Are you thinking about selling your home soon?
It’s a lot of work to get a house ready for the market. Make sure that you spend your money and time on the right improvements and repairs, the ones that’ll help you sell for the most money in the least amount of time. Read on for 7 insider tips to help you get started.
Staging is not all about furniture – It’s about preparing your house to go on the market, and hopefully to become someone else’s home.
1. Take off your rose colored glasses
You may not see them when you look in the mirror, but they are there. You need to look at your home through the buyer’s eyes, to separate yourself from the memories and emotions. Think of it as a commodity for sale, and decide what’s the best way to market that commodity to the largest possible audience.
2. Pretend you are camping out in your house
Don’t pitch a tent in the living room, but think about everything that’s in the house.
Ask yourself these questions and answer honestly:
- Will you need it in the next 90 days? If you will, then figure out if there’s a place you can stash it so that it’s accessible but out of sight.
- If you won’t use it in the next 90 days, will you use it in the next 12-24 months? If the answer is yes, then pack it up and store it at another location if possible
- If you won’t use it in the next 12-24 months, will you ever use it? If not, Sell it, donate it or dispose of it. Pack before you put the house on the market. If you are really moving, then you are going to have to pack anyway, you’ll be better off doing it before the photographer comes.
3. Pick a focus for each room
Dining rooms are for eating, not working. Bedrooms are for sleeping. If you have a room divided between two purposes, you are sending mixed messages to the buyers. They’ll lose focus and be confused.
4. Curb appeal
Online home buyers make their decisions in the first few seconds they see the listing. The key is to catch their attention and make them want to click on the second and third pictures, and then to take the time to come and see your home. There are 2 parts to curb appeal in the 21st century:
a. Digital Curb Appeal – It used to be that the first time a buyer would see a house was when they pulled up out front; not any more. With virtual tours, videos and 3D tours buyers have already gone over your home with a fine toothed comb before they even arrive. The battle for the hearts and minds of today’s home buyers is won or lost on the screen of their smartphones, so professional photographs are crucial. Poor pictures=poor results.
b. Actual Curb Appeal – Now that we’ve won the battle to get them to come and take a look, we want to draw them in from their car.
5. Manicure the lawn, trim the bushes and weed all flower beds.
If the mulch is faded, add a layer of new mulch to freshen it up. These simple changes will freshen up the front of the house and make it feel welcoming.
6. Once the yard is in order, look at the front door.
Does it need a fresh coat of paint? Is the hardware faded? The buyers will linger at the front door while their agent fiddles with the lockbox and the door lock. Does the lock work smoothly? We don’t want them to struggle to get in the house. Maybe you could hang a seasonal wreath or welcome sign on the front door, and use flower pots to add color to the walkway and porch.Sweat the details- From the front door hardware to the switch plates, buyers tend to focus on small things. Spend the time to make sure those things are just right, so that they’ll love your home and want to make it theirs.
7. Pack before you put the house on the market.
If you are really moving, then you are going to have to pack anyway, you’ll be better off doing it before the photographer comes.
8. Light it up
The more light the merrier – It’s really hard to have too much light. The first step is to let all of the natural light in you can.
a. Clean all of the windows (inside and out) to let as much sunshine in as possible.
b. Remove window treatments which block light.
c. Make sure that all blinds and shades operate properly and open completely.
d. Put the same tone and “temperature” of bulbs in the same room. Mismatched bulbs attract negative attention from buyers.
e. Have at least one light source for each 100 sf of interior space.
Take action on these steps and you’ll know that your house is ready to win in today’s market.
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