In the current Minneapolis metro area, sellers can differentiate their property by using staging strategies.
This process will start with the basics, which will actually take time and energy on your part but will pay off in the long run. Once a buyer decides he/she wants to see your place it needs to “show well”:
- Curb appeal – it all starts with the first impression, your home should look as good as possible outside; siding and roof in good shape, lawn cared for and areas near home landscaped. Add fresh flowers if you can maintain them.
- Front door – Consider replacing the door if it is worn or replace the lock if isn’t working properly.
- Clean – it sounds basic but if you aren’t a good cleaner hire someone who is. This includes getting your carpets professionally cleaned. Carpet is relatively inexpensive so you may want to consider replacing carpet if it makes a poor impression. Buyers don’t want to be making a mental “to-do” list when viewing your property.
- Windows – should be clean and functioning, if caulk is falling off reglaze or if it is time replace
- Declutter throughout your home – including visible spaces and storage areas such as kitchen cupboards, linen closets and storage areas. If you are living in your home try to pair down to essential items, perhaps put non-used items into storage or box up and put against a wall in the garage
- Furniture choices – like most people you likely have furniture in some rooms than you should when trying to sell your home, pair it down if it makes the room feel small
- Light – critically look at your light fixtures. Many buyers look at homes after work and will only see your home in the dark for the first time. If you have single bulb fixtures in entryways or hallways consider replacing them for more powerful fixtures. At a minimum they should be working and have high wattage bulbs. If you have brass fixtures these likely should be swapped out.
- Smell – yes, consider a simple air freshener either that you spray before leaving or that is an ongoing plug in. If you have pets, make sure signs of them aren’t visible or smellable.
- Once on the market keep it up
- When notified of a showing try turn on lights to make your place welcoming to a potential buyer. Agents are happy to turn off lights as they leave if instructed.
- Once staged, key features can be “on-the-spot” highlighted with notecards (i.e. if a hot-tub is outside but obstructed put a note on the sliding door)