I’ve seen it time and time again- you go to look at a house and the place is full of furniture, knick knacks and piles of laundry. There are crayon marks on the walls, and beneath the crayon is a weird burnt sienna wall color. This is no way to sell a house. Houses like these get noticed for what you can tell about the occupants- not what you can picture about the house itself.
The key to getting a house sold is to present it in its best light. This means moving a lot of your crap out. Get a storage locker and move furniture that you don’t use regularly, as well as large and possibly obnoxious knick knacks into the locker. Storage lockers are cheap, and there will be that much less to move out of the house when the house sells. Clearing out items works on buyers in two ways- it makes the spaces seem bigger, and it makes the house seem a little more neutral.
Neutral is a big buzz word in the real estate world- making your house seem neutral means that the buyer will be able to picture themselves in it. This means neutralizing the paint colors with nice cream, white, or light beige paint, and getting rid of wallpaper and borders.
There are a lot of real estate agents who also like a home to be staged, which is just moving stuff around to make the most of the space and present a pleasant look to a room. Practice walking into rooms and noticing what your first impression is. If your first impression is the mountain of toys you see, move the toys to a different part of the room and put a flower vase where they used to be. First impressions are very, very important.
First impressions start with the outside of the house. I have actually pulled up to houses before and just decided not to go in based on the outside. There are a lot of things you can’t change about the outside of the house, but there are many things you can. Is your house painted green? It shouldn’t be. By all means hire someone to repaint it. A new paint job may be expensive, but it will not be as expensive as letting the house sit on the market for a year. Plant some flowering things outside. If you have no trees, even baby trees attached to wires will look better than nothing. Make sure that the outside windowsills are painted and in good condition. Windowsills are often neglected, making buyers wonder if they may have water damage.
Clean the floors. Dirty floors are by far the grossest thing you can encounter in a home, and a house full of stained carpets is not likely to sell anytime soon. In order to keep buyers in the house for more than five minutes, the house should be as clean as possible, with no pet hair drifts and no stains in the flooring. Hiring a carpet cleaning company is really inexpensive, and renting a carpet shampooer is even less expensive. Clean floors and surfaces let potential buyers know that the house has been well cared for.