Preparing to sell a home you have lived in might be parts traumatic and parts exciting experience, especially if you are embarking on a personal adventure or if selling the house is purely by choice and not as a financial necessity. In any case, when you have lived in a place long enough, you stop seeing it as a product and a simple thorough cleaning seems like enough to prepare it for the market. It is, however, a bit more complicated than that. If you don’t have the opportunity to work with a professional stager (a person who prepares your home for selling for a fee), you might want to research a few strategies that sell house fast.
I decided to share a few tips with you on how to best prepare for your first open house as I have already gone through this process twice in the past year – once for our country home and once for our suburban house, only a few months apart. Here is what I learned from my experience:
1. Avoid bold colours – I am a big fan of artistic interiors and had personally selected some bright yellows for the children’s rooms, a deep blue for the master bedroom, as well as a fantastic (in my opinion) olive green for the living room and study. To say the least, our stager was shocked and quickly arranged for a complete repainting of all these rooms into neutral beiges and eggshell. Apparently, these are the colours that seem most attractive to a prospective buyer. In any case, a fresh coat of any neutral paint instantly makes your home more sellable.
2. Go for minimalist style – I did not consider my home particularly cluttered until our stager asked us to remove almost 80% of our furniture and possessions before the house was even acceptable for showing to prospective buyers. Large open spaces and minimal decoration are highly desirable if you want the future owners to be able to imagine themselves living within your home, instead of sneaking a peek into someone else’s life.
3. Get rid of personal items – I absolutely loved my glass elephant collection in the dining room as well as the abundance of family portraits in the hallways and staircase. Our stager reminded me that this is not supposed to look like my home any more if we wanted to attract buyers, so everything had to be stripped from the walls except for just a few carefully placed mirrors.
4. Allow a longer period for fixing your home than originally planned – our initial plan was to move the house to the market within a few weeks. Those quickly turned into a couple of months, since a few of the filling, scraping, cleaning and painting tasks took way longer than expected. Once you begin moving furniture, those tiny holes and cracks that you haven’t even suspected exist will start coming out. Moving furniture out also takes way longer than what it took to move it in, as mysterious as that might sound.