1. Increase curb appeal. It's nothing new. HGTV has a whole show devoted to curb appeal. It is quite easy to over look the outside of the house but you can't forget that not only is it the first impression but you need people to want to come in. Perhaps try driving around and take note of what attracts you to other homes and try to include that in your own listing. Look at the landscaping, paint, roof, shutters, front door, knocker, windows, house number, and even how window treatments look from the outside. You need your listing to stand out from those around it.
2. Punch up color. Paint is the biggest bang for your buck when trying to alter a rooms atmosphere. People are moving away from the boring white and you should too. That doesn't mean suggesting to your sellers anything like fuchsia or bright turquoise but neutral based colors are very attractive. Recommend to them soft colors that say “welcome,” and flatter skin tones. Think soft yellows and pale greens. Ceilings should be a lighter shade to make the room feel open.
3. Upgrades in the kitchen and bathroom. These make-or-break rooms can spur a sale. But besides making each squeaky clean and clutter-free, update the pulls, sinks, and faucets. In a kitchen, add one cool appliance, such as an espresso maker. In the bathroom, hang a flat-screen TV to mimic a hotel. Room service, anyone?
4. Bring back the detail. Try some crown molding which is proportional to the room’s size, and architecturally compatible. Try keeping in mind the year the home was built if it is an older home. As long as it's visually interesting and not overwhelming, buyers are really coming back to architectural detail.
5. Touch up hardwood floors. Buyers favor wood over carpet, but refinishing is not always an option and also not necessary. Screening is a light sanding, not a full stripping of color or polyurethane, then a coat of finish. This simple effort can have a big impact.
6. Organize closets. Get sorting—organize your piles into “don’t need,” “haven’t worn,” and “keep.” Buyers are discouraged by closets that are stuffed full because they think it won't hold all their stuff either. You want the closet to be about half full for showings. This really helps buyers visualize.
7. New window treatments. Buyers don't want fancy-schmancy drapes that darken. You might use your window treatments to keep light out in order to sleep in or watch movies but buyers like light and bright. Consider energy-efficient shades and blinds or just some fabric that is more sheer and light diffusing instead of light blocking while showing the home.
8. Get a home inspection. Be proactive. Any buyer that isn't looking for a fixer-upper is going to want a move in ready situation. If you get the minor issues taken care of ahead of time and have the receipts to prove it, buyers should be impressed.
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