10 Tips For Selling Your Home
10 Tips + 1 for staging your home
We help every client with very specific ideas about how to best prepare their home for sale. We have incredible experience in this area. But to get you started, here are some broad tenets for giving the best first impression. This is not just “pretty for pretty’s sake.” It can put more money in your pocket…and sometimes way more.
1. Deep clean everywhere, including garages, closets, sheds, refrigerators, basements, windows and carpets. If you have animals, bring in someone with a sensitive nose, and ask them to be frank about whether there are any animal odors in the home. Take no offense...because none will be intended.

2. Repair anything that is not working, is broken or has missing parts. Get a pro to do the things you cannot, if possible. When buyers see some things in ill repair, their minds rush to judgment about your entire home and might worry there are hidden maintenance or quality issues.

3. Reduce furniture in each room down to a minimum to make rooms look larger. Store excess items off-site, if you can. If you can't, stack and cover neatly in the corner of the lower level or an outbuilding.

4. Minimize mismatches. If you have furniture, wall art or objects in a room that don't coordinate, remove some things and/or make modifications that tie them together (paint colors, slip covers, pillows, balanced and artful arrangements, etc.)

5.  Three to a surface. Reduce the objects on a surface down to three whenever possible and practical (desks, dressers, kitchen counters mantels, etc.) Place those three things in pleasing arrangements and choose things that naturally coordinate well.

6. Touch up the paint in every room, including woodwork, if it is painted. Touch up wood finish on natural wood doors, woodwork and floors. No nails, holes or rough surfaces…take care of all those before you paint.

7. Make the entrance experience and surrounding yard space sparkle by cleaning up flower beds, trimming (yes, even in winter if your walk edges are ragged), washing doors and windows, removing debris from pool covers, etc. You can put one car in a garage—ideally leave one car slot open to make the garage or parking area look spacious). If you have multiple cars, ask a neighbor if you can park one or two briefly while your house is being shown.

8. Depersonalize. Ideally a buyer cannot guess your age, politics, background, etc. --and in some ways not even your decorating style--by walking through you house. The idea is for them to picture themselves in the home, and therefore neutral is your new normal while your house is listed.

9. Coordinate color.  Color is a good thing in a home, but not too loud, too much or too different. If your walls are all white, consider adding a tasteful accent wall here and there—or spark it all up with colorful artwork, pillows, etc. If you have mostly muted colors but one really bold room, paint that wall to bring it in line with the whole house color palette. Master bedrooms in particular should have coordinated bedding, walls and decorating touches so they have that resort feel. But, again, less is more. The room should look large, so remove anything that is not necessary and can be stored.

10. Make animals invisible... as much as possible, of course. Some people are allergic, adverse to animals in general or dislike a particular type of animal. You don't want that to derail your house sale. So when photographing and showing a home, no dog/cat/ferret/potbelly pig (you get the idea) bowls, beds, cages, etc., in the main house…and certainly no animals should be present for showings if humanly possible, with the exception of, say,  fish or turtle (but make sure that fish tank is sparkly clean). Cats are tough to remove, we realize. It would be ideal, but if it’s not possible, try confining them to a specific room and letting the agent know.
A very important bonus tip: Furnish rooms conventionally to maximize your home's value and broad appeal. A dining room is not a children’s toy room. A bedroom is not a walk-in closet. That may work for you, but buyers want to see conventional layouts and room use, even if they might eventually use a room for an unconventional purpose. If your home is short on standard spaces of one sort or another, see if you can somehow eke standard space out of your layout. For instance, if your home only has two bedrooms but has a lower level, see if you can set up a space down there to create a lovely bedroom retreat. If one of your bedrooms is an open loft, use some folding screens perhaps to make it feel like a separate room...and so forth. And speaking of toys… I know this is hard, but don’t have toys in any room except children’s rooms and playrooms (true playrooms, not converted dining rooms), and put them neatly away for showings. Decorative bins are a sellers best friend!