6 Cheap Ways to Stage Your Home in a Buyer's Market
When it comes to real estate, appearance matters. Especially in a buyer's market.
Prospective home buyers hold most of the cards in today’s real estate climate. That means sellers need to adjust expectations and prepare for the long haul. One of the simplest and most effective ways to boost your odds is to ensure your home looks the part.
A disheveled, unkempt yard or messy interior turns off open house visitors. The key is to enhance the aesthetics without eating through your savings. Remember how the house sparkled when you fell in love with it? Make it sparkle again without overspending by checking out these tips below. (See also: How to Sell Your Home When Your Neighbors Are Too)
1. Tackle What Buyers See First — the Outside
Get rid of any pet excrement, as well as weeds, fallen branches, limbs, and bushes that cover nice parts of the house. Keep the lawn cut short. Trees and bushes near the house should not be more than two feet taller than the roof line. If you’re willing to spend a few bucks, buy mulch to pour around trees and shrubs. Clean the siding, bricks, gutters, doorways, decks, and sidewalks by renting or borrowing a neighbor’s power washer. Being thorough might take a day, but it’s far less expensive to rent the machine than to hire somebody.
2. Clean Like You Never Have Before
Prospective buyers do not want to see clutter. Kids' toys, tools, dirty dishes, stacks of old magazines, and all other unsightly objects need to be packed away. The house must look tidy, which will in turn make it look spacious and comfortable. Cupboards, cabinets, and closets should be organized and decluttered. With things out of the way, scrub every inch of the house. Dust baseboards, lamps, fans, and shelves. Clean all the mirrors, windows, bathrooms, floors, stairs, and parts of the kitchen. Pretend you’re having houseguests for a weekend or a very critical in-law for dinner. That should be enough to make you use a little extra elbow grease.
3. Be a Handyperson
Leaky faucets, jammed drawers, and broken light switches are just a few of the several repairs you can make. Unless you know for certain that your attempt will exacerbate the problem, there’s no need to hire a professional. Having a well-maintained home supports your asking price, too. Fresh paint is a must. Generally, real estate agents suggest neutral-colored walls.
4. Experiment With New Layouts
Move furniture, lamps, throw rugs, and whatever else to see which rooms look spacious and inviting. Just because you’ve had a room set up the same way for years does not mean it will look welcoming to potential buyers.
5. Add Some Visual Flair
Greenery adds a nice element to the interior but shouldn’t cost much. Search your yard for colorful flowers worthy of a vase. Group small plants together on coffee or dinner tables to give the room a visual center. To ensure everything in the room can be seen, let the natural light in. Again, windows and sunlight make a room feel spacious.
6. Appeal to the Other Senses
The prospective homeowners are looking at your home, but they have four other senses. Turn on some easy listening and keep the house smelling fresh. Surely, they won’t want to move into a sterile, quiet home. Not only should it look, sound, and smell like home, but it should feel like it, too.
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