Each house is different, but there are common rules on preparing your house for sale:
1. Pretend it's not your home and you are a buyer, not a seller. Or, that you are a professional stager or a realtor. It'll be easier on you this way.
2. Forget your personal taste in decor for the time being - go visit a few contemporary furniture stores for the feel of the current trends, getting an inspiration from the popular colors (to get some new updated colorful pillows for that old couch f.e.) This is only for ideas, not buying.
3. With your new mindset and cutting edge designerâ€™s acumen, get rid of what you always wanted to get rid of but never got to first. Then, either donate (tax deduction) or give away the absolute maximum of your furniture. If you'll need the furniture in your new place, storing it somewhere is another way. If none of the above works, move the furniture in a way that creates the absolute maximum of space and an easy viewing flow. F.e. if you have a nice view - which is a major selling point for you - nothing should be in the way of walking towards that balcony, terrace, patio etc.
4. If you have time, grab a Feng Shui book in the book store and peruse it there for some good ideas.
Energy flow is important, and so are the colors used (dramatic colors like black are not great - rather sad for the buyers, especially in smaller areas).
5. I loved the answers on sparkling clean windows and shiny surfaces, as well as brightly lit rooms. Re. curtains - they "devour" light that buyers are usually looking for.
6. Pops of color are great (couch pillows (3 on small to 5 on a big one), bright yellow-orange-green pictures on the walls (one per wall is enough), better not to use reproductions of famous artists unless Klimt. Otherwise, the house will not be memorable and just too flat for the buyers.
7. Declutter, declutter, declutter...Please don't leave any personal pictures. Otherwise, buyers feel like they are intruding on someone else's home...Kitchen counters empty, except for a bottle of wine and a couple of glasses, new bright kitchen towels, a bright bowl with cookies, maybe bright decorative vases in kitchen style.
Not too many objects though or they become a destruction for the viewing.
8. Bathrooms should have new hotel style like towels and small bright soaps etc. Not too many objects though.
9. Curb appeal - especially near the entrance - a few new healthy looking plants (look at some of the landscaping magazines for the inspiration) will soften the look of the house, and fresh mulch will add the "well taken care of" look.
I could go on for a while, but the main point is:
MAKE YOUR HOME A SHOWCASE! Preparing the house for sale is not about making your decorative style known. It's about showcasing the house and making it look its best - more spacious, brighter, more "happy", making it stand out against your competition.
I'll be happy to answer any of your other questions.
Irina Karan/Beachfront Realty, Inc. Sunny Isles Beach, FL 305-904-2355 IrinaKaran@gmail.com