Make an Entrance
First impressions are everything in the real estate game, so you'll want to make potential buyers feel connected to your home the second they step onto the property. Along with putting on a fresh coat of paint indoors and out and maintaining neat landscaping, consider updating porch light fixtures, house numbers, planted containers, and doormats. Inside, dress up your entry with a slim console table and a simple but stylish hanging fixture so you can wow house hunters right from the start.
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Fake More Storage
Even if your home doesn’t boast big walk-ins or a large kitchen, you can make prospective buyers feel like there’s plenty of room for stowing stuff. The trick: Clear out those jam-packed crannies, and temporarily store your belongings in a rental facility or a family member's home. Aim to leave about 30 percent of each closet or shelf empty to give visitors the impression of generous storage.
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Impress with Paint
You probably already know that you’ll need to freshen up the paint before showing your home, but did you know that just slapping on a coat of Decorator’s White isn’t the best strategy? A sophisticated neutral will actually do a better job of showing off windows and moldings and creating an enveloping sense of coziness. Opt for warm grays, creams, or beige over stark white or idiosyncratic colors. (Now’s not the time to go for purple!)
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Let the Sun Shine In
House hunters love a home that's bathed in natural light, so always make the most of your windows. Replace heavy curtains with streamlined, lightweight styles that match the wall colors, or, if your home is contemporary, forgo window treatments altogether. Give every window a thorough cleaning—and don’t forget the screens—to invite in as much sunlight as possible.
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Add Cozy Touches
Home buyers flock to charming houses, so outfit as many spaces as possible with cozy and comforting accents. Yes, your porch may be small, but if it’s spiffed up with an adorable bistro dining set and containers of thriving herbs and flowers, it will be plenty appealing. A new fire pit and a set of lawn chairs beckoning from a far corner of the yard will light up buyers’ imaginations. Place a few books and a plush pillow on that window bench at the top of the stairs so house shoppers will be able to picture themselves curled up in their own reading nook.
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Give Appliances a Like-New Look
You don’t have to shell out for a fancy new refrigerator or eight-burner stove, but do take a hard, critical look at your current kitchen appliances. If your dishwasher is dented and missing knobs, or your refrigerator hums like a diesel generator, you may want to invest in repairs. Because the kitchen undergoes the most scrutiny of any room in the house, it’s a good bet that the investment will pay off.
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Magnify the Master Bath
Master baths rank high on buyers' must-have lists, and the more you can make yours seem spacious and spa-like, the better. The easiest fix? Swap your current towels, rugs, and shower curtain for plush white versions, and consider replacing your hardware with inexpensive yet modern upgrades. And don't forget to replace or repair any chipped tile or damaged countertops so your master bath will present a seamless finish that will make buyers feel instantly relaxed.
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Don't Overdo It
When it comes to styling, there's a fine line between artfully curated and museum-like. While it's essential to make your home feel as spacious as possible, you don't want potential buyers to feel like they can't touch anything. To create a sense of openness, remove furnishings you don't need, but then outfit those pieces you choose to keep with cozy pillows, blankets, and other touches that will make your house seem like a place a new buyer could call home.
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Pay special attention to what’s underfoot—because your potential buyers certainly will. Have wood floors refinished so they gleam, give tile and grout a deep cleaning, and add some soft, unobtrusive area rugs to cover any problem spots and create a feeling of comfort and ease (or steam-clean the rugs you already own if they’re in good shape).
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Make Quick Fixes
One thing home buyers don't want to see? Obvious displays of neglect. Go through your house and make any quick repairs you can, leaving no chipped banister, loose door handle, or leaky faucet behind. Don't forget to spiff up your basement boiler and hot water heater too. The better condition everything is in, the happier house hunters will be.
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