!!!
1. Clean – windows inside and out!!! polish your appliances and clean your doors, no wet towels or dust, clean clean clean – I know you do not live this way, hopefully, but clean because these are not your friends, they will not look past wet towels or dirty dishes, this is a huge purchase for them and you need to clean.
2. Clear off your counter tops (declutter) and I mean all of them, we all pile stuff up, it is what we do, but clear them off, most people are not going to be able to see beyond clutter – any clutter.
3. Remove some furniture. Stage it and keep it simple. Mismatched peices and oversized furniture really needs to go in storage. Furniture is important, but open your house up and try to keep things simple.
4. Declutter (again) your closets and any linen closets and clean out your kitchen pantry. People are going to peak inside, because they want to know they are going to have room and if your closets are full, it will give the appearance of having less room. Organize your food pantry, I know you live there, but people really do have a hard time mentally putting their “stuff” in a house that has a lot of “stuff” in it already.
5. On that same note, this is a hard one, put your personal family photo’s away – it’s not a conscious thing, but again, people have a hard time putting them selves in your home if it feels too much like your home. They are great pictures, but put them away during the process – I am not saying every single pictures, but keep them to a minimum.
6. Curb appeal – pine straw, new mulch – is not expensive and weeds are overwhelming. The exterior of your home is the first impression. I have actually had clients that refuse to go inside a house if the exterior is a mess and the reason is simple, they assume the interior is going to match or it looks like too much work. I get this from clients that do not mind a “fixer-upper” the reason is simple, people do not mind fixing things up and of course everyone wants a deal, but reality is if they can move in without doing a lot, it is much more appealing.
7. Smells, this is a big one – you don’t want anything overwhelming, but scentsy has some nice ones (and I do not sell scentsy, so I can say that) Make sure you do this at least an hour prior to showing. Another great thing to do is bake something preferably something like sugar cookies or brownies – smells invoke all sorts of positive (or negative) senses. If you have pets, obviously clean litter boxes and if possible take your pets with you, some people have allergies, some are scared, some do not like pets, some assume they are peeing in your house and many will feel sorry for them if they are in a kennel. Now I have pets and I realize this is not always possible and I love my critters, so I mean no disrepect, but this is reality and it is noteworthy I promise. I tell you this, because I hear it all the time!!!
8. lighting – make sure lights are on (your real estate agent will obviously do this) but lights on as well as lamps and any natural lighting during the day is important as well.
9. Photos are so important!!!! Almost every buyer will look on the internet before they come to your home and this is absolutely the reason they will or will not often view your home. If they are organized and taken from every angle this will help your buyer get a feel for your floor plan.
10. I have children and pets so this applies to both! Pick up toys and put them away – baskets are great, drawers whatever works for you but hide them.
Again, I know you have heard this all before but it applies to everyone.