So you’ve bitten the bullet and decided to put your house up for sale. Now what? Aside from hiring a real estate agent, there are a few other important matters to address before your home is listed and potential buyers start coming through the door.
It’s important to remember that while you may look around your abode and see your dream home, not everyone will agree. After all, potential buyers aren’t buying your aesthetic.
They’re after square footage, closet space, great light, and up-to-date—maybe even brand-new—appliances and fixtures. Investing the time and money to make your home more appealing to the average buyer, both practically and visually, according to three experts, is well worth it.
Adam Hunter, a former stager and a current interior designer; Shanna Bradley, a top realtor for Sotheby’s; and Nicole Fuller, an interiors pro specializing in high-end residential design, know the best tips and tricks for making your home as sellable as possible.
Below, they sound off on paint colors, depersonalizing, and de-cluttering your soon-to-be former home.
Adam Hunter, Interior Designer
“When you’re getting ready to sell your house, you should accentuate its best features—if there’s good light, then make sure the windows are free from too many fussy treatments. If it’s the floors that shine, don’t have too many rugs down. The home should feel as fresh, airy, and appealing as possible, and there is such a thing as overstaging and over-upgrading. Maximize light, minimize furnishings, and keep the closets contained and organized. You can even take half of the stuff out of the closets to give the illusion of more space.”
Shanna Bradley, Sotheby’s Realtor
“A consultation with a home stager and a realtor is very important before listing. They can give recommendations on making the house look and feel like a model home by de-cluttering, painting, updating, and cleaning so that it will appeal to a wide variety of buyers. Staging is really the new norm. Also, it’s smart to get a pre-listing inspection, so that a seller can be proactive about addressing items that may scare off potential buyers, such as water intrusion issues, mold, plumbing, and electrical concerns. Buyers may get emotional about some of these things once found by their own inspector and terminate the contract. Lastly, you should repaint every room in the same neutral palette. Paint is very much a personal preference, so it is good to have a blank canvas when buyers come to see your home. Bold paint colors or wild wall coverings can distract them and they may miss out on the important architectural details of the house. They also cannot visualize themselves living there if they do not agree with the paint color.”
Nicole Fuller, Interior Designer
“If the kitchen and baths are dated, I would advise renovating those areas, as that is usually what the client looks at first—they’re very important areas of the house and will generally set the tone. If you aren’t repainting the entire home, it’s best to at least paint a fresh coat of bright white on the ceilings to create light and dimension. It’s also absolutely crucial to depersonalize your space. You want people to have their own experience and attach themselves to the property, and it generally will not happen if the first things they see are your family photos and memorabilia.”