Now that the outside has been adequately beautified, and you've mastered curb appeal, it's time to move on to
the inside of your home.
Just like there was a lot of little things you could do to make an overwhelming difference to the outside of
your home, there's lots of great projects you can tackle inside, without having to spend a great deal of money.
While the whole home is very important, the two primary areas for sprucing up should be your kitchen and
bathroom. The following tips will guide you through the inside of your home in general, and then progress to each
area of your home, to make sure that you're maximizing its potential.
The world of real estate is becoming more sophisticated in its understanding of what sells. In this sense, there
is a much better comprehension of how we can spruce up our homes for sale. In fact, there are actually people who
have made an occupation of just this study and this task.
There is a whole knack to being able to properly “stage” a home these days. Fortunately, it while it is an
extremely effective effort, it is not one that takes a large amount of money. It's just a matter of improving your
The key is to look at your home not through your own eyes, but through the eyes of the prospective buyer. Look
at your home as though you've never been there or seen it before in your life.
Think of it as romancing your buyer with your house, so you'll want to set the mood.
Clear out excess furniture and accessories from the interior of your home as much as possible. If a piece of
furniture is too big for the room, or is crowding the room, put it in storage, have a garage sale, or give it to a
This also goes for decorations, oversized stuffed animals, and other items that you may have collected over the
years. Anything that takes up space should be considered, and if it's not necessary, you'll want to clear it
Nothing is more effective at opening up a house than getting rid of clutter. It will look immeasurably more
spacious without all of your extra things in the way.
Pay special attention to keeping hallways and doorways clear. Not only will this make the prospective buyer feel
that they will be purchasing a more spacey home, and can easier imagine their own things inside of it.
Go through your house and clear off all of the horizontal surfaces, kitchen counters, and bathroom
This means that you won't be leaving any magazines, knick-knacks, or other various items to add to a cluttered
appearance in your home. Either pack them or get rid of them in some other way.
Your home should smell good. When this comes to selling the house, it means that there should be no noticeable
odors. Make careful attempts to get rid of the following smells:
H Pet odors
H Stale cooking/food smells
H Cigarette smoke
Smell makes an enormous impact on people when they enter a home. Furthermore, while smokers and pet owners may
not even notice the smells in their home – having become quite accustomed to them – they may be an overwhelming
turn-off for potential buyers.
In this case, have a non-smoking, non-pet owning friend come over to perform a sniff test.
While it used to be recommended that you bake bread or steam cinnamon potpourri before a potential buyer is to
come through, it's no longer recommended. The same goes for spray air fresheners.
If you insist upon adding a scent to your home, make it a very – repeat, very – lightly
scented candle, or scented oil. However, it's better not to scent the home at all.
The best way to get rid of scent problems in a home isn't to cover them up, but instead, it's to remove them at
the source. Recommended techniques for accomplishing this include:
H Scrubbing the house
H Having the air vents cleaned
H Replacing old, smelly carpeting
H Smoking outdoors
Just like you, buyers are lazy when it comes to having to take on large projects within the home. They want to
be able to move in and be happy with what they've bought.
If your property is in need of work, such as the following, you should tackle them before the potential buyers
get to see it, so that all they will picture is moving day, not all the work they'd have to put into the home.
H Old, dated wallpaper
H Ratty carpeting
H Cracked or peeling paint
H Cracked, broken, or missing tiles
H Other similar projects
Most people will want all of the important work done before they move in. They don't want to have to worry about
tearing the place apart as soon as they get their stuff inside.
They want to buy a home, and not remain unsettled for a long time while they bring the place to the level that
they consider to be livable.
With each change that they prospective buyer calculates that they'd have to make to your home; they'll become
just that much more concerned. When it comes to selling your home, you need to make it your priority to assuage
Are families with babies and/or young children a part of your potential market? If they are, then you need to
ask yourself if you would put your own child on your floor and let him or her crawl about.
In the case of having your house pass the baby test, go for cleanliness first. Make the following efforts for
approval from the perspective of a judgmental parent:
H Floors looking clean enough to eat off of,
H Carpets looking and smelling fresh,
H Walls free of grimy smudges and handprints
Of all the impacts that your home can have on your buyer, cigarette smoke is the very last one you'd want. This
doesn't just mean the smell – which, as we discussed in tip #15, is quite offensive to potential buyers – but the
look of ash trays (even clean ones) and smoke stains on walls, cupboards, and otherwise.
This is also true for burn holes in carpeting and upholstery. Sure, you're not selling your furniture, but the
furniture that is there will leave an overall impression, so make certain that they don't show signs of smoker's
For the majority of buyers, they won't even want to tour a home if it is currently owned by a smoker. With that
in mind, make sure to get rid of any “evidence” of your habit.
While this book is not about preaching to quit smoking, for all intents and purposes, your home should appear as
though you've never smoked in it a day in your life.
Store all of your ash trays out of sight; clean all of the walls, ceilings, and other places that have smoke
stains, and replace or cover any fabrics, carpets, or upholsteries that have burn holes.
If you must smoke, do so outside, and make sure that you're not smoking in front of an open window that will
simply let the smoke back in.
In the world of real estate, there is a huge difference between an old home, and a classic home. It's comparable
to the idea of used clothing versus vintage clothing; only on a much grander scale.
If your home is about 40 years old, with 40-year old paint and wallpaper, 40-year-old appliances, and
40-year-old carpeting, then you have an “old” house, which is hard to sell.
On the other hand, if you've shown that you've maintained your home with an overall established look, but which
has been kept fresh and up-to-date, this is a “classic” home, which is a very appealing style.
The major kinks of the new home have been worked out, the neighborhood is settled, and it has been maintained
well enough that “falling apart” won't be a major issue.
Two major things that your potential buyers will be looking for in your home include light and space.
Sure, it's alright to have one room that is a bit on the darker side; however, if the entire home is dark, that
should be considered to be a problem.
When people will be viewing your home, open drapes and blinds, turn on all of the lights, and add lights to
If Mother Nature doesn't feel like being helpful on the day that people will be viewing your home, use flowers
and other similar things that will suggest sunlight.
Your goal is to make your space look crisp, sharp, and vibrant. Your home should be a happy space inside which
the prospective buyer wants to spend more time.
Most buyers will have a professional home inspection done anyway, but if you do it ahead of time, then you can
take care of any necessary repairs even before it goes onto the market.
Depending on your area, and what kind of home you have, this will probably cost between $200 and $400 to have
done, but it can be well worth the effort.
If you're not certain who to hire, ask your real estate agent, and he or she will be able to recommend several
It's true; color is very popular when it comes to walls. However, there is a problem; you and your buyer may not
have the same taste in what colors are best on walls.
Paint is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to give your home a fresh new look, and if you're going to put in
the effort, you may as well do it right. Before selling, you'll want to stick to neutrals.
White, beige, and cream may seem pretty boring, but despite this fact, they are the best for creating an easier
Remember also that white reflects the most light out of any color, and therefore it will make the rooms appear
If you have carpet, it's wise to have it shampooed to remove any stains or smells that may exist. If that
doesn't work, then you'll likely have to get rid of it.
If your carpet is dirty looking, soiled, or stained beyond rescue, then your only alternative is to get rid of
it. Instead of replacing it with carpet, think about wood or laminates, since they're better selling features.
Wood and laminates make your home look more spacious, and people like to see woods and laminates more than
carpeting when they're looking at homes. As an added bonus, these types of flooring are much easier to keep clean
than carpets are.
If you have any kinds of “loud” decorating that makes a statement or that is controversial, you should take it
Examples of controversial decorating are a deer head on the wall, or a bear skin rug.
These items may be attractive or fun in your eyes, but there are many people who will find this a complete
This is the same for books and magazines that you might have lying around. If you're not sure, the best thing is
not to display them, in case something might be offensive or simply unattractive to prospective buyers.
Peeling wallpaper should be removed immediately and replaced with a fresh coat (or two) of paint.
This is especially important in bathrooms. Here, you should either paint a neutral color, or the lightest color
that will match the existing tile.
This is the same for kids' rooms. If they need a fresher look, then go with colors that are as neutral as
That way, while buyers look at the house, they'll be looking at the home for itself, not for your own decorating
abilities. Furthermore, this allows them more of a shot at imagining the way their things will go into the
While no buyer will expect that your closets will be perfectly neat or empty, but they are looking for a large
amount of storage space for their own things.
To help with this impression, the rule of thumb is to take everything out of your closet, and only put half of
it back in. The rest of the stuff will need to find a new home; in the garbage, the clothing donation charity, or
packed in your suitcases.
The reason for doing this is that partially empty closets look much roomier than they may really be. And
remember, it's space and storage that sell.
The same can be done for your kitchen cabinets and other storage areas. An added bonus is that when you're done
sifting through your stuff to get half out of the closets, you'll already have gotten rid of a lot of things that
you'll no longer have to move.
Moreover, if you've packed up the extras, that's work done that you would have had to do sooner or later
Fresh flowers in your house will give it a healthy, clean, and bright look, without spending a fortune.
If you have the money, you can add a professional arrangement full of exotic flowers to a room in your home.
However, if you'd rather splurge on other things, then you can always go for a cheaper flower. The important
thing is that they're fresh, healthy, and in warm colors.
Affordable fresh cut flowers include:
Consider having the colors not only match the room, but the season.
For example, springtime is a great opportunity to use pinks and purples, summer is fantastic for reds and bright
yellows, and fall is great for oranges and pale yellows. In the wintertime, anything bright and happy is a good
If you have flowers in your yard that can be cut, it's pleasant to have some in the house. This not only ties
the inside and the outside, but it gives your home an authentic happy and fresh feeling.
Just be certain that you don't cut so many that the outside gardens have bare patches!
If it's mild enough outside – that is, if it's cool enough in warm weather, or warm enough in cool weather – you
might think about opening up the windows.
This will bring the fresh air in, and will be wonderful for making the air breathable, and getting rid of any
“home” smells that you may not even notice, but may be obvious to the prospective buyer.
Be careful about the temperatures in which you open the windows. If you make it too hot or too cold inside, then
the prospective viewers will feel uncomfortable, and therefore won't attach themselves quite as well.
Moreover, a too-cold house will take away from the welcoming feeling you're trying to instill in the home, and a
too-warm house will make the house feel smaller than it is, and will make the prospective buyers want to leave
faster. Naturally, that's not what you're going for.
When people look to buy a home, they're being extremely picky and observant about every little thing. That being
said, you don't want to lose a sale just because you have a cobweb in a basement window.
Therefore, it's a good idea to go over your home with a “white glove” to ensure that it is spic and span. Pay
special attention to elements such as:
When people are looking for houses, it's very, very rare that they'll only see one or two houses. Therefore, if
you're going to have a number of people view your home as they look at a dozen or so other homes, you need to make
sure that yours is the one that stands out in their minds.
Of course there are good ways to stand out, and there are bad ways. The bad ways must be avoided at all costs.
The good ways, however, should be aimed for with great attention.
Think about it: if you were to see five houses today, and another five a week from now, all with very similar
features, how much would you really remember about each individual home?
The odds are, you'll remember the one that had some special little detail; maybe it's the one with the pink
roses on the kitchen table.
Not only will this sort of little thing make your home more memorable, but it will also let your house rate
higher among the others.
It's like the “hook” that marketers aim for in commercials and other advertising. It's something different and
positive that sets your home apart from other houses.
Remember that as much as you want to maximize your selling potential, you don't want to be so extreme that
you've not only wasted your time, but you've overwhelmed those who will be viewing the home.
If you go too far, the house will look so staged that it will feel artificial. You want your buyers to feel that
they could move into the place, not that they should stay behind the red velvet ropes.