Forever and always you will always here about curb appeal. It doesn't matter what time of year it is, a well maintained exterior will give people the best representation of your property. Not only will the front of your home be the first photo that anyone sees on the MLS but any interested buyers will also be doing a drive by of your property. Lots of them deciding to eliminate your home solely based off of it's first impression. Here's a list to help you out:
Power wash siding and walkways
Hang easy-to-read house numbers
Plant blooming flowers and fresh greenery
Mow lawn, and reseed or add fresh sod as needed
Wash front windows
Repaint or stain the porch floor as needed
Keep Drive and Walkways free and clear of snow and ice
Shovel all decks and balconies.
Front Porch/ Entrance
Having a charming entry way is a great way to start off a positive showing and general feel throughout the house. Having a clean door mat, some potted plants and maybe a cute bench with storage will give the entrance definition without cluttering the space. Keeping this space clean, with minimal furniture. A great way to enlarge your entrance is to add a full length mirror. Not only does it serve its purpose as a wardrobe check before heading out the door but it also adds the feeling of spaciousness to perhaps a not very spacious entrance.
Doors and Door Knobs
Walls/ Trim/ Baseboards
Interior and Exterior of all Drawers and Shelving
Counter tops/ Backsplashes
Grout/ Grout Pen to clean it up
Scrub tile in Kitchen/ Bathroom
Sparkling Bathrooms/ Kitchens- replace old caulking
Steam Clean and Vaccum Carpets/ Washed (waxed) Floors
Clean all appliances
Organize Pantry/ Closets
Wash and Steam curtains
Clear away all clutter
If you are serious about staging your home, all clutter must go, end of story. It’s not easy, and it may even require utilizing offsite storage (or a nice relative’s garage) temporarily, but it is well worth the trouble. Making surfaces clear of any clutter, floors, cupboards and closets equal more space in the eyes of potential buyers, so purge anything unnecessary or unsightly. If your closets and storage areas are overflowing with stuff it will give the appearance there isn't a lot of storage in the house. If you're planning on purchasing a bigger home because you've run out of space you're already well aware of this. But the first time home buyer with no furniture yet needs to be able to invision themselves moving there and that's harder to do for some if there is no room for visualization.
"But it’s my style!"
Guess what? It may not be the style of those seeking to buy a house in your neighborhood. So even if you have an awesome vintage-chic look going on (personally guilty of this), rein it in for the sake of appealing to the most number of people. You can bring your personal style back into play in your new home.
I think we've all seen the youtube clip "company is coming" if not you need to:
Strike a balance between clean and lived-in. Although the video references throwing everything out thats probably not the best solution. Making sure beds are made everyday (yes kids we said EVERYDAY), couches are clean, counter tops wiped down. I know like it seems like a lot of work, but who has ever said they hated living in a clean home and the potential buyers will appreciate it too. Now that you've gotten rid of the clutter it's time to bring back a few elements that will really make your home appealing. Think vases of cut flowers, a basket of fresh farmer's market produce on the kitchen counter or a bowl of lemons beside the sink, anything to brighten it up and create more of a pulled together look.
Styling your Dining Room
Style your dining room table or eating area. The dining room is often a blind spot in decorating the home. Between dinners, a large dining table can look bare and uninviting, so styling it up with visitors in mind can increase the appeal. An oversize arrangement can look too stiff and formal, so try lining up a series of smaller vessels down the center of the table instead. If you have a smaller dining room and have a larger dinning table make sure the proportion of the table works well with the size of the room (take out or add any leafs). No one wants to invision a Christmas dinner touching elbows and breathing down one anothers neck while you eat. If you have a buffet or any shelving around the dining areas make sure it's all clean and clutter free.
Rearrange your Furniture
Rearrange your furniture. In the living room, symmetrical arrangements usually work well if you have a fire place center your furniture around that. If the TV is the main focus do the same thing. Pull your furniture off the walls and use pairs (of sofas, chairs, lamps) to create an inviting conversation area. Statement coffee tables are making their way back into the homes. Always remove unnecessary bulky furniture as you want to be creating extra space not subtracting from it.
Choose sophisticated neutral colors. Now is not the time to experiment with that "fun"-looking lime green (and if you already did there is still time to fix it!). But that doesn't mean you need to go all white, either. Rich midtone neutrals like mocha and "greige" create a sophisticated backdrop that makes everything look more pulled together. Having a balanced put together space with a mixture of colors, textures and patterns creates a "homey" feel.
Create a gender-neutral master bedroom. Appeal to everyone with a clean, tailored master bedroom, free of personal items and clutter. You can't go wrong with clean, crisp linens, tasteful artwork and a blanket folded at the foot of the bed.
Clean Up Toys
Clean up toys. Of course there will be families with children looking at your home, but just because they have kids too doesn't mean seeing toys strewn everywhere will sell them on the place. When people are house hunting, they are imagining a fresh start so stepping on a bunch of LEGO isn't really giving a great impression (although realistic). Show them that in this house, it is possible to have a beautifully organized kids' room, and they might be swayed.
Use "extra" rooms wisely. If you have been using a spare bedroom as a dumping ground for odd pieces of furniture and boxes of junk, it's time to clean up your act. Each room should have a clearly defined purpose, so think about what potential buyers might like to see here. An office? A guest room? Another kids' room? Whether you buy inexpensive furnishings, rent them, or borrow some from friends, making a real room out of a junk room will have a big payoff.