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If you’re prepping to put your house on the market, it’s possible that you’ve been busy with projects to increase the resale value of your home. While that’s an important task, don’t get so caught up with the big picture that you overlook the small yet crucial details that can make or break a sale. With that in mind, here are some tips for selling your home and preparing an open house.
- Declutter and Stage
While it may be a bit difficult, one of the most important things you can do to prep is to emotionally detach yourself from the objects within your home. Home buyers want to envision themselves living in your home, so remove anything religious or political. Don’t forget overlooked places like refrigerator doors, mantels, and side tables where you may have items like pictures, holiday cards, and children’s artwork.
- Remove Sight-Line Impairments
Yet another good reason to declutter, items like knickknacks, toiletries, and toys can stop the eye from looking at something more appealing while making a room appear small. Forgo floor rugs, store bath products and office supplies in bins or drawers, and remove dish towels in the kitchen so the eye gravitates toward the appliances.
- Make It Impeccably Clean
Cleaning seems like an obvious task, yet a dirty home is one of the biggest complaints real estate agents hear. While you can do the job yourself, paying a professional to do a thorough deep clean (even appliances, baseboards, blinds, and carpets) is money well spent. HomeAdvisor says that most homeowners spend between $115 – $227 on cleaning services. Don’t forget to do a walkthrough of your home on a day of your open house to ensure shoes are put away, there’s no toothpaste in the sink, the trash cans are empty, crumbs are removed from the table, and pet items and toys are stored. Make sure the entrance is in tip-top shape as you only get the opportunity to make a good first impression once. Add fresh, clean towels in the bathroom and wipe down any surfaces that potential home buyers would be apt to touch, such as handrails and door knobs.
- Make Sure It Smells Clean, Too
The aroma of last night’s garlic-laden spaghetti dish or your dog isn’t going to win over a potential home buyer. Diffuse odors by airing out the home and/or investing in an air purifier. Some stubborn odors need individualized attention. The following are some helpful suggestions for removing home odors:
- Hanging clean socks with dry coffee grounds in a stale-smelling closet.
- Placing open containers of activated charcoal in a musty basement.
- Hiding cotton balls infused with cinnamon or orange essential oil in the bathroom.
- Sprinkling baking soda on a pungent carpet and vacuuming it up 30 minutes later.
- Boiling white vinegar in the kitchen to remove food odors.
Remove all trash and stow away items like shoes, litter boxes, and pet beds/blankets that likely have distinct smells. On the day of your open house, consider brewing a pot of coffee, baking something enticing in the oven, or simmering orange rinds and cinnamon on the stove. Don’t overdo it with perfumed room sprays and candles as some people are turned off by the scents or have allergies.
If you want to be extra sure that your home is at its best before your open house, invite a real estate agent or interior designer over to do a quick run through of your property and give you some advice. Don’t take anything personally. Their suggestions are likely to speed up the sale of your home. No matter what your home’s style, remember that a clean, fresh, and decluttered home is something everyone can get on board with.