Real estate sales are very competitive, even in the best market. That's why it's up to the seller and agent to do everything possible to make the property attractive without leaving the impression of trying too hard. Although your first instinct might be to make it personal and show how ”homey” your house is, this is a common mistake. Aside from the usual fixes like applying a fresh coat of paint, a thorough cleaning, and tidying up the outside, these are the main things you should do before you show your home to anyone.
Personal items. It's only common sense to de-clutter your home, but you should also remove family pictures, collections, and other items that take up space or infer a stamp of ownership.
Pet accessories. Anything that isn't absolutely necessary at the time of a showing should be removed, and this includes pet items like litter boxes, feeding stations, crates, and toys. This doesn't include small cages that pets live in permanently or aquariums, but make sure they're clean.
Large outdoor items. Large boats or snowmobiles do nothing to add curb appeal to your home; in fact, they can make your property look less spacious. Either sell unused vehicles and large removable objects like trampolines, pay for a storage facility, or ask a friend to keep them if no other options are available.
Depersonalizing your home can be a bit traumatic for some, so perhaps you can get assistance from someone who's objective. Some real estate companies use the services of a home stager. This is a professional interior decorator or designer who has experience optimizing interiors to allow prospective buyers to envision themselves in a space. Whether you choose to hire a professional or you use some of the tips listed above, your real estate agent will help you show your home in the best light.
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