Have you noticed an uptick in For Sales signs in your neighborhood? Welcome to house selling season! Every viewer of HGTV knows the meaning and importance of curb appeal when you’ve got your house on the market. ‘You have to get them in the door!’ So we spruce up the outsides of our homes: green, tidy lawns, neatly trimmed trees and bushes, blooming flower pots, and colorfully painted doors all shout out ‘I’m beautiful. Come see me.’ But once prospective buyers pass the threshold, what do they see? Does you home’s appeal stop at the colorfully painted front door? Your house has curb appeal but does it have home appeal? Here are our five easy ways to boost your home’s home appeal, making it look better and bigger and maybe even bringing you more money in your pocket.
- Half Empty Closets — Everyone needs storage and we all want more. Empty half of the stuff in every closet, cabinet and drawer. (Put the stuff you emptied out off site.) Tidy and organize what’s left. Loose items go in baskets, not on shelves. Purchase matching bins, fill them, label them and keep the look uniform. Small baskets or decorative boxes make attractive decorating accessories on open shelves. Be sure they match; buy in bulk! Show buyers there’s plenty of room in your old/their new home!
- Lighten Up — People don’t want dark living spaces. They want light-filled ones. Change bulbs to a higher wattage. Replace dark colored lamp shades with new lighter ones. Clean the windows and open the drapes or blinds, or get rid of dark heavy drapes all together. Let the sun shine in for a fresh, open look. Paint any dark walls in a light neutral color. Light makes rooms feel bigger and, since most buyers are upgrading, show them they’re getting more of everything, especially space.
- Clutter Control — Less is best. When in doubt, pack it up and store it away. Fewer knick-knacks (even better…none!), pictures, furniture, dishes in the cupboard, clothes in the closet, appliances on the kitchen counter allow buyers to see your beautiful home and not get lost in your stuff. Less, less, less! You’re moving anyway. Save time getting out; pack it up now.
- Pet Peeves — But everyone loves Fido and Tigger, don’t they? No! Other people may be allergic, be turned off by pet odors, and be missing the hardwood floors because of the pet hair. Put feeding bowls, litter boxes and other pet accessories out of sight. Use odor eliminators or candles to remove smells instead of perfuming the air with scented plug-ins or sprays. Go for fresh instead of floral and Fido.
- Get Tough On Grime — Spotless homes sell…and for more money. A dirty house signals neglect and makes buyers wary: ‘Hmm, what can’t I see that’s going to cost me money?’ Be sure every surface is clean, dust and grease free. Don’t lose buyers or get a lower offer for something a good thorough cleaning could have taken care of. Choose eco-friendly cleaning products to avoid strong smells and use cleaning tools in new/excellent condition to get the best results. At Buckets & Bows Maid Service, we use and recommend the products from Speed Cleaning, available on-line and shipped to your door.
Your home is likely your most valuable asset, so give it the time and money it needs to get you the best return value. Consider hiring professionals — a painter, professional organizer, interior decorator, maid service — to boost your home’s appeal beyond the front door and be ready to sell for top dollar.