A Local Real Estate Pro on the Simple Fixes that Set Your Home Up to Sell

Staging a home to sell doesn’t necessarily require new furniture pieces or a steep investment in decor. Usually, a few simple fixes that utilize what’s readily available in your home are enough to pay off ten-fold; you just have to know how to use them to your advantage. 

Inventory is sparse enough in the Roaring Fork Valley right now that sellers are listing at higher prices than we’ve seen in years. When you price for the stars, you must ensure your product backs up your price tag. Here are a few ideas to create a space that dazzles and yet feels like home upon entry.


Brighten up. For a big return on energy costs and visual impact, consider changing out all light bulbs to LED. “Warm white” or “bright white” bulbs are ideal for home staging in nearly every interior room of the home. Be sure to show off this simple investment by making sure your lights are on for every showing. 


Hidden spaces matter. Is your oven clean? Is your refrigerator presentable? Do your closets showcase organization with matching hangers and visible floors? Do your cabinets and drawers display overall care of your home? Some buyers might be able to see past hidden messes, but believe me, many others are looking behind these closed doors. 


Prioritize the first impression. If you’re spending time and energy on your interior presentation, be confident in your curb appeal as well. This time of year, unplowed driveways and snow-covered pillow cushions on even the dreamiest of patio furniture are sure to put a bad taste in buyers’ mouths upon arrival. 


Depersonalize and declutter. Even if it means temporarily renting a storage unit to store extra furniture, personal photographs, and garage items, doing so can make a huge difference in displaying the property with a canvas blank enough for buyers to envision themselves taking over the space. Even walls are fine when left bare. In fact, most buyers will request that walls be left in paint-ready condition, so removing most photographs and paintings during the listing phase will save you that headache during the move-out process. 


Move out of your bathrooms. Clear your bathroom counters, floors, and shower shelves completely of products and rugs for photographs and showings. Also, keep a set of fresh, new towels set aside to hang on towel racks for showings. Investing in new shower curtains and liners will also provide a clean feel in all bathrooms. (While you’re at it, go ahead and clear your kitchen counter as well. Less is more when it comes to countertop clutter.)


Beware of wallflower furniture. If your furniture has been shy being tucked up against the nearest wall, pull it away. Create comfortable living and conversation spaces by re-positioning seating you can walk around. 


Green it up. Modern pieces of greenery don’t need to be real, but they do need to look real. Dried flowers and dusty silks never provide a feeling of freshness, no matter how you arrange them throughout the home.


Maintain. Showing requests may come at inopportune times, but refusing a showing could mean missing out on a real buyer. Keep your home show-ready at all times. Painful as it may be to live in a listed home, a few weeks of complete commitment sure beats months and months of uninterested buyers, a lack of offers, and price reductions. 


Invest in good photography. Making sure your home is being captured by a professional real estate photographer is hands-down one of the most important considerations in marketing your home effectively. Shooting with an established professional (such as Estate Photo Video) provides new perspectives on seeing the overall picture, as they do through a wide lens. 


In summary, consider this: you know the difference between walking into the lobby of a hotel having spent a hundred bucks versus walking into a Ritz? It feels good; it feels welcoming; it smells like sold. Provide that feeling for your potential buyers, even if it means bringing in an extra set of eyes, and the selling process will almost certainly take care of itself.

Carly Passchier was born and raised in the Roaring Fork Valley, and is a broker associate with Integrated Mountain Properties.