In Season 2 of the REAL Collective Podcast, Sean Tasse and Brendan McKeigan interview Heather Sorgat of Restyled Spaces & Home Staging Company to find out where home sellers should focus their energy. Although houses aren’t having any issues selling in this market, in general, the more interest you are able to generate, the more your home will sell for. The reality is that we don’t know what the ceiling is to what a buyer is willing to spend. Doing nothing to prepare your home versus preparing it well, could potentially mean a difference of tens, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Here are Heather’s top 5 areas to focus on when preparing your home for sale:

1. Clean Your Home – it seems simple but going through your home with a fine-toothed comb is a must. Scrub down walls, baseboards, grout, light fixtures, and fan blades. You can’t fake clean! Don’t leave any room untouched, even unfinished basements. Spending that extra time will create a fresh feeling in your home.

2. Lighting – The lighting we like to live in is a softer yellow which is easy on the eyes. When it comes to staging your home for sale, bright white lights are the way to go. Heather recommends switching your lightbulbs to bright white LEDs. Another tip is to remove your heavy curtains and let the natural light in. Windows are a huge selling feature, and we want to make sure they are on display!

3. Decluttering – Every home requires a little bit of decluttering. Having a home that needs decluttering isn’t a bad thing, it just means that you are enjoying your life! In general, we don’t want to live in a staged house. For staging we want to bring the focus back to the room and features and show off the important things that will help you sell your home. Removing small items and heavy patterns will allow the room to breathe visually and photograph well. Larger and more impactful items can stay. Buyers start their search online and excellent photographs are key in generating maximum interest in your home.

4. Curb Appeal – If there is snow on the ground but you’ve had foresight and decided to sell months ago, maybe you can share some summertime photos that display your outdoor living spaces. In winter, ensure your walkways are well shoveled, sanded/salted and clean your front windows, doors, and lighting fixtures. Also make sure you stay seasonally relevant (if it’s February, Christmas lights need to go!). Curb appeal is about creating a welcome feeling for people that are coming to view your home.

5. Smell – When buyers are house shopping their senses are heightened. They are listening for sounds and smells that may be off-putting. Make sure you remove your glad plugins and target animal odors with professional cleaning and bring in that fresh air. Artificial scents can appear like you are covering something up. No scents make good sense!

For more valuable real estate related tips, you can check out the REAL Collective Podcast on iTunes, Spotify or YouTube.