So, you’ve read my other articles on home staging and taken them to heart. You’ve headed the warnings from your Realtor. You’ve watched so many HGTV shows you think its time you get your own. Great! Time to put the sign in the yard and start bringing home boxes and packing peanuts. Not so fast! Because you’ve tackled the big things like paint, updating appliances and moving out excess furniture you feel like your work is done. The ugly truth is your home is now in constant “show home” mode. What does that mean? It means that before any photographs are taken, before any single showing takes place, there are little details to address. Read on for some of the biggest “small” mistakes sellers make.
1) Leaving evidence of pets. “Your dog is so cute! Now get rid of him.” This is what your Realtor is thinking but can’t really say. Pet odors, supplies and the animals themselves can instantly turn a buyer off. Before photographs and showings, hide the litter box, kennel, chew toys, food bowls, etc. If you can take Fluffy with you when you leave the house for these events that would be preferable. Perhaps a neighbor could watch him. Leaving him in the backyard or in one of the rooms is not an option! Anything that prevents a buyer from accesssing every corner of every space is a huge “no-no” and leaving these items out in photographs is pretty much kissing 50% of your prospects goodbye before they even see the house in person.
2) “I see London, I see France, I can see your underpants.” Hide your laundry either in drawers/closets or by using hampers with lids. When it comes to laundry baskets, go ahead and keep those emptied and preferably in a closet out of the way. Clothing, even if its stacked and folded, looks cluttered and makes people feel like they are intruding into your personal territory.
3) Overcompensating for household odors. Everyone’s home has a certain smell about it, good or bad. Our carpets, our clothing, our soaps, they all contribute to an overall, unique smell that we grow accustomed to over time. Ask an honest friend (or your mother in law) to stop by and do a sniff test before you start having showings or open houses. Scentsy warmers are all the rage and provide desirable fragrances while adding a decorative touch to any room of the home. They’re also safer than open flames, especially while you’re away. Here’s where the mistake comes in: Using multiple scents from room to room can give some people headaches. Using scents that smell too “floral” or “musky” can turn people away. Stick with one fragrance like a clean linen or fresh cotton and limit the plug-ins or warmers to just a couple of rooms. And instead of dousing your rooms with carpet sprinkles, room sprays and candle warmers try having the carpets, upholstery and window treatments cleaned first to eliminate odors altogether.