Most home buyers tell us they like homes that feel fresh and clean, and the feeling of openness. When we consult with our clients on getting the home ready to sell, most know about “cleaning and decluttering”, but didn’t know what to do to make the house “light and bright”. Here are a few tips on what you can do to make your home “light and bright”.

Let the Sun Shine In

Open the draperies, tilt open the blinds or draw them up, and let the sun shine in. It doesn’t matter if a window gets full sun or filtered light; it’s just good to see the natural light. Draperies and curtains are great for privacy, but often do little to enhance the appearance of the home for sale. It may be best to remove them altogether in favor of side panels, wood blinds, or sheer window coverings. Wood shutters are almost always a favorite.

Clean the Windows and Sceens

We all get used to looking out our own windows and don’t notice how much dust and dirt has accumulated. Get the windows cleaned so that the sun shines in and sparkles. Make sure you also clean the screens, and have them re-screened if they are torn or tattered.

Replace Outdated Light Fixtures

Brass fixtures are passe. Swap out dated fixtures for a more modern look. Choose a popular finish like Venetian bronze or brushed nickel, but try to keep the look consistent through-out the house. Ceiling fans are desirable in rooms with high ceilings, but may make a room feel small if the ceilings are low.

Add Lighting for Effect

Overhead lighting brightens a room and is the first step. Wall sconces or decorative lamps on side tables and nightstands adds lighting at eye level and is comfortable and warm. Under cabinet lighting can help brighten up task areas of the kitchen, making the area feel larger and more accessible; they also help make counters feel brighter and cleaner. Lighting inside bookcases adds depth and can make a room feel special.

Light Bulbs Matter

Check your lights. Replace the weak or bad bulbs, and get bulbs of the wattages and lumens. Uneven lighting can feel uncomfortable or distracting. Whiter is nice in the kitchen, but warmer lighting is preferred in the living areas. Don’t forget the hallways and utliity areas. You may be able to walk through your home in the dark, but buyers shouldn’t have to fumble around looking for light switches. Make sure to wipe down and clean the existing bulbs too.

Adding Mirrors

Mirrors can be used to bounce light and make a home look brighter and its wall appear higher. Place a large mirror near the entry to make the house feel larger. Placing a mirror adjacent to a light fixture allows that light to bounce off the mirror to light the nearby area. Mirrors placed where light enters through a window allows more of that natural light into the room. Mirrors can also give the feeling of a window in areas where there are no windows.

Light It Up for Showings

When you leave the house knowing someone may come see the house, let the light shine in and turn on the lights. Most home buyers want to see several homes when they go out to see homes with their agent. That means the agent will not be able to walk through your house to turn on all the lights before the buyer sees it. First impressions last the longest, so the dark house the buyer sees when they enter your home is what they will remember.