Selling a home is a busy and often stressful time of any homeowner’s life. The task of getting packed while preparing the home for sale is added to their everyday life of work, kids, and everything else that they already have going on.
It’s important to remember that for most sellers, they have never done this before and are really going into it unsure of what to expect. The good news is they have you, an experienced agent who can walk them through it and give them advice on the ways to increase their home’s value and have it sell quickly. On the other hand, without specific guidance, they may be focusing on the wrong things and wasting precious energy on things that may not make a difference.
When it comes to preparing a home for pictures, the important thing for your sellers to know is that it’s the big stuff that matters. You want to make sure that, as a whole, the rooms are cohesive and neat. Eliminating the personal items and junk we all usually have around is the highest priority. When those are taken away, selling features like the countertops and hard wood floor become more noticeable.
Second, photos with modern and interesting designs and colors usually grab attention online or in print. Once the junk is removed, you may find a couple great teal or purple pillows to throw on the bed to match that accent wall in the bedroom, or vibrant red hand towels that bring out the tiling in the kitchen. That cohesiveness, as I mentioned above, can be created by just a few distinct pieces or accents. Even if the house is not professionally staged, these small additions will show viewers that you have put time into showing the home in its best light.
Often, we will walk into a house to find a seller hurriedly sweeping every corner and feverishly vacuuming every room, while the home in general is still cluttered with personal items. We always recommend clearing out the clutter before focusing on things like vacuuming and dusting. If your client is pressed for time, have them concentrate on moving out boxes and clearing counters of junk before pulling out the vacuum.
Hopefully these tips will help you decide just how much you want to encourage your clients to do, and which things can be left alone. These days, a minimalist approach really is the best way to sell a home. The homeowners will eventually be moving all of their stuff out of the home, so preparing a little in advance to move it out before photos are taken really will make a big difference. And what seller would pass up an opportunity to require the family to live “clutter free” for photos and showings, at least for a couple months anyway!