A house must be clean and clutter-free to generate interest. Even more may be necessary to set the listing apart, particularly in a softening market. Here are some decorating and updating tips you can share with sellers that’ll bring “wows” from today’s buyers.
- Add touches of luxury. Bring in real plants in beautiful pots; the best linens; and big, white, fluffy towels.
- Paint walls, trim, and ceilings. Keep adjoining rooms in the same color palette to make the home appear larger and flow better. Hire professionals to paint mullions on windows and staircase spindles.
- Use slipcovers on mismatched furniture. It’s an inexpensive way to create visual unity.
- Replace mismatched or poor-fitting door handles and cabinet pulls. Buyers rarely get beyond a knob that comes off in their hand.
- Install bamboo floors in contemporary settings. Bamboo is outpacing maple as the new light-colored wood floor. Forget parquet and veneered wood flooring: Parquet is still out of favor, and buyers are aware that thin wood veneer can’t handle many sandings.
- Refresh closets with organizers and paint them a neutral color. Make sure closets are lighted and buyers can see the back of all closets and cupboards.
- Identify wall spaces for large and flat-screen televisions. They’re a must-have for most buyers today.
- Clean, organize, and paint basements, attics, and garages. Many buyers pass on a home because of a “creepy” attic or basement.
- Edit furniture and accessories, including family photos. Less is more.
- Install new light switch covers. Most buyers interact with these during showings. Worn covers show inattention to detail.
- Purchase the best quality carpet pad. It can make any new carpeting cushy, and buyers love cushy.
Source: Mark Nash, Coldwell Banker Residential, Central Street Office, Evanston, Ill., author of 1001 Tips for Buying & Selling a Home (South-Western Educational Publishing, 2004)
Reprinted from REALTOR. Magazine, published by NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS. Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.