Like all sellers, you want your house to appeal to a wide range of buyers who can afford your asking price. But to stand out in a crowded market, you need to make your home look as desirable as possible.
Tried-and-true tactics such as painting and decluttering can go a long way toward achieving this goal -- but these other simple home staging tips can up your home's wow factor and lead to a quick sale.
1. Have all of your carpeting cleaned
This is especially true if you have pets. (Eau de dog is not the odor you want wafting through your home as potential buyers walk through it.)
If your carpeting is old and tired and you have hardwood flooring underneath, remove the carpet, says Erica Walther Schlaefer, an associate real estate broker at Keller Williams Realty in Rochester, NY. Chances are, buyers are going to want to know the condition of the floors anyway.
2. Give your moldings a makeover
If your moldings are chipped or scuffed, give them a quick touch-up, recommends Schlaefer. Ditto any walls that have scuff marks or stains.
3. Do up your deck
If you have outdoor living space such as a deck or patio, make it look as inviting as possible, says Schlaefer. Upgrade existing outdoor furniture by purchasing new cushions or pillows, give your grill a good cleaning, and add some potted plants or flowers. If it's winter and you live in a cold climate, be sure to keep these areas shoveled to show them off.
4. Freshen up your front door
Give it a coat of paint and replace your house numbers with a more modern font. If your mailbox has seen better days (or has been knocked over by a snowplow one too many times), buy a new one. Also, be sure your entryway looks tidy; don't welcome potential buyers with clutter. That means no stray soccer cleats or sets of keys by the door.
5. Remove roof moss
Moss may make buyers think your roof is old and will need to be replaced soon, says Schlaefer. If you have the nerve to get up on your roof, it's simple to remove moss: just use a long-handled scrub brush to scour it loose, working down the roof to keep from lifting and breaking the shingles. Don't use a pressure washer -- the power of the spray could damage shingles.
6. Make sure your mechanics are in working order
"Buyers want to feel as though a furnace or boiler is in good shape and has life left in it," says Schlaefer. Have these items cleaned and inspected prior to putting your house up for sale.
7. Cut your closets in half
No, not literally, but if you remove half the items in your closet and then neatly organize the remaining clothing, the closets will instantly appear larger -- a big plus to buyers.
8. Update your outlets
If your electrical outlets and switches are outdated and yellowed, replace them with a more modern version. Make sure to use the same style in each room for a uniform look. Replace your switch plates too if they're looking a little dingy.
9. Replace your toilet seats
It's an inexpensive upgrade that goes a long way toward making your bathroom appear updated. Ditto a new shower curtain and a fresh coat of grout in the shower.
10. Perk up your pulls
If your kitchen cabinets or drawers are on the older side but you don't have the time or inclination to redo them, replace the knobs and pulls with a more modern or unique version. This is an inexpensive task, yet it can make a huge difference in your kitchen's appeal.