It's not a house, it's your home.
The decision to sell isn't an easy one. Although you may be looking forward to positive changes in your life - buying a bigger home, an apartment in the city, moving closer to family or relocating for a job - it can be hard to relinquish the beautiful memories you have made in your current space.
Deciding to sell is the first step - getting your home ready for the market is the next. While you might not want to invest in major home renovations or upgrades, there are some simple steps that you can take to make sure your home appeals to buyers as much as it does to you.
First impressions matter.
For many buyers, pulling into your driveway is the first time they will see your home - make sure the grass looks greener on your side of the fence! Maintaining your lawn, making sure yard tools are stored away in the garage or shed and that garbage cans are tucked behind a fence or privacy hedge are some simple steps to make sure potential buyers are excited to visit your home. If it's in your budget, you might even consider framing your door with inviting decorative plants for extra appeal. The same rules apply to the backyard where many will spend countless hours with family and pets or entertaining guests.
Give prospective buyers a blank slate.
Keeping a home tidy, organized and free of clutter for showings is one of the simplest and most important ways to make sure your home shines. Dishes piled up in the sink, an overflowing laundry basket and damp towels on the bathroom floor are an immediate turn-off to most homebuyers.
Less obvious distractions? A mantle or shelf busy with personal items, photos and dusty knick-knacks can make it hard for buyers to envision themselves and their belongings in the space. As beautiful as your memories are, we want buyers to see their own potential memories as they explore your home.
Minimalism is in.
Gone are the days of heavy, ornate furniture in exchange for clean lines and simple Scandinavian pieces. Millennials, such as myself, now make up a large percentage of buyers, and technology and efficiency have become more important than luxury and excess. While I wouldn't suggest going out to buy new furniture, it may make sense to pair down some items and remove mostly decorative pieces so buyers can clearly see the home's features and imagine how their own style would fit.
Because natural light is important to many buyers, it is a good idea to skip heavy window treatments and opt for wooden blinds while a coat of light, neutral paint can immediately freshen up a space and reduce odors from pets, smoking or food. Well-placed plants such as currently trending succulents, fiddle leaf figs or even orchids help to balance energy and make a home feel warm and inviting.
Focus on the power trio.
Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedroom. If nothing else, focus on these three spaces that are most important to a large percentage of buyers. The kitchen and bathroom are the most expensive places to renovate, so you don't want buyers to immediately see these spaces as a huge project. It doesn't matter if you have granite counters or a glass shower door, simply keeping these spaces free of clutter, the garbage empty and replacing mismatched dishrags, towels and shower curtains can tie a space together and make it look Instagram-ready.
Considering that most people will spend about 1/3 of their life in bed, the bedroom is your chance to nail it. Keep the bed made, laundry hidden away and the room free of clutter (are you noticing a trend?!). You want people to be able to see themselves relaxing in this space - not thinking about chores!
Keep it simple.
While there are many projects big and small you can take on as part of getting your home market-ready, there is nothing more important than keeping your home clean and neutral. Invite prospective buyers to make memories that are just as special as the ones you will take with you.