It's been a while since I have written. I've been SO busy in and out of people's homes. Today when I was heading to a home staging consultation near Martin High School in Arlington, my Alma Mater by the way, I was thinking about what houses tell buyers before they even get there. Hopefully, lots of good things are being said, but sometimes there are changes (easy changes) that can be made that won't give buyers the negative clues about the house. Negative clues? What? Yes, virtually every house has short-comings. When selling, you don't want to share the short-comings with the potential new owner. Let them buy the house, move in, and learn how to live best in their new home. So Shhh! Don't tell the buyers!
#1 Don't tell the buyers this: You'll need a power washer!
The large tree by the driveway (which is a plus) drops acorns, leaves, etc., and because it's shady there all of the time, green algae likes to form and it looks messy (which is a negative). Now you understand what I'm talking about, right? Don't let your driveway tell the buyers about this maintenance chore. The solution? Grab a power washer from a friend or rent one from a local Home Improvement Store and clean that area. About an hour later, and the negative aspect of that tree just disappears!
#2 Don't tell the buyers this: There's No Room For the Trash Can!
I know many people like to have a trash can out in the open kitchen for pure function and convenience. It's bigger and can hold more trash, it's easy for kids to access it, and it even has a lid. But, let's face it. For many of us, we DON'T have room for it in a cabinet, so it's logical to have it out in the open. Here's the deal though. Would you expect a model home to have a big trash can visible in the kitchen? Probably not. So, the solution is to put it in the garage when photos are taken, and for daily living, you can probably use a smaller one with a swinging lid under the sink. Yes, it's a little bit of a pain to empty into the garage trash, but it's not blatantly telling your buyer that they'll need a trash can out for all to see when they buy your house. Another perk...since you'll be emptying your trash more often, there will be less chance for nose-curling smells, like from those left-over chicken or fish.
#3 Don't tell the buyers this: There's not enough closet space!
When you add over-the-door hooks on all of the bedroom and closet doors, it may be purely for convenience so that you have easy access to your robe, your child's backpack, your bath towel. However, when buyers see these hooks, they may assume that you don't have enough closet space. So Shhh! Don't tell the buyers! Take those away, and use the closet space inside. Also, pack away any items that you won't need for the next three months. Box them up and get them out. Donate, pack, rearrange, or throw out everything that is on the floor. That will instantly give the feeling of more space. Organize items and use baskets or bins to store things on the top shelves. Remember, you're moving anyway and will need pack your items. Go ahead and do it before the buyers come.
#4 Don't tell the buyers this: Our A/C unit doesn't cool well!
Can you guess what would subconsciously tell your buyers this? Here's a clue. It plugs in, spins, and creates air flow. It's a fan! Ceiling fans are fine. Here in Texas, we love our ceiling fans! However, some people like box fans or oscillating fans in their bedrooms. Do yourself a favor and tuck these away in the closet or garage. Shhh! We don't want anyone jumping to the conclusion that your a/c doesn't cool the way it should. It probably works just great, but your online photos may tell a different story if fans are in the picture.
Allow your house, your big marketed item, to SHOUT OUT all of the good and positive aspects. Make sure it's clean, organized, nice-smelling, and staged. And Shhh! Remember to BE QUIET about all of the other stuff.
Oh, and if you want more information like organization and what you could be telling your potential buyers, you may want to read the blog post called Linen Closets Talk to Buyers. Let me know if you need anything!