SELLER’S ARTICLES – FOR THE SMART CONSUMER
Preparing your home for sale does not have to be a stressful process. If your home is well maintained and in good condition, few or no critical updates will be needed. This is the ideal situation for most homeowners, who do not always have the time that is required to embark on major renovation projects prior to the home’s sale.
If your home requires few or no updates, then you will be able to focus on its curbside appeal and interior appearance – the little details that will definitely capture the attention of potential buyers. One of the most effective ways to entice potential buyers is to dress up your entranceway. Whether you are welcoming potential buyers into your living room or through a grand foyer, the very first thing that they see should be an invitation to view the rest of your home. This does not mean a written invitation. Rather, through the décor of your entranceway, you can provide non-verbal invitations to get visitors excited about buying your home.
Here are some ideas for dressing up your entranceway that will stop potential buyers in their tracks and make them excited to be in your home:
Focus on Scent
One of the easiest and quickest ways to make your home more appealing is to fill your home with a non-obtrusive scent such as vanilla or even apple-cinnamon. A warm scent from a candle, potpourri or air freshener spray will catch more than just the visual attention of potential visitors.
If you have pets, do not try to mask their odor. Instead, reduce the pet odor by bathing your animals and emptying litter boxes. If possible, you may want to board your animals while your home is for sale.
Try to avoid cooking food that has a very distinct or pungent odor. Baking bread or cookies is a great idea, but avoid frying fish in garlic oil.
Paint Your Front Door
If your entrance door looks dingy, dirty, or just a little nicked and scratched, a fresh coat of paint may be the answer you have been looking for. Keep the color as neutral as possible and be sure that it complements the other colors used on the home’s exterior. Keep any glass on the exterior doors clean and free of fingerprints. If your doorknob looks aged, consider updating the hardware for a fresh new look.
Once you have painted and cleaned your front door, hang a seasonal floral decoration or wreath for a tasteful addition that serves as another way to say welcome to potential buyers.
A Fresh Coat of Paint Can Work Wonders
As with any area of your home, your entranceway will benefit from a fresh coat of paint. Patch any nail holes and select a neutral color that will blend nicely with the rest of your home. If you prefer to work with multiple colors, use a neutral and inviting color scheme. Avoid dark colors, particularly when light is limited in your entranceway.
Get Rid of… Everything!
One of the features that most potential buyers are looking for in a home is space. If your entranceway is cluttered, it could give buyers the impression that the home does not have enough storage space. If you are preparing to move, never place your boxes in the entranceway. Instead, put them in an out-of-the-way corner or use the garage as a pre-move staging area.
Remove family photos and other personalized décor from your entranceway. Family photos can make your home seem occupied, and this can reduce potential buyers’ ability to picture their family living in the home. Instead, opt for a minimalist, seasonal décor in your entranceway.
Take a Look at Your Staircase
The focal point of many entranceways is a staircase. Large homes and even smaller new homes may have large, open staircases that are visible at many angles from the front door. Walk through your front door and try to see your home from the potential buyers’ perspective. What gets your attention? How does the staircase look to you? Do you see ragged stair runners or chipped hardwood treads? Is the handrail painted to match the rest of the entranceway, or is it dirty from years of use? The answers to these questions may point you to the areas that you need to address in your entranceway.
Repainting your stairs or handrail may be a good way to start updating your staircase. You might want to consider having your stair runners professionally cleaned or even replaced. Even if you don’t plan to replace the carpeting throughout your home, consider replacing the stair runner in your entranceway, as it is a three-dimensional perspective that greets potential buyers as they walk through the front door.
Keep the Adjoining Rooms and Spaces Clean
When potential buyers walk through the front door and stand in your entranceway, they will catch glimpses of the other rooms in your home, so pay attention to the areas of adjoining rooms that are visible upon entering.
If a far corner of your living room is visible from the entranceway, don’t use it to stash boxes or children’s toys. Instead, consider extending the décor of your entranceway to that corner or add a large potted plan or tree to extend another warm welcome to your potential buyers.
Remember that it is important to keep your home as open and clutter-free as possible, particularly the main living spaces. While it may be tempting to convert your living room into a pre-move staging area, try not to fall into that trap, because it will make your room appear smaller and potential buyers may not be able to visualize their furnishings in a crowded space.
Dressing up your entranceway will enable you to put your home’s best foot forward! By taking a little time to carefully inspect potential buyers’ view upon entering your home, you will be better prepared to meet and exceed the buyers’ expectations. Consider the way that your entranceway appeals to potential buyers as they enter your home. What do they see, hear, smell and feel when they enter? What quick and easy things can you do to improve the sensory impact? Following the simple advice presented above will enable you to capture all of the potential buyers’ senses, thereby making them more likely to become actual buyers.
Selling your home is a huge event. It is comforting to know that through a few simple actions you can entice potential buyers and even increase their willingness to pay more for your home.