How To Make Your Home Stand Out When Selling

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall

Selling your house is exciting and stressful all at the same time, especially if there are other homes on the market in your area. Ideally, you want to sell quickly, but what if those other homes try to outshine yours? Well, it’s time to make your home stand out when selling, so you snag the deal first.

Pare down personal items and clutter, deep clean your home, and go with a neutral palette that appeals to a larger pool of buyers. Pay close attention to curb appeal and maximize lighting inside and outside your home. Finish nagging repairs, work with a qualified real estate agent, and use high-quality property photos.

If you want your home to stand out, it’s time to put your best foot forward. Roll up your sleeves, make a few tweaks, and listen to your agent. Overall, there are ten primary points to concentrate on when prepping your home for sale.

10 Ways To Make Your House More Appealing When Selling

When you plan to sell your house, it’s almost like you’re getting ready for a big party, right? You spend a few weeks before the event looking for the perfect outfit, getting your hair done, booking a manicure, etc.

On the day of the party, you spend extra time getting your make-up just right or prepping your clothes. You do everything you can to look your best and make a great first impression when you mingle with the rest of the guests.

Prepping your home for sale requires similar actions. You should spend several weeks before listing your home making it look its best. When it’s time for a showing, tweak and primp to ensure your home shines bright. Here are ten tips to steer you in the right direction for a successful home sale.

1. Get Rid Of Clutter And Reduce Decor

Do you want to look at overcrowded tabletops, piles of clothes, and toiletries scattered about the bathroom vanity? Of course you don't, and neither do potential buyers.

A bunch of clutter looks messy and gives buyers the impression that your home doesn't have enough storage. Too much stuff also makes a house feel cramped and smaller than it is. Excessive amounts of decor, whether tons of artwork on the walls or knick-knacks on every surface, shrink a room.

For buyers, all of this stuff becomes overwhelming. People don't know where to look next because everything is competing for their attention. Therefore, they get distracted and don't see what they actually came to look at -- your house.

Selling your house is the perfect time to purge unwanted and unnecessary items. Don't take things to your new home that no longer have a place in your life. Donate or toss them.

If possible, start packing some items early and put them in storage to help reduce clutter even further. Finally, edit your remaining home decor and accessories. Leave a few key pieces for staging purposes and box up the rest.

2. Deep Clean Your House

Just like buyers don't want to see piles of stuff when they're house hunting, they also don't want to see a filthy house. Nobody likes a dirty house, especially when it's someone else's dirt. Keep your house clean and tidy while it’s on the market.

Routinely clean your home so you don’t end up having to deep clean things at the last minute. Have strategies in play to straighten up for last-minute showings. For example, have a few baskets to quickly toss unsightly items into and wipes at the ready for quick cleanups.

At the very least, deep clean your kitchen and bathrooms and do a light cleaning everywhere else. No one likes dirty, but there’s something about a grimy kitchen or bathroom that’s especially off-putting.

3. Don’t Get Too Personal

The overarching goal of listing your house is to sell it to someone else. Your home needs to appeal to a large pool of buyers, not you or people just like you. Therefore, buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in the home.

However, it’s hard for them to do that if your action figure collection or family photos are all over the place. So when your house is on the market, it’s time to depersonalize it a bit. Remove the family photos, take down the niche decor, and create a more universal feel throughout your home.

4. Choose A Neutral Palette

Color is great. Nowadays, it’s hot for people to use bold or moody colors in their designs that reflect their personalities. However, when it comes to selling, the name of the game is mass appeal.

Don't assume buyers can look beyond your bright yellow walls or green vanity. Painting is an affordable way to make a big impact in a space. So grab a few cans of a neutral color with warm undertones.

This simple change works wonders for how your home looks to buyers. Neutral colors provide buyers with a blank canvas so they can better visualize their furniture in the space. It also helps brighten up your home, which tends to show better.

That’s not to say you can’t infuse any color into your design when you’re showing your home. You don’t want things to look boring, after all. But save the color for things like artwork, furniture, accessories, etc., and don’t go overboard.

5. Create A Great First Impression With Curb Appeal

The first thing buyers see when they come to your home is the front of your house. If your home’s exterior isn't up to par, buyers immediately assume negative things about the home’s interior. Therefore, when prepping your home for sale, don’t forget about the outside.

Spruce up the yard, add a fresh coat of paint to the front door that makes it pop, and add some simple landscaping. You don’t need to spend tons of money, but a bit of elbow grease and a few simple touches make a big difference.

Put things that don’t belong in your yard away (like your kid’s bike, the garbage can, and the garden hose sprawled across the lawn). Keep the grass cut, weed the garden, and add some splashes of color or greenery with potted plants on the porch.

6. Let There Be Light (Inside And Outside)

Go through your entire home and make sure all the lights work. You want your home to be nice and bright when buyers walk through. Plus, buyers will test everything. You don’t want them to discover burnt-out bulbs and wonder if it’s just the bulb or something wrong with the electrical.

Don’t even give their minds an opportunity to go there. Replace burnt-out bulbs inside and outside your home. Buyers often scope out properties during the day and at night to see how they look.

You want your home's exterior to be well-lit. Not only does exterior lighting make your home look better, but it also gives a sense of security.

Vary your lighting with a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting. Inside, you may have things like overhead lights, lamps, under-cabinet lighting, pendants, wall sconces, etc. Outside, it could be a porch light, exterior sconces, solar lights lining your walkways and garden, or uplighting on columns.

7. Complete Your Honey-Do List

When you go clothes shopping, do you pick the shirt that’s ready to wear or the equally-priced one with a hole? Obvious answer, right? If buyers walk through your house and start noticing a bunch of things that need repairs, it’s likely to push them away.

Buyers start thinking of everything they’ll need to fix and wonder what else is wrong with the house. What about the things they can’t see?

Putting your home’s best foot forward means taking care of repairs before selling so your buyer doesn’t have to worry about it. It also means buyers won’t be distracted by a growing to-do list. Instead, they can devote their energy to imagining themselves living in the home.

8. Work With An Excellent Real Estate Agent

As soon as you decide to sell, find a qualified real estate agent to walk alongside you during the process. Selling a home is no simple feat. A professional will help guide you, offer valuable tips and insight, and greatly reduce your stress.

Gather recommendations from trusted friends or family that have recently sold their homes. Check out reviews online. Interview several agents about their experience, marketing strategy, and knowledge of the area.

When you work with an agent, you’ll likely be working with this person for several weeks. Therefore, hire someone you trust to do a good job, but also that you feel comfortable working with.

9. Use High-Quality Photographs In Your Listing

If you’re working with an agent (see tip number 8), make sure they use high-quality photographs to list your property. Today, everything pretty much starts online. If the pictures of your home don’t look good, buyers likely won’t bother seeing it in person.

Many successful real estate agents work with professional photographers to get top-notch photos of their properties. Or, if they do their own pictures, they have the skills and knowledge to create photos that show your property well.

10. Don’t Be Unrealistic With Your List Price

This one doesn't need a lot of explanation. Simply put, don’t get greedy or unrealistic with your price. Your agent will help you with this one, but you need to listen to their advice. Pricing your home too high for the market greatly reduces the number of buyers, pushing your home to the bottom of their list.

Make Your House Stand Out On The Market

Use these tips to ensure your house leaves an excellent first impression. Making your home look its best by decluttering, deep cleaning, depersonalizing, and going neutral help it appeal to many buyers. Work with an agent who can guide you throughout the process.

Once your home is on the market, stop thinking of it as your house. Be open to making changes that allow your home to stand out when selling. The sooner you do it, the sooner you can move on to the next chapter in your life story.

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Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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