Getting Ready for a Buyer's Visit
Many people believe that house staging is a long, complicated process and can only be understood by professionals. This isn't true. You already have most of the knowledge and skills that you need. Though your main focus is selling the home, you also understand the buyer’s perspective. You've been there before so trust your instincts. Try to remember what you were looking for as a buyer. You bought your house. Why? What was it about the house that you live in that stuck out to you? Don’t underestimate your knowledge. You know your house better than anyone else. When getting ready for a buyer, simply learn to accentuate the positives of your home. Think big picture but don’t forget about the little details. Every little detail of your home should reflect the value of your home.
The first impression is the only impression. Even before prospective buyers enter your home, they will already make judgement on your house. Based on this philosophy, the exterior of the your home needs special attention. If you have a fence, make sure it doesn't look battered and worn; paint if you need to and replace portions of the fence where it is broken. The landscaping may take the most work but it will also bring the most satisfaction. Add mulch where needed, weed, and make sure the lawn is well manicured. If it’s the season, plant flowers to spruce up your yard. The walkway to your front door should excite the prospective buyer.
After the landscaping is completed, examine the house itself. Clear off any and all cobwebs anywhere. Make the house look clean. As your prospective buyers enter through the doorway, they should feel welcome. The doorway should seem inviting. Make sure that the from door is clean and that you have a nice welcoming mat. Also, make repairs as needed. Make sure that the door opens easily and the door knob and locks work well.
As an excited prospective buyer enters the home, they should be able to envision the house as theirs. The first step to getting the interior ready is to make any and all repairs needed. Try to make it your house seem as new as possible. To begin this process, go through your house and make a list of repairs that are needed. Pay special attention to nail holes, wall cracks, or other wall damage. Repair or replace broken floor tiles, torn window screens, and leaky faucets anywhere in the house.. Make sure all doors and windows can open easily. In the kitchen, make sure that all of the appliances are in working condition. If they are in need of major repair, replace them. Your buyer doesn't want to buy into the stress of having to continually repair the main section of their home so nothing should stick out as a concern.
Once all of the repairs are done, clean everything. Both deep cleaning and surface cleaning are essential. First clean everything you can by hand. Pack away clutter. Clear off the counter-tops in your kitchen even things like your coffee maker and toaster. If you have a junk counter, clear it off! Buyers like to see a lot of counter space. Next, organize the inside of your closets, pantry, and other storage areas. It’s a good idea to clear out half of everything from your storage spaces and store them somewhere else while you’re giving a tour. Buyers look for lots of storage space. The more stuff you have packed on the shelves, the less space there appears to be. After you finish organizing, make sure to clean the windows, dust everything, and wash off the walls. Your house should sparkle with cleanliness.
Next, after surface cleaning is done, do a deep cleaning; shampoo your carpets. In the bathrooms, any mildew clean thoroughly underneath the sinks. Make sure there is not apparent water damage, particularly under the kitchen sink.
After cleaning and repairs are done, most people consider remodeling. Most of the time remodeling is cautioned against. Little things here and there will help but don’t spend too much money; save most of your money for specific requests of the buyer. As you remodel, make sure you keep in the style of your home. Some things that you can do is repaint the walls and improve the decor. When painting, stick with neutral colors. Over personalizing can alienate the buyer.
When you are getting ready for prospective buyer to visit your house, put away personal belongings; put away your family trophies, collections, and knickknacks. The goal of staging is for the buyer to envision the house as their own - not feel like they are intruding in your home.
If you have a pet, ask a friend to watch it if a prospective buyer is planning to take a tour. Don’t assume that everyone loves your pet as much as you do.
The final thing to do before a buyer comes is to make sure that there is a lot of light. Buyers do not like walking into a dark house. Open the blinds, and make sure the windows are CLEAN. Turn on the lights and smile. Enjoy yourself as you show off your home.