6 Areas to focus on to sell your home quickly

The cost of fully staging your home can seem daunting. The consultation and staging costs can run into  thousands of dollars, depending on the square footage of your home and the length of time it is listed on the market. Depending on the price point of your home, it can be a tough deciding upon how much to invest in staging. Whether you`re a DYI person or not, you will get more or a return for your home through using these strategies:
#1 Cleaning - It might seem obvious that your home will show better if it's cleaned well. It is amazing what people will notice when searching for a new home, that they might usually overlook in their own homes. Beyond basic cleaning, here are a few areas that buyers have noticed and mentioned:
Clean in all window sills:  dirt and bugs can build up in these areas and often go unnoticed until someone is looking at the home from a buyers' perspective.
Fans build up dust and can add a musty smell to a home. This includes the tops of ceiling fans as well as vent fans for washrooms. You should take the covers off these and clean them as well as remove the dust from inside.
If you live with a pet, you've probably grown accustomed to the associated smells and dander of your furry friend. Cleaning furniture thoroughly will remove both odors and hair as much as possible.
Take a close look at your floors. Deep cleaning carpets, hardwood or tiles can make your house stand out to some buyers, even if the condition is imperfect.
You are probably living in your home while you sell it. That means mail, newspapers, children's play areas may still be in use when you suddenly get a call for a viewing. Have a plan or location where you can quickly tidy theses spaces on short notice.
#2 De-clutter & De-personalize - This can be a difficult process as your home often contains a lot of memories. Remember that you will always have those treasured memories, and will continue to make many more to come, in your new house.  You may be able to take the items in your current home with you, but the design choices you've made may not be to everyone's liking. Give buyers the best opportunity to imagine themselves living in your home.
Here are a few tips for accomplishing this:
Paint with neutral elegant colours.
Remove trinkets, clutter from work spaces and decorative pieces as a first step. Once the room is de-cluttered, you may choose to bring back certain specific pieces that work during the staging process, to sell your home.
Replace personal photos in order to create open wall space; it can make a world of difference to how large and spacious your home seems.
Clear off kitchen counters. Too many appliances can make it seem smaller and harder to imagine how the buyer might use the space.
Remove non-essential furniture that may be practical for you but may make a room seem small to potential buyers.
#3 Painting - Giving your home a fresh coat of paint is an economical way to bring it back to life. Establishing a neutral, clean slate that appeals to a wider variety of buyers has long been a key in getting a home sold more quickly and for a better price. Most buyers respond better to a home where they can imagine adding their own personal touch. For years off-whites or light beiges were the way that stagers went, but today varying shades of light grey seem to be en vogue.
#4 Lighting - The inconvenience and expense of changing light fixtures, switches and outlets in your home may not be something that you initially think to do when preparing to sell your home, however, switching them out for a more updated look is a quick process and gives the impression that your home has been updated and well-maintained.
The quality and consistency of the lighting throughout the living space matters. As we live our busy lives, we often replace light bulbs with what we have available or find quickly at the store. In most homes you will find a variety of light bulbs, not just from room to room but within the same fixture. Creating lighting consistency will brighten your home and leave a subtle impression upon viewers. Most stagers will recommend switching your bulbs to warm or bright white bulbs that are typically around 3000k. Soft white light can cast a yellow light and daylight bulbs cast blue light; both aren't ideal for staging.
#5 Curb and yard appeal - The season and location in which you are selling obviously play a large role in what you can do with your yard. There are always home-selling strategies that you can use in order to leave a great first impression of your home, regardless of the weather.
In the warmer months, it's important to keep your property tidy. Mowing, weeding,  edging and sprucing up garden beds and strategically placed planters lend a touch of colour and create a calm atmosphere as buyers approach the entryway. We discussed cleaning your home earlier, but this is an often overlooked element when it comes to the outside of your home. Cleaning doors, windows, trim, siding and garage doors can all help. A coat of paint on the garage doors and trim make a world of difference for first impressions.
In the winter it is important to make sure your driveway is accessible to potential buyers and is clear of snow and debris. The front door area or porch is an area where you can still add a visual impact no matter the season. A large decorative urn by the door with an arrangement of natural branches or a winter themed wreath on the door can be great ways to dress up the entry. Whether winter or summer, a welcome mat can help create a welcoming feeling for potential buyers.
#6 Stage key rooms - Staging your entire home might seem overwhelming. While all rooms should be cleaned and de-cluttered, focusing your energy on key spaces like kitchens, living rooms and master bedrooms can have a large impact on your buyer. Here are a few simple ideas to do this:
Remove pieces that might be functional but that make a room seem small or crowded.   
Return rooms to their original intended use.
Style your coffee table and have place settings at your dining room and kitchen tables. This entices buyers to imagine entertaining or having their morning coffee looking out at their backyard.
Update curtains that are dark or heavy.  Replace them with a lighter fabric or transparent curtains to lighten your home and brighten things up.
While your furniture may be arranged in the most useful way for you, try a different furniture layout in order to see what will show best. Create small groupings of furniture, such as living room chairs around a table, to create an intimate feel.
Make the most of certain decorative pieces.  While you should remove most of most treasured knickknacks, experiment to see what would work to add a bit of elegance or impact within the space.

There are hundreds of small things that any seller can do to make their home stand out just that much more than the comparable properties in their neighbourhood or city. If you're looking for some quick, yet impactful ideas, just remember that a clean, uncluttered and neutral home is one where buyers can most easily imagine their new life beginning.

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