When it comes to selling a home, curb appeal plays a big role. In real estate, it’s typical to ignore the old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and keep driving if you see a home for sale that doesn’t instantly catch your eye.
As important as curb appeal can be, it’s no more or less important than what’s on the inside of a home. After all, if what’s on the inside doesn’t match or exceed what’s on the outside, chances of a sale are slim. For those about to put their house on the market, consider the following tips for ensuring your home’s interior is as appealing as its exterior.
Store some furniture or bulky items: This is often referred to as “staging,” wherein a homeowner removes furniture or other items in an effort to make a home appear more spacious to prospective buyers. It’s perfectly legal and commonplace, particularly among sellers who have lived in a house for a long period of time and have years of clutter to account for. Store items with a nearby storage facility. As an added benefit, with some of the bulkier items now gone, it will be easier to clean the interior before each open house.
· Consider repainting: Stronger colors might have appealed to you or your family over the years, but they might be too strong for prospective buyers. Though most buyers will simply repaint anyway, they might be more inclined to consider your house if the stronger-colored walls are repainted with neutral colors, such as beige or white. Also, paint over walls where paint has become stained or deteriorated. Not doing so will give the impression that the house was not well taken care of, a big red flag for buyers.
· Remove keepsakes or knickknacks: Much like removing large furniture can make a family room or den seem larger, removing keepsakes and knickknacks from the foyer or kitchen can make those rooms appear more spacious as well. Since you’ll be moving out anyway, this isn’t a bad way to get a head start on packing.
· Clean out the garage: Garages were once primarily used to park cars. Nowadays, however, more and more people simply park their cars in the driveway and use their garages for storage. But a cluttered garage won’t help sell a house. An empty or clean garage, however, will appear very spacious and stick in a buyer’s mind.
· Fix leaky faucets and showerheads: Leaky faucets and showerheads have a way of becoming unnoticeable background noise if you live in a home long enough. This makes them easy to ignore. However, to prospective buyers, such leaks and noises will be noticeable immediately. Fix all leaks before showing your house.
· Replace old doorknobs and cabinet handles: Some things about a home tend to remain fixed in a buyer’s mind more than others. Old cabinet handles or doorknobs that stick might be nostalgic to a seller, but might mean something entirely different (namely, neglect) to a buyer. Do a run-through of all the little things and fix them up before showing your house.