If you’ve shopped for a home, chances are you’ve come across one that you really wish you hadn’t visited in the first place. True, houses for sale ought to have a certain “lived in” quality to them, because they are to be lived in after all, but the art of tactfully balancing just the right amount of homeliness with neutrality is not so simple. You need to know what you’re doing when you prepare to set up your house and show it to potential buyers. We’ve put together some great tips for home sellers so you can get the same results you’d get by hiring a professional staging company.

Fix Up the Place

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make before putting their house up for sale is to neglect areas in the house that need attention. Folks, don’t leave that faulty step unrepaired, only for a potential buyer to step on, slide off of or worse, get injured on – FIX IT! You might think potential buyers won’t notice but they are walking around on your premises like hawks, noticing each little detail. The good news is that they are noticing the first-rate stuff too, so as long as you have the home’s amenities in order and other major areas in tip-top condition, you should be in good shape. Here’s how:

Get Rid of the Clutter

If you want to successfully sell your house, you need to get those potential buyers to imagine they already live there. Too much clutter, hobby-oriented items or personal possessions that most people may not be able to identify with, can easily get in the way of that vision. Organize things in stylish storage bins or better yet, have a garage sale before the open house and get rid of unwanted stuff. You have to move soon anyway, why not kill two birds with one stone? A clean and organized home will seem like a clean slate to buyers, who can then see themselves moving in without much hassle and settle in effortlessly.

Stay Neutral

Skip the tie and dye sofa cushions, shaggy 70s rug and don’t light incense on the day of your open house. While you’re at it, don’t fill the space with gender-specific things either. Buyers should walk into a neutral ground – literally. Light to medium colors, preferably in beige tones, are the simplest way to pull buyers’ attention away from other personal aspects of your home that they may not be able to identify with. Beige goes with almost anything so if someone considering purchasing your home can imagine their things in the space, then you’ve just crossed one of the most major hurdles in home-selling – making a buyer identify with the home.

Make It a Modern, Inviting Environment

If you don’t already have them, invest in a few modern decorative accessories to improve the look of your space while lending an air of style and taste and making it more enticing. It doesn’t have to take much but depending on how you set it up, you can enhance a given space with a few simple additions and deletions. Take your over-crowded study and rearrange the bookshelf to display only a few strategic but essential books, like a leather-bound set of encyclopedia or some literature classics. In the same way, leave a few children’s toys in a child’s room but be sure to display them tastefully.

Put a Few Finishing Touches in Place

The idea is that you want your house to be sold – and you probably want it sold fast. If you are careful to respect the people who are visiting your space to decide whether it’s the right one for them, then you are doing something that a lot of homeowners neglect to consider. Taking down a piece of controversial artwork that may make a potential purchaser uncomfortable could be the one bargaining chip that could make or break the sale. Arranging for all those who currently live in the home to be away during the open house and while showing the house being dressed in a way to present a good impression are also great ways to tip the scales in the right direction.

Happy selling!

My name is Barbara Bottitta and I am a Realtor/Partner with Keller Williams Real Estate and team leader for the Barb Bottitta Team of Lehigh Valley Home Experts. Our team of professionals include a listing and closing specialist so that from the starting line to the dotted line you won’t find another agent or team that provides better service, works harder – or cares more – than my team. My husband, Lou, and I have lived in Lower Macungie for over 30 years; our grown children attended Emmaus High School and we feel fortunate that our grandson is growing up in the Lehigh Valley as well!

Contact me for your Lehigh Valley area questions and real estate needs, and like my Facebook Page for area events, home ownership tips, real estate market updates, tips for home buyers and sellers, and so much more!

There are many great Lehigh Valley area homes for sale. Click here to perform full home search, or if you’re thinking of selling your home, click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation so you know what buyers will pay for your home in today’s market. You may also call me at (610) 398-8408 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.