Before we get to the best paint colors that appeal to potential buyers, let’s touch on a few other ideas that work wonders when showing your home and can, without a doubt, generate more interest, multiple offers and higher sales prices.
De-clutter, De-clutter, De-clutter
Did we mention you should de-clutter? By at least fifty percent. Think of how much larger your closets will look with half as much clothing in there. A little bit of room between each clothing item is important, as well as considering having all the same kind and color of hanger. For real, but more about that later. While on your de-clutter mission, don’t forget the medicine cabinet and the fridge. Imagine you’re a stylist for a great home décor magazine and every view has to be artfully arranged, uncluttered and “just so”. It will be beautiful.
Cabinets Count Too
Assume no drawer or door is off limits. Open a drawer and imagine yourself seeing it for the first time. Remember that some prospective buyers cruise through and don’t open a single drawer and others open every one. Assume the latter and tidy up accordingly.
This is really, really, really important. You can’t turn down the lights to hide the dirt. You can’t light candles to conceal the mess. Your home has to be clean. Pristine with a capital P. Places that you haven’t cleaned or dusted in a while must be tended to. This would mean even cleaning the carpets, especially if you’ve got wall to wall. You’d be surprised how dirty they can be, even if it they don’t look it.
And once your home is super clean keep up with it: run that Roomba and touch up the bathrooms every time you leave before an open house or a showing.
Put Away The Personal
You think of the items and artwork featured in your home as the story of your life. But a prospective buyer needs to see a less personal canvas, not your story, so they can imagine their story in the space. Tuck away family photos and other personal items.
Pup’s Gotta Go
Whether your best bud is a pup, a kitty or a parakeet, find it another place to post up during showings and open houses. Lose the litter box, and don’t forget to pick up the yard or other outdoor space. Follow the advice above, run the Roomba and no one will ever know there’s been a pup on the premises.
Survive the Sniff Test
This is a tough one, because you might not be able to tell if there’s an aroma that needs to be amended. Ask a friend, and don’t be afraid to hear the answer. I’d advocate for a room spray over candles, citrus-y over florals. A quick spritz on your way out the door before an open house will do wonders.
My fave room spray right now is J.R. Watkins Room Freshening Spray. Aloe & Green Tea, Lemon or Grapefruit would do the trick. Best of all: it’s inexpensive and you can purchase at Target.
Value Your Valuables
We’d like to believe that anyone coming to your open house is a respectable person. However, there are no guarantees. We’ve heard of folks posing as prospective buyers and casing the joint. Sometimes they might scoop up something special during their visit, or even worse, coming back later and break in. It’s a sad reality to consider, so eliminate the risk by putting all of your valuables in a safe or better yet, stow offsite with a trusted friend or family member.
Back to Those Paint Colors
To present your prospective buyers with a blank canvas, consider uber neutral tones. Doesn’t have to be apartment white, even the slightest nod to ivory or beige or grey would be great. Further, just that little bit of contrast will punch out the trim, whether it’s ornate millwork or simple molding. Not to mention how much a lighter, brighter space looks larger. So if your preferred palette tends toward malachite or merlot, switch it up to contemporary grey, beige or warm white. A few coats of paint go a long way. It’s a low cost effort with a big ROI.
My current personal fave is Sherwin Williams Grayish. Trust me, I’ve looked a lot of grey paint chips and I do mean a lot. This is a true neutral grey, without a purple, brown or yellow cast. It’s the perfect backdrop for the natural light coming in to your home during the course of a day.
Stage If You Can
South of Market Luxury Real Estate offers every seller client one free consultation with one of the best staging firms in San Francisco. Staging consultants may tweak your already excellent furnishings by adding a few new touches here and there. Or they may recommend a completely staged home. Research shows that staged homes sell faster and for more money. That’s a fact well worth considering. Of course, if you follow the advice above you might be well on your way to be ready for your first open house. Your staging consultant will be very impressed with how organized and tidy you already are!
On a personal note: We were selling our home a few years ago and we had a consultation with a stager. She was the one who recommended the same kind and color of hanger for all the closets. I thought to myself “Really???” But I went to the store and purchased enough hangers to make this work for all of our closets. Now, I’m not able to prove this had much, if any, influence on our sale. But I do know that we went on the market on a Friday, had multiple over-ask offers and went into contract just four days later.
Could have been the hangers.