8 Things To Avoid When Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

by Matty ByloosMay 11, 2016

Looking to Sell Your Home Quickly?

The time is here, whether you’re looking forward to it or dreading the experience: you’re about to put your home up for sale. And with many cities around the country experiencing extremely competitive housing markets, you’ll want to ensure that your property is looking its very best, before you invite prospective buyers in to take a look.

When you’re preparing for an open house, don’t make these tragic home-staging mistakes that are sure to send buyers out the door in an instant. Follow our expert selling tips, and your home will sell in no time at all.

home staging tips for selling quickly

Staying in the Dark

Consider the light outside when you and your real estate agent are choosing the best time of day to host your open house. Take advantage of the direction of the sun, when it’s brightest and best for your property. While the sun may not always be in your control, you can increase light levels on your own too, with a bit of tried-and-trusted elbow grease.

Scrub the windows inside and out, select lightweight material for curtains, and head outside to prune trees or bushes that may be obstructing light. Head back indoors and tour the rooms to see which ones need an extra lamp, or perhaps simply increased bulb wattage to brighten things up. These tricks will allow you to make a sparkling impression, even without floor-to-ceiling windows. Remember, bright spaces equal big spaces!

Letting Things Lie

Small things you’ve come to think of as cozy quirks, like a front door that creaks, a toilet seat that wobbles, or a drawer that will not shut, may not be quite as charming to first-time visitors in your home. While these seem like quick fixes, worse-for-wear details can accumulate quickly. Ultimately, they could suggest to buyers that the house was not well cared for, and there may be more trouble ahead.

Avoid any chance for buyers to turn away by freshening up old paint, installing a doorbell that actually rings, and fixing that dripping faucet once and for all. As for the rest of the home, always keep the C-words in mind: Clean all Counters, Cracks and Crevices. Nothing deters buyers more than an unsightly mess.

Ignoring the Awkward

Make the most of awkward areas in the home by turning them into intentional space, instead of wasted square footage. When utilized cleverly, corner nooks and angled ceilings can capture the attention of potential buyers looking to stretch their dollar, or to make a statement. Follow our expert selling tips by adding floating shelves to create a welcoming display area, or a sleek desk to entice everyone’s dream of a home office.

Making It Personal

Chances are good that your house is your home, heart, and your happiness. Its four walls have taken in your belongings, its roof has sheltered you from monsters, and its foundation has lifted you up, quite literally. However, now is the time to remove yourself from its care.

home staging tips

Remove everything that loudly shouts out your personality (as beautiful as it may be). This includes family photos, kitschy keepsakes, and furniture that was formerly in vogue. Minimalism is best, though there is no need to go overboard. The key is to strike a balance between a home that is too lived-in and too sterile.

Always Chasing Rainbows

Colorful carpet, cabinetry, or tile may make you smile, but color is rarely the best friend of potential buyers. Wherever possible, stick to neutrals and save pops of the color palette for your décor. We recommend fun cushions, a bright throw on the couch, or a handful of interesting works of art to catch visitors’ eyes. These features will show off personality and care, without forcing them on the next homeowner.

For walls, off-white shades are recommended. Not only is white clean, sophisticated, and inoffensive, but it also makes any area seem more spacious. As an extra bonus for experts, you can even match the drapery to the walls to give the illusion that the room is bigger than it is.

Living in the Past

When it comes to home staging, the biggest deal-makers or breakers are the kitchen and bathroom. In these two rooms, it’s difficult to hide outdated fixtures, which have the potential to haunt buyers well after they walk out of the door.

Before launching into renovations, consider time and money. If both are minimal, rolling up your sleeves could be worth the effort. For cost-effective solutions, consider swapping out hardware or replacing drawer fronts and doors, instead of investing in brand new cabinets. Rather than buying a fancy new oven, buy a few stainless steel appliances to display. These style hacks may prove the rooms to be as upscale as they are.

Bypassing the Bedrooms

Paying attention to the sanctuaries that are bedrooms is one of the most economical (and often overlooked) means of maximizing home value. Make bedrooms appear relaxing with crisp linens and soft color touches that will make anyone want to stay for a nap.

In addition, be sure to organize wardrobes before your open house. Sellers often make the mistake of hiding things behind closed doors, unaware that when let loose in your home, buyers can’t help but sneak into your storage to see what’s available.

Forgetting to Keep It Fresh

All houses have a scent, and very likely, the scent of your own home is not even noticeable to you. When getting your home ready to sell, avoid the worry of unfamiliar smells turning off buyers and invading their entire perspective. There is no need to go all out by baking bread or cookies to conjure up feelings of home.

Simply open up the windows to welcome in the fresh air, and opt for a bouquet of fresh flowers or a refreshing and mildly scented candle as visitors enter. Keep scents clean and never overpowering, and your open house should be a smashing success!

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About The Author
Matty Byloos
Matty is the Content Marketing Specialist for Homes.com. He's a newly minted homeowner who currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife. When he's not working, he enjoys writing fiction, working on the house, and enjoying the amazing nature that the city has to offer. He is also the founder of NOVEL Creative Agency.
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