Declutter, Depersonalize and Beautify Landscaping Before Listing

When preparing a house for listing on the market, certain criteria should be met to make the home attractive for potential buyers.

Some people might want to hire a stager, for assistance, in the presentation of their home; others may prefer to do it themselves, or with a little direction from their real estate agent.

“You don’t necessarily have to hire a stager,” said Jodi Jolly, realtor and office manager for Musgrove Real Estate Group. “But a home should be staged.”

Jolly offered some tips in preparing a home, recently shared on the internet:

  • Declutter
  • Sell/Donate all unwanted items
  • Neutralize what you have
  • Deep clean
  • Repair simple issues within the house – such as a chipped baseboard.
  • Fix up the yard

“Most important, for me,” she said, “is to declutter and depersonalize, as much as possible.”

If there are a lot of things the family wants to keep, put them in storage, she suggested.

Decluttering and depersonalizing is important so that potential buyers can envision their own things in a home, Jolly explained.

Jolly also expressed the importance of keeping a minimal amount of pet evidence in view and assuring that a home is free from pet odors.

Jolly also feels that a home can show well when vacant, although a few things could be placed in the kitchen and bath including a plant, a pretty towel and maybe a clean small appliance.

Larger and more expensive homes may require more staging with minimal amounts of furniture, she said. It should not look completely empty, but open.

One of the first things many realtors will express is curb appeal. A house must look attractive and inviting when potential buyers pull up. This may not seem easy to do during the current minimal amount of water permitted in most areas, but in fact, it can be done well said Brent Main, owner of Mid-Valley Trees.

“Drought-tolerant plants are most definitely popular right now, but you don’t want to take it the extreme either,” he said.

Some of these plants may not do well should an abundance of rain come and continue, he said.

An option for the lawn is UC Verde Grass, also known as Buffalo Grass, a drought-resistant grass recently developed.

“Once established,” Main said, “it make only take water, perhaps, every two weeks.”

Another alternative is artificial turf, but that may not be appealing to potential buyers.

There are also shrubs which can be used in place of grassy areas.

Some plants that are good to plant in these times of drought and are attractive include Butterfly Bushes (Budelia), Flowering Yucca (Hesperaloe), Mexican Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima ), Acacias, Lantanas, and Mazanitas, Main said. There are also a lot of new varieties of pampas-related grasses, he said.

Like the house itself, landscaping should be kept simple, yet attractive. It should allow for potential buyers to see it clean and well kept, yet amenable to potential new plantings of the buyers liking, without much needed removal of existing landscaping.

Declutter, neutralize and add curb appeal are important keys to attracting potential buyers and getting a home sold.

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