Rule 1: If they won’t stop they’ll never buy.

The most important things to fix are at the front of the house, the curb appeal, the approach. Too many homes get the drive-by just because the owner never took the time to see what it looked like from the buyer’s point of view. Take the time to step into the buyer’s shoes.


Rule 2: Welcome them with a smile.

Even if you are not there, your home should welcome the buyer, as if this is a wonderful place they could see themselves coming home to. The front entry needs to sparkle to greet them even if you can’t. This will let them know how cared for the rest of the house is.


Rule 3: Women rule in the kitchen.

Women have a stronger pull in the decision to buy a home for a family, and also a stronger role in the kitchen. Make sure the kitchen is clean and clutter free, ready for her to step in and create a meal for her family. This is one of the most important rooms in the house to invest your staging/remodel money in. Make sure you spend it right.


Rule 4: The bath is for cleansing.

When preparing your bathroom, make sure it feels hotel resort ready. Put away anything you wouldn’t want to see left by a previous guest if you were checking into a hotel room.  And make it as spotless as you would expect after the maids went through.


Rule 5: Clutter feels bad to everyone.

You might not see your clutter after having lived with it for so long, but everyone else will, and it won’t be pleasant.  Clean the clutter before anyone sees it.  There is no reason for it and you know it.  Sort, clean and throw out anything you don’t want to move into your new home.  This is your chance to rid yourself of it and help your sale too.


Rule 6: Use all your senses… they will.

Ask a friend to tour your home before you show it.  We get use to our own sights and smells around the house, but they can really change the feeling a person has about the home.  Bad smells mean dirty things.  Something is not cared for.  This is the exact opposite reaction you want a buyer to leave with.  Sounds, smells, unsightly views, temperature…think about them all when preparing your home.


Rule 7: WORK is a four letter word.

Make sure you get rid of , repair or replace anything that will signal WORK to a buyer. Broken things, even if they are not part of the home sale will stimulate the need for work in a buyer as they tour your home.  You want them to feel like they are on vacation in Fantasy Island. Remove anything from sight that could break that spell. Even bills piled on your desk should be put away, as well as laundry and cleaning tools.


Rule 8: Lanais and porches are extra space.

Outside spaces are like selling extra square footage of living space…if you make it appealing enough. Clean it up and stage it to look inviting enough to go out on the lanai, as if it’s just another room in the house.  Clean is the key, especially if they have taken off their shoes to tour the house.  If it’s not clean looking, they won’t step foot out there. Your opportunity is lost.


Rule 9: You lead the way.

Color is the best way to make sure your buyers walk the house and see the selling features you want them to see.  Perfectly placed “eye-catchers”, accessories in vibrant colors, draw the buyer’s eye where you want it to go…your home’s best features.


Rule 10: Make sure you say a GOOD bye.

If you achieved the perfect tour and your buyer is smiling and in Fantasy Island in their head when they are walking out of your house, make sure there is nothing on that exit walk that could ruin it.  Walk out of your house when you are preparing it to make sure a different view on leaving isn’t a bad one.


Tina Kitchens came to real estate sales with a background in custom home construction and remodels. She partnered in a design firm business as an Interior Designer & Materials Specifier with her husband, an architect, and still enjoys a heavy hand in the design aspect of homes to this day.


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