• Home Sales and Decorating

    Preparing your home for sale requires you to look at your home with new eyes. Fortunately, you may already be in practice. If you're selling your old home, it's probably because you've been shopping around for a home yourself. If so, put your buyer's instincts to use as a seller. Remember what things attracted you most about homes you looked at. Think about the things that really turned you off. Then go around your own home and see what looks good and what needs to be fixed.

    Here are some suggestions for things you can do to make your home look better for the day of sale.

    Carpet

    One of the best things you can do is replace the carpet. New carpet can give a whole new look and feel to a home. Choose a light color to give the home an airy, open, inviting feel. One couple tried to sell their home with old carpet for over a month with no results. They kept telling buyers that the carpet would be replaced and that they'd even give a credit toward that, deducted from the selling price. They didn't want to make that personal choice for the buyer. But no one wanted to buy. Finally, the couple installed some cheap, off-white carpet and sold the home in a couple of days.

    Paint

    After carpet, a fresh coat of paint is the best way to spruce up your old home. Again, choose light, neutral colors. This will give an airy feeling and won't cause potential buyers to worry that their own furniture and decorations won't go with the color scheme.

    Remove Excess

    When a house is full of furniture and other items, it looks smaller. Packed rooms and jammed closets aren't showing off how much they can hold. They're making your home look tiny and easily over-filled. A lot of the excess can simply be gotten rid of in a good housecleaning. Throw away what you don't need or give it to charity if it's in good condition. But even after you've done that, you may find yourself with more possessions than fit comfortably into your home. (This is especially the case if you're selling the home to move into a larger one.) In that case, rent a storage space. Take out extra furniture that overfills a room and put it in storage. Go through closets and remove extra clothing that you won't be wearing right away. Paradoxically, when the closet holds fewer items, it looks like it holds a lot.

    Clean

    This is an obvious piece of advice, but it needs to be stated. Clean everything. Make sure every square inch of the home is sparkling and shiny. Don't just make the home look clean, make it smell clean as well. That means eliminating animal odors if you can. If someone else can take care of your pets for a few weeks, that would be ideal. If not, the pets may need to slum it in the garage for a while. Heavy cooking odors can also be a turn off, so now is not the best time to try out a new recipe for fried fish.

    Eliminate Clutter

    Newspapers, magazines, bills, and other paperwork are all facts of life. And they all look bad just laying around in a home you're trying to sell. Get rid of all these things as quickly as you can. For the items you must keep around, keep them out of side in a drawer or an attractive box in the closet.