Tips on keeping your home for sale ready to show

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When you are ready to sell your home, "staging, staging, staging" (just like "location, location, location") will play a very important role in getting your house sold faster and for a higher price.

Remember, first impressions are everything, and most buyers decide in the first 60 seconds whether they love, like or hate a house ... which translates into "I want to buy this home" (or not).

So, while you can't move your house to that lagoon and wooded location, you can have your home show-ready to greet and welcome buyers in an appealing way.

Here are some simple steps that you can take to make your prospective buyer's first impressions as good as they can be:

  • Keep all of your bathroom personal items in a container in one of your cabinets, so your bathroom is always clutter free.
  • Use your fluffiest towels for show and don't use them, so that they stay neat and clean.
  • Make all the beds, fluff the pillows, and put on your bedspreads every morning.
  • Pack away as many clothes as possible and keep the ones you use neat and organized.
  • Put all clothing in the right places right away after you're finished using them.
  • Invest in felt hangers to make all your closets more attractive, and keep the closet floors clear of everything.
  • Before showings, open the blinds and turn on the lights, and put the ceiling fans on low - light and bright homes are more inviting.
  • Scents help make a great impression; the smell of a clean house is the best. Light, natural scents are also inviting (no strong scents!).
  • Vacuum the carpet and lightly swish the wood floors every day.
  • Dirty dishes should be in the dishwasher, and dirty clothes placed neatly in the hamper (wash more often while your home is on the market).
  • When you have a showing, do not be there. It makes buyers uncomfortable. They want to look at your house on their own and share their comments with each other without you being there.

When we sold our house in the Twin Cities in 2005, it was looking so good that now and then we wondered why we were selling it - until we remembered that we were moving to Hilton Head Island.

Larry Stoller is a broker and Realtor with Real Estate Five of the Lowcountry. Larry@RealEstateFive.com or www.RealEstateFive.com

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