With the U.S. housing market showing signs of slowing down, you may want to make your home look a little more attractive.
When the housing market slows, the market can become a buyer’s market. This means that there are more houses on the market than buyers. The buyer gets his pick of properties. And you may have less traffic and offers.
There are ways to pull people into your home. But don’t think that you are going to pull out your checkbook just yet. You can do this frugally.
You would be amazed at how much a little cleaning can appeal to a buyer. Walk through your home with boxes and start removing clutter. You are going to move anyway, might as well start packing. The goal is to show a clean, clutter-free home. You want to de-personalize the space. You want to show shelves with plenty of room and spacey cabinets. Not that the home isn’t big enough to fit all of your junk.
For example, your living room needs a couch, chairs, a few plants and details, end tables and lamps. You may or may not leave the TV — it depends on how large it is. A buyer doesn’t want to see your 30-years in the home out for display. The buyer should picture his family living there.
Don’t just stuff things in closets, they will be opened. Clean out everything that isn’t essential for your living.
You may want to stage the furniture in your home to make the rooms look larger. You want to draw attention to the best features of your home. For example, if you have a large, beautiful bay window in your living room, you may not want to cover it up with furniture.
The purpose of the decor in your home is to no longer display your lifestyle. It is meant to sell your home. Keeping this in mind. Keep plenty of lights and make sure that light bulbs are replaced. Make your beds and empty the garbage cans every day. Make it a habit.
You may even need to spend $20 on a gallon of paint to fix any rough walls. For example, dining rooms without chair rails often start showing wear on the paint quickly. Decide what rooms need a fresh coat of paint and do it early enough that your home won’t smell like paint.
The two main rooms that will sell your home are the kitchen and the bathroom. Spruce up these rooms a little bit. You might switch out the cabinet hardware or update your faucets for less than $200. Make sure that they are clean. You can even stage something in your kitchen, like a fresh loaf of bread on the counter.
In the bathroom, spend a little money on matching towels. Clean out all but the most essential toiletries.
When you are selling a home, you help it along by making sure that it is clean and clutter-free. You will be amazed at how people will respond. If you have any questions about what exactly you need to do, ask your Realtor. He or she should be able to guide you through needed improvements.
Russell J. Montjoy
Exit Deluxe reality
4600 N Park Ave.
Chevy Chase, Md. 20815