When preparing to list your home with a Realtor® it can seem like there are a lot of things to get in order before you are ready to have potential buyers walking through your door and envisioning themselves living there. In order to clear things up and make the process more streamlined we have created. a small list that can get you prepared for your home to be on the market and with these small changes make your home more appealing to potential buyers. It is most common for sellers to live in their home while it is active on the market, so often times it can seem like an overwhelming task to keep your home clean and presentable while also going about daily life, but follow these simple decluttering steps and you will find that having less things visible in your home will not only make you feel at ease, but it will aid in the showing process because potential buyers will be able to better visualize themselves in the home and have a better experience dreaming of YOUR home becoming THEIR home.
- KITCHEN - It is no secret that kitchens and bathrooms are what buyers on the market these days are looking for to set a home apart. If your kitchen is in need updating and it isn't something you plan on investing in before you list your home, a simple coat of paint on the cabinets or backsplash wall can breathe new life into an otherwise bland space. Also, if your light fixtures are outdated, it might be good to run down to Lowes and pick up an inexpensive but modern replacement. This is a simple way to update your kitchen without have to drop thousands of dollars on new countertops or cabinets. In terms of cabinets, if your hardware is outdated that can be another inexpensive option for a bit of upgrade without breaking the bank. If your kitchen counter has a ton of appliances on it, find extra cabinet space and make room for those unused appliances (toasters, blenders, food processors). From a designer standpoint, it is always nice to have a wooden cutting board on the counter, clean white hand towels hanging from the oven handle, and a clean sponge next to the sink. As always, I recommend having at least one live plant per room while showing your home. Pothos variety are a great low maintenance option that elevate the look of any space immediately.
- BATHROOM - Especially if there is only one bathroom in your home, you want to make it look as roomy and clean as you possibly can. Remove all personal toiletry items and place in a cabinet that you can easily access for daily use such as toothbrush and toothpaste. Scrub grout on tile around tub and on floor if you see any discoloration. It might be worth your while to purchase a new toilet seat if the one you have have been used and is no longer responding to cleaning products. This is an inexpensive way to make the bathroom look sparkling and will be more inviting to buyers knowing that the home they are considering buying is clean and has been well maintained. Get a new hand soap and hand lotion for next to the sink, and fresh, nicely folded towels for the rack. If the shower curtain liner is cloudy with soap scum spend the $.99 and replace it! I always like to have a candle in the bathroom whether it is lit or not, it still emits a pleasant smell for showings. As a general rule, you should only have 3-4 items on the counter of the bathroom: Soap, lotion, candle and a something green, whether its a fake plant or not, it just helps to make the space feel more welcoming. If your bathroom needs updating and it is not something you are planning on knocking out before listing your home, always make sure you have clean bath mats on the floor. These simple design elements can help distract from the need to update the tile or fixtures, and as long as things are clean this room will show well.
- LIVING ROOM - This is one of the most difficult rooms to keep clean while you are living in your home and also showing, especially if you have children. But there are several things you can do to minimize mess while your home is actively being marketed and shown by a Realtor®. keep couch cushions neat and add a few decorative pillows to emphasize the seating. Keep the floor completely free of clutter, if you have toys loose, find an attractive container to keep them in so they will be easily out of sight when a potential buyer comes to see your home. Plugs and cords should be organized in a way that isn't clogging the walkway or flow of the space. I like to use velcro strips to bundle cords together so they aren't all over the floor. Shelves should be organized intentionally with no random trash or trinkets visible. Books should be stacked neatly on shelves. Again, the use of plants (whether or not it is real), is an easy and affordable to way to make any room inviting.
- BEDROOMS - Always make beds and keep surfaces of dressers and side tables free of clutter. Keep closet doors closed and dresser drawers neat and tightly closed without clothing sticking out. Remove valuables such as jewelry from dressers and keep in a secure place. Although the potential buyers will be escorted by a Real Estate Professional, you want to be proactive in protecting yourself against theft of valuables.TAKEAWAY - These simple and inexpensive design tips will help you prepare to list your home. It can be overwhelming to "downsize" or "declutter" especially if you have lived in the same home for a number of years, but if you set out intentionally to minimize the clutter in your home for the sake of selling your home, you may find that you never really needed all of the clutter you had previously been living with for years. As always, your Realtor® will be able to lend a hand suggesting things for you to do that will aid in the visual experience of each potential buyer.