Getting a house ready to sell is both a big undertaking emotionally and physically.  This was our third house we sold and along the way we learned a lot of lessons.  There are some tips and tricks that will help you to not only sell fast, but sell for top dollar.  Some items are bigger investments, but many are easy and inexpensive.  Let’s get started…

REMOVE YOUR FAMILY PICTURES

You want someone to walk in and imagine themselves living in your house.  This is hard to do if you house is filled with adorable pictures of YOUR kids.  Remove all the family photos and personal pictures.  I would also include in this list any professional pictures, such as your diploma proudly hanging in your office.  The bookshelf below was filled with family pictures, so those were removed and replaced with neutral books.   Notice also that the amount of “stuff” on the bookshelves are minimal.

LESS IS ALWAYS MORE

Remember that when someone is looking at your house, they will likely have their realtor, spouse, kiddos and maybe even a parent with them.  Keep your rooms open and with minimal furniture.  Before listing our house, we had a large leather ottoman in the family room.  Perfect for cozy nights in front of the TV, but not so great for making the room feel large.  That was removed and sent to the basement.  Plants were used to give life and color, but not clutter.  We also removed the TV from this room.  The only “good” spot for it was between the two windows and it always felt really heavy in the room.  Instead, two lamps and a nice picture were replaced.  Boy did it make this room feel cozy and the fireplace become the focus.

BUY FURNITURE FOR STAGING (IF NEEDED)

This does not read…run out to Crate and Barrel and spend $5000 on new furniture.  This means hit up sites like Target or Wayfair to find inexpensive pieces that fit your room.  The chair below was from Target online.  It was the perfect neutral finishing touch for the room.  Think about the big picture.

PAINT YOUR WALLS (NEUTRAL)

Keeping all your walls neutral and very close in color will make your space feel more cohesive and larger.  A great neutral cream will also photograph beautifully and look good on sunny or cloudy days.  I’ve heard a lot of realtors give the advise to go grey.  I don’t agree on this one.  I think grey can often make a space feel colder and not as welcoming.  You want your house to be like a big warm blanket that someone just wants to stay in.  A slightly warm white, like Benjamin Moore Dove White, will be that warm blanket.

PICK AN ACCENT COLOR

Pick an accent color and carry it through your whole house…even the kids rooms.  Again, you want the rooms to flow together and the space to feel cohesive.  Some of my favorite accent colors are blues or even shades of black.  They are neutral and appeal to both men and women.  I had a lot of navy accents, so this was my main color.  Plants naturally add a great green color and natural element.

MAKE IT BRIGHT

Make sure all your light bulbs are working and replace any that you can with higher wattage.  Brighter is always better.  Remember that a bright, clean space feels inviting and not like you are trying to hide something.

OTHER GENERAL TIPS

Make your house smell good!  Before all of our showings, I sprayed our closet with cologne.  By the time the people were looking at the house, it just had a nice rich smell and not that of dirty tennis shoes.  Remember that it is the little details and the sensory experience of someone being in your space.  Buying a house is part logic and part emotion.  Give them a full sensory experience…including a house that smells good.  Another trick is to simmer cinnamon sticks on your stove before an open house or showing.  Maybe even have a pot of coffee brewed.  You want them to feel at home in your home.

And don’t forget your closets!  Stage those places too.  It really does make a difference.

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