When you’re getting your home ready to sell, it’s crucial to keep in mind how a buyer will view it.

You want them to see it as their home, not yours. That can be a difficult pill to swallow for most sellers.  How do you live in a house that’s no longer your home? It’s uncomfortable, and this is already a bumpy ride!

I know it’s easier said than done, but you have to try to take the emotions out of getting your home ready to list.  Your goal is to sell it, and make the most money possible, right?

Taking the emotions out of the process, and setting those aside… lets focus on the best ways to stage your home to get Top Dollar.

Curb Appeal

When the buyers pull up to your house, they are already judging the exterior. They are looking for a reason to love or hate the home before they walk in, because they likely have 5 or 6 houses on their tour and in order to make this an easier decision… it’s either crossed off the list, or it’s bumped to the top.

Is the paint, or trim in disrepair? Buyers are not looking to pay top dollar for a project house. In fact, they’ll pay much more than their comfort zone to get the house that doesn’t have a honey do list before you walk in the front door.  Make sure that touch ups are done before selling, if at all possible.

There is a lot of psychology behind the plants in your front yard. Those with a green thumb, like to see the potential of their future gardens.  Those with no green thumb like to imagine all the new possibilities that await in their new life… but being low maintenance.

A great middle ground for these 2 different types of people is to put potted plants at your entrance. Brightly colored pots, and neutral colored flowers call to all, and say that this home has love and life.  No one ever walked up to a bouquet of yellow mums and commented on how uninviting the front door was.

Front door

The best thing you can do is give the front door a fresh coat of paint, power wash the path way, and make sure windows and doors are clean and clear of cob webs or debris.  Your buyers will be standing at the front door for a few minutes while the agent gets the keys, and you don’t want them afraid to touch the wall, because it’s dirty.  This is your chance to make sure they have the feeling that this home has been well maintained.

Tip: Use a little WD-40 in the key holes so that the keys work with ease.  We often use another door to come and go from our own home, so these locks can seize up easily.

The Front Entry

In Arizona, most homes have an open flow to them, and we often walk into our main living space.  We get it… you do live there after all.  But the first impression is the most important and most buyers have pretty much made their decision within the first 15 seconds. After that, we’re just confirming our initial thoughts.

Do NOT leave the home smelling of trash, baby diapers or a litter box. You never know what others will find to be an offensive smell, and make them leave quickly.

Do have the smells of scented candles, or air fresheners, or even baked goods. Keep it neutral and light… not overwhelming. Clean, fresh scents give people the impression that the house is clean and welcoming.

Do NOT leave knick knacks and clutter everywhere. It will distract the eye and make the person feel like they’re violating someone elses space, giving them urgency to leave.

Do keep decorative items on large blank walls, so that the home doesn’t feel cold and uninviting.  The idea is to show the buyer that the space has potential….not distract their eye.

Do NOT over do it with the furniture. It’s great that you can seat 8 at the dining table, or that you have enough room to entertain the whole family, including cousins for the Super Bowl Party…. But too much furniture gives the impression of cramped spaces, no matter how big the room is. Remember, it’s always smaller in their mind, and when they leave, you don’t want them focusing only on the huge furniture.

Do remove some furniture pieces and give the room a good flow.  You want them to imagine all the space the rooms had later when they’re comparing the homes they saw, based on memory.

The Kitchen Sells the Home

Ah, the heart of the home, in most cases… This is where people gather, cook dinner, entertain the family etc… it’s especially important that this room of the house show like a model home.

Put all of the appliances in a cabinet, let the counterspace be the shining star.

Replace the kitchen faucet if it’s older. A new faucet, without calcium deposit, or the odor of the 1980’s will help the kitchen feel updated and fresh.

Cabinet hardware should be neutral, clean and in style. Replacing the hardware can be extremely simple with a basic screw driver and the right measurement. New pulls and handles can be ordered for very little on Amazon and will be worth every penny when the potential buyer walks in and falls in love.

Clean the cabinets, scrub the floor and make sure that you are decorating minimally, with items like vases, flowers or cook books.  Your goal is to accentuate the space and show off the counter space. Buyers dream of having more storage and more counter space to entertain.

The Master Suite

We all know that the person buying the home is going to be the person sleeping the the Master Suite… This is why it’s important that this be your next main focus.

A fresh comforter or blanket draped at the end of the bed, and a few nice throw pillows can really make the room feel inviting.

Unless a lounge chair or dresser fits well, and out of the way, now may be the time to get rid of extra furniture in this space.  You want the room to feel huge, inviting and calming.

Decorate the space with florals, pillows, candles and calming art.

The Master Bath should be clean, bright, clear of clutter, and feel as open as possible.

Minimize the toiletries that you can see. Tuck them into drawers or cabinets for now.

Invest in a new fresh shower curtain or a descaler for the shower door. The area that people will clean themselves, should look as clean as possible, itself.

Hang decorative towels on the hangers, and invest in an over the door hanger for your daily use towel. This will help keep the area looking and smelling fresh and neutral.

If your laundry is kept in the bathroom, tuck that hamper in the closet.  While the closet may be a showing point… your main selling point of this space is the area that people sleep and get ready for the day.

Do a once, twice and three times over

While every room in your house should be cleared of clutter and excess or large furniture removed… don’t stop there.  The best thing you can do is to soak up all the beautiful images of model homes and home magazines and then walk through your home over an over, as if you’re the buyer… and nit pick it to death.

Put decorative candles, vases, flowers, jars, frames, lamps etc, in awkward places.  Yes… that’s what I said. When someone sees an item that doesn’t naturally belong in that spot, they have mentally neutralized the area.

A lamp on a bathroom counter… This space has been de-personalized.

A silk plant and beautiful frame on the kitchen island… de-personalized.

A vase filled with beads sitting next to the tub… neutralized space.

Your job is to neutralize the space, making the buyers see it as their own, not as anyone elses.  If you need help with this, visit the New Build communities or go online to pinterest.  We all like to envision living in a model home, or something straight out of a DIY success story. This is your chance to help the buyer see your home as their dream home.

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