If you’re planning on building a new home in Seattle you may be facing a fairly significant event before you can make that move: You may need to sell your existing home first. Obviously, pricing your home properly is important in selling your home in a timely manner. But making your home attractive to potential buyers also depends on how it looks when they come to see it.
Here are 10 tips from our award-winning designers on how to stage your existing Seattle home so that it shows well—and sells.
- Clear away clutter. This may be the single most important thing you do to prepare your home. A cluttered home looks smaller than it actually is. Stuffing your closets and drawers, however, isn’t the right approach. Serious buyers will open all the doors and drawers. If those spaces are packed it can give the impression that there’s not enough space. One solution is to ask a friend or relative to temporarily store some things for you. Or you might rent a storage unit to really clear your space until your home sells.
- Keep surfaces clean. We all know that life goes on even when your house is being shown, but during this perios of time, you’ll want to be extra vigilant when it comes to cleanliness. Have disposable dusting and cleaning wipes available for quick wipe-downs on furniture and kitchen and bath surfaces. Keep windows with major views clean as well. Views can help sell your home.
- Fix what’s broken or damaged. If you have a hole in the wall (you know, that doorknob that dents the wall coming in from the garage because the stopper broke?) fix it. It’s an easy fix and that makes a big impact. But don’t waste your time (or money) remodeling the bathroom. Chances are a buyer will have different taste and see your new finishes as something they would want to change after moving in.
- Take a sniff test. This may seem awkward but we do get used to smells that surround us. Have a trusted friend help you with this. You may want to hold off on cooking corned beef and cabbage before a showing and do some deep cleaning—or you may even have to replace some flooring if you have a pet that has forgotten its manners.
- Cover unattractive views. You’ll want to allow as much natural light in as possible, but if you have a view of a neighbor’s messy yard you may want to install top down/bottom up blinds so that the view isn’t “advertised.”
- Group your furniture. You may want to pull furniture away from walls to give a room a larger appearance. Or you may want to store an item or two to enhance the feeling of space in your home. You can also group pieces together to create a cozier gathering place.
- Give purpose to empty corners and spaces. You might want to situate a comfy chair and side tablein a corner to create a quiet reading area. Suggest additional functionality for rooms (such as a work space at one end of a large family room). Turn a spare bedroom into a craft, exercise, or playroom.
- Pay attention to lighting. Make sure your rooms are well lit. Replace burned out bulbs or addbrighter lights. Add lamps in corners and work spaces and turn on all the lights for a showing. A bright home suggests warmth and is more welcoming.
- Create a warm, personal look. After you’ve decluttered, add a few tasteful and colorful items back in to add personal style and warmth. While you don’t want clutter, you also don’t want the place to look sterile. Place some folded towels and candles in the bathroom. Put a simple floral arrangement on the dining table. Add a bowl of fruit in the kitchen. Keep things simple and clean. If you’re going to err—go for less rather than more. Let the house be the star—not the decorations.
- Freshen up the landscape. The time of year will dictate how much you can do with the yard, but keep the lawn neat. Trim the hedges, rake out beds, and (weather permitting) plant a few flowers to add color. Even if your yard isn’t blooming at its peak, having a neat yard enhances the feel of your home.
None of thses items are difficult (or expensive) to do. It does require a little bit of planning and work, but small steps like this can make the difference between someone really liking your home (and pehaps buying it) and not giving it another thought.