The do's and don'ts of making the best and most-profitable first impression for buyers.
When we're overwhelmed by an impending move or have been in our home for many years, it can be easy to let some little things slide and not see them as a potential buyer would.
But the fact is, your home's first impression, either for realtor marketing photos or potential showings, can mean a difference of thousands of dollars for a home that's clean, styled, and ready for its close-up.
Here are some do's and don'ts to help show your home in the most appealing light.
Don't overlook the entryway. Peeling paint, last season's holiday decorations, wilted landscaping are all things that whisper "neglect" to potential buyers, who may wonder what else is in disrepair.
Don't let bad smells linger. The funky dog bed, last night's garlic chicken, musty shower curtains, or old trash cans might seem unnoticeable to you, but buyers will pick up on them right away.
Don't crowd or push furniture against the walls. Sometimes people have a lot of furniture in a room in ways that can make the space look smaller, or block windows, doors, or natural walkways through a room. Take out the pieces you don't absolutely need, and arrange the remaining furniture into seating areas or vignettes instead of lining the walls with your sofas, bookcases, or chairs.
Don't have a different paint color in each room. Sure, it was important to let your kids choose their bedroom colors, or have a colorful accent wall in your craft room, but different colors in every room can feel choppy. To create a sense of peace and flow in the house it's better to have fewer, neutral, and more unified colors.
Don't leave the knick knacks out. Medals, trophies, photos, souvenirs, and tiny treasures can feel overly busy and personal. Before showing and photographing, clear shelves, tabletops, and dressers of small and personal objects and pack them away.
Do let each room have a focal point. Whether it's a pretty headboard, a window with a view, the TV, a work of art, or a cozy fireplace, let one thing shine to draw the eye, and don't put competing elements right next to it, such as placing a big TV next to a picture window.
Do imagine your home is an expensive hotel. Make everything look fresh, uncluttered, clean, neutral, and appealing to a broad range of people. Consider investing in a few fresh pillows and throws for furniture for a coordinated look.
Do schedule a deep clean. If you don't have the bandwidth to do it yourself, hire a cleaning company to really tuck into the corners, tackle grime, or build up.
Do turn on the lights for showings. A bright, cheery home reads better than dim or dark and feels more welcoming.
Do declutter your kids' rooms. Let's face it, not everyone has children and may want to imagine a space for guests or an office. Try to minimize the clutter, tuck away toys in a closet and utilize under the bed space to help depersonalize.
Do use fresh linens. A "bed-in-a-bag" refresh of new sheets and comforter on a bed can do wonders to perk up a tired bedroom, and fluffy white towels in the bathrooms create a perception of clean and calm.
At Lennar Mortgage we know that our home is usually our biggest investment, so getting top dollar when you sell is paramount. Although getting a home ready to photograph and show before you sell can feel like a lot of work, the time and energy you put in can result in a quicker sale and higher selling price—and more money toward the purchase of your next dream home.