Although the market isn't as competitive as it was last year, we're still very much in a market that's advantageous for sellers — but buyers can be a little more picky, meaning there's more pressure when showing a home.
If you're selling a house or a realtor helping a seller, there are some staging tricks you can use to make the house look as appealing as possible.
Read on to find out what you can do to ensure you receive an offer after they tour the home.
The first thing you'll have to do to entice potential buyers into buying the home is deep clean it. As a seller, you may think your home is very clean because you've lived there for years — and it might well be! However, chances are, there are some stains or mild odors you've just gotten used to, and besides, it should look showroom clean for a home tour.
You can either enlist some help and get to work scrubbing it from top to bottom, or you could hire a professional to do it. In this instance, hiring a professional is probably best because they'll be able to get it glistening. This is especially true if you explain that you're figuring out how to show a home at its best because they'll know it needs to be spotless.
Don't be surface-level either. Even if you think a buyer may not see that dusty corner behind the washer, they might just look there if they're considering buying the house, and it could turn them off from making a purchase.
Your house can be as clean as possible, but if there's too much clutter, it's still an issue. Clutter can seriously affect someone's mental health, so it's going to have a negative effect on someone who's viewing the house and wondering if they could see themselves living there.
It's also important you don't just stuff everything in a closet. A potential buyer may want to look inside every space and behind every door to see the storage they'll have and understand exactly what they'd be getting if they purchased the house.
You can go through your possessions and trash, donate, or give away the things you don't need any longer.
If you have too many things and you're struggling with giving them away (or are moving to a bigger home so still want to keep them), consider storing them with a friend or family or renting a storage unit. This means your possessions will stay safe but potential buyers won't see them and have to worry about the clutter in the house.
When you market a house, depersonalizing it is one of the best things you can do.
As a seller, consider all of the things you have around the space that are personal. If you're a realtor, you're in a much better position and walk in to spot what isn't exactly neutral and should be gotten rid of for a while so that potential buyers can envision themselves living there.
Because that's what they want — to be able to picture themselves living there. That's hard to do if there are pictures of pets and grandkids all around the walls or very unique art displayed.
Try for neutral colors, generic picture frames, and anything that looks as if it's just waiting for someone to come along and put their own personal touch on it.
Consider Curb Appeal
Research suggests that people only have seven seconds to make a first impression, which means this is likely no difference with houses!
When people pull up to the house, they want to have a good first impression immediately. The inside of the house could be beautiful, but if the exterior is lacking, then they may make a judgment right away — and no amount of effort inside will convince them to change their mind.
There are a few easy ways to improve your home's curb appeal.
Freshen Up the Front Yard
The first thing you can do is freshen up the yard. Mow the lawn, do some light landscaping if necessary, and add some accessories to make the yard seem inviting.
Consider Doors and Windows
Is there any damage to the doors and windows? Are the frames looking worn down?
Fixing these things can really help someone get a good impression of the house from the outside.
Replace the Mailbox
If your mailbox is looking worn down, consider replacing it. It's a relatively inexpensive minor upgrade when compared to the money you could make from a successful home sale, even if that's your realtor commission.
Let the Light in
Natural light can really open up a space, so make sure you pull back the curtains and open up the blinds during a home tour. If the house seems dark and closed off, people might be concerned about spending so much time there and how that would make them feel.
Besides, if the house has just been deep cleaned, you want to show off that shine.
A Fresh Coat of Paint
Consider what could use a fresh coat of paint. It's a relatively inexpensive fix that can make a world of difference, whether it's the fence around the house or the kitchen cabinets that are starting to look a little worn down.
When getting a fresh coat of paint for something, make sure you choose neutral colors. Neutral colors can appeal to everyone and give them the option to decorate the space however they want, whereas bright, bold colors will only suit some people and can be difficult to paint over if they want to put their own stamp on things.
Focus on Fresh Smells
Directly before a home tour, focus on some fresh smells to appeal to the other senses too. You could make a homemade lemon or orange candle or use one you've bought with your favorite scent, but remember to keep the smells generically appealing.
While a particularly unusual scent might be your favorite, it may not be for everyone.
You can also hang air fresheners over your vents to ensure no bad smells are distributed around the house prior to the potential buyers' arrival, an unexpected surprise you definitely don't want.
Add Office Space
If you have a space that doesn't have a particular use, consider adding office space. 2020 saw most people convert to remote jobs, and it's a trend that's stuck well.
Having an office space means people can be assured they have a good place to work. Even if they don't have a job where it's possible to work remotely, they can use the office space for other hobbies. They tend to be very flexible and could even be turned into a craft room.
Erase Signs of Pets
While most people love animals, not everyone wants to see signs of them when viewing a home. In fact, signs of animals can be a huge deterrent as it suggests pet hair clogging up the vents, odors, and more.
Make sure you have a plan to get any animals out of the house, whether the dogs take a long walk or the cats stay with a friend. Vacuum up the pet hair, hide the litter boxes, and make sure you've gotten rid of any odors.
This is also important because someone may have animal allergies that are activated when touring the home.
Suggest Personalized Uses for Spaces
Lastly, when staging the house, bear in mind that making personal suggestions during a house tour can talk people into buying a house.
While there's no need to be pushy if someone mentions they're an artist, suggest a spot by the window that might be a great place to paint. If they play piano, point out an empty space that would be great to sit and play. Or, if they have pets themselves, point out the large backyard with the six-foot fence that would be awesome for the dog to run around.
It shows you care, and it makes it even easier for potential buyers to picture themselves living there.
Employ These Tips When Showing a Home
If you use these tips when staging and then suggest some good uses for the space while showing a home, you're far more likely to lock these buyers into a purchase. Make sure you deep clean, declutter, and depersonalize, and then consider suggesting some uses for the space that are relevant to their interests.
Thinking about selling and wondering what your home is really worth? Check out your home value on our site.