Getting your home ready for resale? Tis the season to sell, sell sell! In this market it is much harder than it looks, but there are a few things you can do to increase how your home shows as well as get top dollar offers.
Stage your house! Only 10% of home buyers can visualize the potential of a home. Also, professionally staged homes sell over 50% faster and 17% higher than an un-staged home. Even if you are still living in the house it needs to be staged for a buyer. The way your house is staged vs. the way you actually live in your house are two completely different things. Unfortunately, your house is not going to be “comfortable” while it is staged to sell. However, think of it as being temporary and it is a small price to pay to get what you want in the long run. Keep in mind that staging is about making buyers believe that your home meets all of their needs. Downplay the negatives and emphasize the positives.
What does a buyer see when they come through the front door? Ask yourself this question. The entryway sets the stage for the whole house. It is the first impression and the last impression of your house. Keep entryways uncluttered, clean and tastefully decorated. Add a focal point.
Living and Family Rooms
The living room is the hub for most family activities and so it needs to be fully functional and ready to use. Check the fireplace so that it is fully functional and no obstructions in the flu. Make sure that the flooring in your living room is in good shape, whether it is carpet, hardwoods, slate, etc. If your floor is not in good shape consider a neutral area rug to cover any marks. Make sure the paint in your living or family room is neutral. A buyer needs to be able to picture their furniture going in that room and you can’t go wrong with neutral colors. Make sure that traffic areas are fully accessible. Optimize the sight lines and traffic flow into the room. Arrange the furniture so that potential buyers can get a clear view of everything in the room, including all the focal points and features. And always remember to declutter and clean.
Staged kitchens need to be spacious, bright, updated, neutral and clean…and I do mean CLEAN! Kitchen countertops tend to be the most important feature. If your kitchen needs updating consider spending some money on replacing the countertops. When staging your kitchen, remove 90% of what is on top of the countertop. This will make your kitchen feel as if there is more space to work. You want buyers to visualize what it would be like to live in your home and use your kitchen. Make sure that walls are neutral, appliances are decluttered (no magnets or your kid’s artwork hanging from the refrigerator) and window treatments are taken down to allow as much light as possible into the room.
Remember that bedrooms are for sleeping and that is how the room should show. The focal point of the bedroom should be the bed and the dominant piece of furniture in the room which is easily visible from the doorway. Eliminate personal tastes that will distract the buyer such as strong colors, posters, personal pictures or accessories. A general rule is that anything with a nonsleeping or relaxing purpose should not be in the bedrooms. Keep bedrooms neat and tidy and make it feel like a sanctuary that anyone can relax and feel comfortable in.
Make sure your bathroom is VERY clean and decluttered. There should be no evidence of primping and hygiene activities anywhere in the bathroom except neatly put away in drawers. The keyword for bathrooms is “spa-like”! You want buyers to feel as if they are walking into a spa when they enter your bathroom. Make a spa basket full of towels, bath salts and other bath items. If your bathroom needs updating change outdated light fixtures, countertops (no colored countertops) and flooring. Repaint if necessary, grout tiles and repair caulking. Make sure there is a lot of light in the bathroom.
The rule of thumb with closets is that they need to be only half full. You want your home to appear as if it has a lot of storage space. Think about the closet’s purpose and what should go in there. A bedroom closet should have clothes, a linen closet should have linens, etc. Your closets need to be decluttered as well. Make sure your closets are neat, tidy and organized. This will send the message to potential buyers that this is how you maintain the rest of your home.
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