Courtesy of my friend and colleague, Pam Tiberia, Certified Home Stager

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Top 10 Things All Sellers Must Do 

No matter how “good” or “bad” the real estate market is – your home will always have competition.
Following these ten easy guidelines will help your home stand apart from the others and ultimately sell faster

  1. Think like the buyer:  Put yourself in a “consumer’s” shoes, and remember that you always will choose the best looking, least damaged option when you yourself are shopping. The same goes for a home – people prefer “move-in” condition and want to buy homes that are clean and well maintained.
  2. De-clutter and de-personalize:  Clutter hides assets and can actually make prospective buyers feel anxious.  Pack up personal collections and clear off all surfaces, bookshelves, and tabletops. Empty closets and cupboards by ½. Avoid very theme-specific décor choices, opting for more simple and classic art and accessories.
  3. Lighten and brighten:  Nothing makes a home feel bigger and brighter than fresh paint and clean, wide-open windows.  Choose a light to medium toned neutral color for main living areas and consider removing window treatments altogether to allow twice the light into rooms.
  4. Give focal points their deserved attention: Be careful not to cover up or block a room’s natural focal point such as a fireplace or a beautiful, large window. Arrange furniture so that it faces or complements the focal point and does not block traffic flow into a room.
  5. Clearly define the function of each room:  In most cases, bedrooms should be staged as bedrooms, dining rooms as dining rooms, etc. What’s more, rooms that are givens – living rooms, for example – should be staged to show how best to use and enjoy the space.
  6. Emphasize the spaciousness of your home: Over-furnished rooms can feel cramped and crowded. Pare down extra furnishings by storing them offsite or redistributing them around the house, and utilize only those furnishings that enhance the space and are the right size and scale for their surroundings.
  7. Consider inexpensive upgrades: Most people are surprised at how affordable simple updates such as new ceiling fixtures, sink faucets and cabinet hardware can be.  These items often offer a huge return on investment and can transform an outdated space into a new one in no time and for very little money.
  8. Maintain a show-ready home: Keeping a home looking good while it is on the market can be a challenge. Keep a tote by the door and fill it with items and papers that come loose during your hours at home. Take it with you on your way out the door – and sort through the items while your home is being shown.
  9. Clean, clean, clean: Nothing instills confidence in buyers like a clean and well-maintained home.  Go beyond your normal weekly cleaning and wash down cabinets, baseboards, and appliances, or hire a cleaning company to “detail” your home once you’ve done all of the work to de-clutter and organize. 
  10. Look through a camera lens: Before your photographer arrives, take a good look around. Tiny objects on shelves and windowsills can be distracting and will make the photos seem cluttered. Rule of thumb: Store anything smaller than a cantaloupe. Your photos will thank you for it.