Elizabeth Macaulay, one of Home Bay’s seasoned agents, recently had the opportunity to be interviewed by Sarah Mueller (@earlybirdmom) of the Decluttering Club. Sarah is passionate about simplifying and encourages people daily in their own efforts to organize and focus on what really matters through her blog, Early Bird Mom. Sarah and Elizabeth spoke about how decluttering and home staging go hand in hand as homeowners prepare to sell their homes this summer.
The full conversation streamed live and the playback is now available on Facebook. Working with Sarah, we compiled a great summarized list of the top 10 takeaways as an easy to follow guide to help home sellers stage their homes as many begin to prepare for a summer sale.
1. Start from the outside in
Boost your curb appeal to lure in onlookers, who often do judge a book by its cover. Luckily, nothing besides a little bit of elbow grease is needed to put your home’s best face forward!
Start by washing the front windows, as well as power washing walkways and siding. Clean up the greenery by mowing and planting flowers. Hang easy to read house numbers and add lighting to the exterior of your home in case people schedule showings after sun down.
2. Less is more
The clutter must go! This is a serious to-do if you are preparing to sell your home because it makes it seem like your home has more space - the holy grail for potential buyers. So clean and clear all surfaces, floors, closets and cupboards!
3. Remove personal items
In addition to clearing away the clutter, personal touches such as any photos, trophies, momentos, etc. must also go. You want to make it look like you are ready to move out, so the buyer of your home can move in!
4. Neutral colors, or soft grays are best for any room
An easy way to brighten any room is to replace dark window treatments with rich mid-tone neutrals or soft grays to create a sophisticated backdrop.
5. Beware of odors
Candles and air fresheners are your new best friend! Your home might have certain odors that you have become accustomed to, but can be a big turn-off for a buyer. This is especially true if you have pets! If you think that pet odors might be an issue, get all carpets/rugs steam cleaned and be vigilant about vacuuming.
6. Have professional photos taken
The home search for the majority of prospective buyers begins online! This means that good photography is instrumental is getting a homebuyer through the door.
Luckily, when you list with Home Bay, we send a professional photographer to you as a part of our offering. We know that first impressions are essential and professional photography helps to sell a home faster and for more money.
7. Don’t forget to declutter behind closed doors
Visitors will open all doors - this means opening closets, peeking inside cupboards and checking out any “extra” rooms that you might be using for junk. It is important to pack up the excess and fling open those doors for your prospective buyers. Aim to have at least 25 percent open space in each closet (if not more) and make sure you give each room a defined purpose.
8. Don’t replace carpet
There is no need to replace carpet (unless it is excessively worn/stained) because buyers may want to select their own carpet or flooring. That being said, do have it professionally cleaned!
9. Spend some of your staging budget on accents
Clearing away clutter and neutralizing a home’s palette are the important first steps in preparing your home, but then you want to come back and add in strategic accents that will enhance your home and entice visitors to explore the whole house. Colorful throw pillows, fresh flowers/plants, and matching towels are all wonderful and affordable additions.
10. Make sure everything is ultra clean
One of the best things you can do is a deep clean of your home. From washing all windows, to scrubbing the grout, you want to be sure to get into every nook and cranny. If such a project seems daunting, you might want to hire some help, especially if you have a large house. Invest in this step above all others!
Summer is quickly approaching and history has shown that now is the best time to get your home on the market. May and June are the busiest months in real estate, so if you are thinking of listing, now is the time. Use the tips above to help prepare for your home sale and as Sarah would say, the early bird gets the worm.
Please reach out to speak to an experienced agent at Home Bay, like Elizabeth, to learn more about how Home Bay can simplify your home selling process and save you money along the way.
Additionally, if you are interested in learning more tips and tricks about decluttering your life and your home, check out Sarah’s blog here.
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