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Are you thinking of putting your St. Louis home on the market? Part of the selling process is making sure your house is ready and inviting for an open house. You definitely want your house to stand out to potential buyers, so it’s good to know what they may be looking for to ensure your house is ready to go. Here are some items to keep in mind.
Buyers have a discerning eye and will be looking at everything in your home from kitchen cabinets to under the beds, so making sure you keep everything as clean as possible is a must. Keep windows, mirrors, light switches, and doors free of fingerprint smudges, dust the furniture and shelves, clean the refrigerator and oven, clear the gutters – clean everything. Potential buyers will snoop a bit in an open house, so no area is off limits. Clear the clutter and do the white glove test to ensure your home is ready to show.
Storage is at the top of a buyer’s wish list, so it’s important that the storage space in your home seems ample. The best way to accomplish this is to organize. If your kitchen cabinets are bursting at the seams with all of your kitchen gear, it may be a good idea to clear some of the items out, pack them up, and put them in storage. If a buyer looks into your pantry or your refrigerator and the shelves are completely full, they may assume that there isn’t enough space. Organize your pantry and refrigerator items, add organizational racks or baskets, or stack items to create more space. Closet space is another hot spot for storage, so make sure your closets are organized, everything is hung and folded neatly, and that it’s not too crowded.
Keep It Bright and Airy
Buyers are looking for good natural light as well as bright open spaces, so let the light in – both natural and artificial. Open the curtains and the blinds, remove any window treatments that are heavy and dark, and make sure every light bulb in the house is in good working order. If you have rooms that are painted in darker tones, they’ll appear smaller than they actually are, so it may be wise to repaint those rooms with a lighter shade to enhance the space that you have.
Enhance Your Curb Appeal
First impressions go a long way, so why not make improvements to your curb appeal? Keep your lawn and walkways maintained and trimmed, clear the cobwebs from the eaves, and add a pop of color such as potted flowers or a new brightly colored mailbox. Don’t go overboard with pink flamingos and garden gnomes – you want it to be understated but charming, and you want your buyers to walk away thinking that this home was quite welcoming.
Keeping Everything Up-to-Date
Possibly the largest concern among home buyers is whether or not the house and its maintenance has been neglected. If you host an open house and the buyers notice that you haven’t changed your air filters or you haven’t addressed a water stain, they may just turn and run. Be sure that you have done your due diligence to guarantee that the home you’re selling won’t become a money pit. Address any issues that can be a deal killer such as mold, water damage, a leaky pipe or faucet, damaged ducts, or a cracked foundation. If a buyer walks through the home and feels it has been well cared for, they’ll be much more confident in making an offer.
Many assume that buyers only look at layout and appliance brands in an open house, but that just isn’t the case in today's market. It may take some work to get your home ready for an open house, but it’ll be worth it once the offers start coming in.