Bill Head

Don’t be too gender-specific in shared spaces. Living rooms and master bedrooms should appeal to everyone. Get rid of features and accessories that seem too gender-specific. Paint the walls a neutral color and choose bedding and accessories that complement the overall color scheme.


Don’t let loose boards trip up your deal. An old deck can be a big liability, especially if it has a loose board or railing that could cause splinters or make someone trip. Freshen up your deck by replacing rotted boards, lightly sanding and then staining. Wash deck furniture and add some fresh pillows to liven up the space. Add some fresh potted plants and place settings to make the space feel like it’s ready to entertain.


Don’t go to the dark side. Cool and cozy are appealing features to some buyers, but dark and dreary isn’t on anyone’s list. Pull up the blinds, open the curtains, and turn on all the lights. Add more lamps to dark corners. No one ever complains that the house they were viewing was too well-lit. Make your house as bright and airy as possible.


Don’t confuse buyers. Rooms have a purpose. Stage them so buyers know what it is. Clear out excess furniture and try to give each room a focal point. Even if you have successfully used a room for several purposes over the years, don’t assume your buyers will want to do the same. Let them believe you have exactly the space you need and it has one clear purpose.


Don’t raise a stink. Pets and great food are wonderful things, but buyers don’t want to know that Fluffy lives here, or that your favorite meals begin and end with garlic and Roquefort. If you have pets, you will most likely need to old carpet which, in all honesty, probably smells even if you don’t notice it. A fresh coat of paint will help neutralize odors as well.


Don't spend a lot to stage or renovate. Don’t assume you can predict the finishes the new owners will want. Fix the things that are broken and worn out but don’t go overboard. It’s more important that the home feels clean and maintained than on the cutting edge of home improvement television style. You can pick up some trendy accessory pieces if you like, but limit those as well. Remember, we are trying to clear away clutter! Also, don’t buy a lot of new furniture to stage the space. Pare down and simplify or rent staging furniture if necessary, but save your budget for your new home.


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