Crank Up the Curb Appeal

There's no way of getting around it: The front of your home is the first thing prospective buyers see, so you better make it beautiful. Good home and yard maintenance is a must, but focus on a few hot spots too: a freshly painted front door, gleaming hardware, and a few beautiful potted make a great first impression. Take a hard look at any fencing you have in the front yard. That fence may have been a necessity when your kids were young, but it may be cramping your home's style now.

Do A Walk Through

Preferably with your Realtor or a Staging Professional.  Our homes are so well-used that we rarely take a moment to really look at them. Stand in the doorway of each room and try to view the space as if you'd never seen it before. You'll not only see what needs a good cleaning, you'll be more likely to notice what could be removed to make the room look bigger, and what you might do to make the room appear more inviting or versatile. Could that solid door be replaced with a French door for more light? Would new hardware modernize your kitchen cabinets? A new vanity upgrade your bathroom? Would replacing your floral bedspread with something more neutral make the room more sophisticated? Some simple changes can make a huge difference. Also look at the room flow on the ground floor. There should be a pleasing connection between rooms -- similar colors and styles in the living and dining rooms and kitchen.

Focus on the Foyer

Most prospective buyers enter your home through the front door, so that's a prime spot to make some improvements. Apply a fresh coat of paint, remove all clutter (shoes, mail, keys, newspapers) clean out coat closet and organize it.  All your closets need to look spacious and clean. Then pick one thing to upgrade and set the tone for your whole house, it can be a piece of nice furniture with a decorative lamp, or the light fixture above. 


Expand Spaces Visually

Dark wall color can make a room look smaller; focus on lighter neutral tones. Float furniture (pushing it against the walls actually makes the room feel smaller) in logical conversational groupings, with enough space for people to move between pieces easily. Make sure large pieces of furniture don't block sight lines to a great view or a pretty focal point, such as a fireplace. Stagers suggest that rugs stop a foot or two from walls. A rug that's too big shrinks a room; if it's too small it just looks awkward. If your dining room is modest size, take extra leaves out your table, limit the chairs to 2-4 or remove other furniture such as a buffett. Have a nice light fixture.

Go for the Odd Numbers

After you've edited your accessories to the bare bones, show them off the right way. Most interior decorators will tell you that odd-numbered groupings can be very effective. When organizing vignettes of accessories, vary the shape, color, and size and don't line them up. For example: Hang a large landscape above a table where there's a lamp and a plant, or group a collection of candles of three different heights on the mantel. Less really is more. A few well-chosen items -- one pillow on the couch, three well-framed prints on the wall -- show off your good taste without overwhelming the potential buyer.


Let There Be Light

Nothing is more of a turn-off than a dark home -- and nothing is easier to fix. Rule number one: Wash all of the windows so natural light can fill the space. Rule number two: Replace dark window treatments with light gauzy ones. Rule number three: Layer the light in your home. Experts say there should be at least 100 watts for every square foot of space, and well-staged homes have overhead lights ,floor lamps, and task lighting (for reading, cooking). One trick: Wall sconces can uplight walls or ceilings, making rooms look bigger. Freshen up any built-in lighting with new switch plates and dimmer switches.


Dress the Set

What are those last-minute things you can do that make a difference? Make sure your fridge is clean and kitchen cupboards are organized. Throw away kitchen sponges and put away dirty dishtowels and mops and brooms. Place a floral arrangement (something without a strong fragrance) in your foyer and on the dining room table. Empty all wastebaskets and take out all garbage. Replace bar soap with liquid soap dispensers in all bathrooms, and put out clean, pretty towels. Make sure your doormats are clean and presentable. Sweep your front porch and sidewalk.



Carol Toronto, Your Personal Realtor

  • 614-273-8788