Buying & Selling

8 Tips to Make Your Home Shine During Listings

When it comes to selling your home, first impressions really do count a great deal. A potential buyer’s “raw take” on your property must be positive if you want to hold their interest long enough to seriously entertain the idea of making an offer. 

Potential buyers are often swayed by the initial appearance of a property, and a well-staged home can significantly impact their decision-making process. When you want to sell quickly, easily and at a better price, it’s the small things that matter. 

If you’re gearing up to list your home for sale, the checklist below can be your how-to guide for ways to turn up the charm and enhance your home’s visual appeal. Without further ado:

1. Boost Your Curb Appeal 

Your home’s “curb appeal” is its general attractiveness from the outside. Homes with better curb appeal get more interest from potential buyers — and more interest ultimately translates to more offers. 

Set the stage for what potential buyers can expect inside by maintaining a well-manicured lawn, trimming bushes and trees and adding colorful plants or flowers in pots or baskets to your front porch. A fresh coat of paint on the front door, clean windows and a clutter-free porch will also contribute to a positive first impression. Remember, a warm and inviting exterior will entice potential buyers to step inside and explore the rest of your home’s wonderful attributes. 

2. Declutter and Depersonalize 

A cluttered home can be overwhelming for potential buyers, making it difficult for them to envision their own belongings in the space. 

Prior to showings, declutter each room, remove personal items, that “quirky” art and all your family photos. Organize closets and storage spaces. Minimize furniture to create an open and spacious feel, allowing buyers to visualize the possibilities. By depersonalizing your home, you enable buyers to mentally move in and picture themselves living there, which can greatly enhance their emotional connection to the property. 

3. Clean and Refresh 

A clean and fresh home exudes a sense of pride and care, appealing to buyers on a subconscious level. Deep clean every inch of your home, paying special attention to kitchens, bathrooms and other high-traffic areas. Polish fixtures, wipe down surfaces, and ensure there are no lingering odors. Consider a fresh coat of neutral paint, which can provide a modern and updated look with a minimum of expense. 

Clear off countertops, leaving only a few decorative items or essential appliances. In the kitchen and bathrooms, make sure you clean all surfaces thoroughly, including sinks, faucets and appliances. Add fresh towels and consider placing a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter for a touch of color. In the bathrooms, remove personal hygiene items and ensure that all fixtures are spotless. 

4. Highlight Your Home’s Key Features 

During showings, it’s essential to emphasize your home’s unique selling points. Whether it’s a stunning fireplace, beautiful hardwood floors or a spacious backyard, ensure these features take center stage. 

Use strategic furniture placement and accessories to draw attention to these areas. For instance, stage a cozy seating area near the fireplace or strategically place artwork to highlight architectural details. By showcasing the standout features, you help buyers imagine the lifestyle your home can provide. 

5. Create an Inviting Atmosphere 

Setting the right ambiance can significantly impact buyers’ emotional connection to your home. You want them to envision your home as a wonderful retreat from the world outside, so play up the “comfort” aspect of your home. 

Prioritize comfortable and tasteful decor choices, such as soft lighting, fresh flowers and pleasant scents. Play soft background music to create a welcoming atmosphere. Adjust the temperature to ensure a comfortable environment and open windows to invite fresh air inside. If you add any kind of scented candles or aromatherapy sticks to your home, be sure to pick light, natural scents like vanilla – nothing too heavy or overpowering. The goal is to create a space that buyers won’t want to leave. 

6. Stage with Intention 

Professional staging can transform your home and significantly enhance its marketability. If your budget allows, consider hiring a stager who can work with your existing furniture or bring in rented pieces. 

Staging helps potential buyers envision “how to live” in your space, maximizing the overall appeal. Staged homes also tend to photograph better or listings, and that translates to a larger pool of interested online buyers.

7. Pay Attention to the Lighting 

Proper lighting can make a significant difference in how your home is perceived by prospective buyers during showings. You may prefer a dimly lit room, but “dim” can subconsciously read “dirty” or “old,” in a buyer’s mind – so open those curtains and blinds to maximize all your natural light. It is also helpful to strategically place lamps or accent lighting around the rooms to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. 

Well-lit spaces not only make your home appear more spacious but also highlight its best features and create a positive mood for potential buyers. Remember that many showings take place in the evening hours after buyers’ workdays end. Check out your home’s lighting and the general ambiance at different times of the day to make sure it always conveys the right impression.

8. Maintain a Neat and Organized Space 

Selling your home can be an exhilarating experience, but it’s also challenging. Once you get your home in that “picture perfect” condition for showing, it must be maintained that way for the duration of your listing. 

Get into the habit of using a checklist before each showing to ensure that every room in the home stays organized and neat. Do a quick “tidy up” every night to clear away the accumulated clutter of daily living, including pet toys, children’s toys, mail and other personal items. Pay attention to details like straightening pillows, arranging books on shelves and keeping surfaces free of dust.

Presenting your home for sale is an art that requires careful thought and preparation. By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to showing your home in its best light and increasing the chances of a successful sale.