10 Tips for Getting Your House Ready to Sell

Not sure how your market is right now, but ours here in Grand Rapids is a seller's market. Houses can barely stay on the market! One of my hobbies is going to look at open houses and walk through model homes, so I thought I'd share some tips for selling that I've picked up through the years. 

1. I personally think a staged house shows better. Something strange happens when you fill a home with strategically placed items. It looks bigger, people can envision themselves in the home, and it creates visual depth. All good things!
2. Declutter. This should go without saying, but sometimes I'm still shocked! ;)
3. Remove personal photos and names from the house. This just helps generalize the home so the people walking through it can more fully envision THEIR pictures on the wall. Fill in frames and gallery walls with pretty paper instead of photos.
4. Highlight the best features! If you have a fireplace, draw attention to it by hanging art above it, making it look cozy, and decluttering around it. If you have granite or quartz countertops, show them off by clearing the counters and only decorating with a few simple cookbooks and a plant or mixer. Your goal should be to draw the eye to the BEST parts of your home.
5. Make sure it smells nice...or not at all! Smells can be really polarizing and then some can be downright bad like the unwanted pet odors. People associate smells with memories. For example, when I think of Disneyland, I think of walking down Main Street smelling all those churros, freshly baked ice cream cones, and other treats! When I think of my grandma's house in the Sierra Mountains of California, I can immediately smell the fresh pine air, and something cooking in her oven.
For this, I recommend having someone other than people who live in the home or visit often to walk through and make sure the smells are nice. Every family has a scent and you want to make sure yours is a good one ;) You can diffuse citrus oils in a diffuser or even bake chocolate chip cookies before the open house to get people associating the house as their "home".
6. Go neutral on the walls and finishes. If you have the chance to repaint before you show the house, go neutral or keep color to a minimum so people can see the space and not be freaked out by bright colors. I'm always amazed when watching House Hunters on HGTV that the homeowners are so horrified by paint and see it as such a turn-off, but I guess people forget how easy it is to change! So I just suggest going neutral.
7. Highlight the storage in your home! People can't get enough of storage. Have your pantry or cupboards organized so they feel comfortable opening them, clear out your closet or leave a couple things in it showing people how great the storage space is.
8. Make quick fixes like updating cabinet hardware, door knobs, painting cabinets and walls. 
9. Focus on the kitchen! This doesn't mean you need to completely redo it, but usually updating dated countertops and giving cabinets a fresh coat of paint will get you a lot of return on your investment. One thing I see a lot of is overly personalized kitchens with backsplashes that clearly only appeal to certain people and styles. Try going as simple and universal/classic as possible to appeal to the majority of buys.
10. First things first-- the outside matters! When I browse Zillow for fun, I'm guilty of not looking at the inside if the outside isn't updated or cute. 
Hopefully these tips help you if you're going to be selling your house anytime soon! 
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  1. Also, remove all of the shampoo, soap etc. from the shower/tub and all beauty items/toothbrushes, etc. off of the bathroom counters!

    1. Such a good one!! I hate when I see those things. Thanks for the addition!


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