It’s extremely important to make sure your home is market ready and you make a great first impression when buyers come to see your home. If you’ve wanted to spruce up your home, get new bedspreads, get some new plants, paint your home or you have some maintenance you’ve been meaning to do, now is the time to just get it done.
When I take prospective buyers into a home there are several things we look for and one of the most important is the first impression. If a buyer sees cracks in the walls, humidity problems on walls and ceilings, and if the maintenance is generally lacking they automatically wonder what else can be wrong with the property. At that point most people will move on to the next property. If you’re lucky and someone does make an offer on your property they will take all the things that need to be done and deduct it from the asking price of your property and normally most people will deduct a much higher price than it would cost for you to do it yourself.
There was one particular property that I had listed for quite some time and I asked the owner several times to paint the condo, buy new bedspreads, add some nice plants and do some minor things to the home instead of reducing the price. Finally the owner listened to my advice and did make the changes and the first couple to see the property after getting these things done made an offer and the property was sold. So please, believe me it really does work and it makes a big difference.
Here are some tips for getting your condominium or house ready to sell:
14 Secrets of Home Staging
Highlight your home’s strengths, downplay its weaknesses and appeal to the greatest possible pool of prospective buyers with these home-staging tips.
Bye, Bye Clutter
The most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. Make a house rule that for every new item that comes in, an old one has to leave. One of the major contributors to a cluttered look is having too much furniture. When professional stagers descend on a home being prepped for market, they often whisk away as much as half the owner’s furnishings, and the house looks much bigger for it. Take a hard look at what you have and ask yourself what you can live without.
There’s a common belief that rooms will feel larger and be easier to use if all the furniture is pushed against the walls, but that isn’t the case. Instead, furnish your space by floating furniture away from walls. Reposition sofas and chairs into cozy conversational groups, and place pieces so that the traffic flow in a room is obvious. Not only will this make the space user-friendlier, but also it will open up the room and make it seem larger.
Give yourself permission to move furniture, artwork and accessories among rooms on a whim. Just because you bought that armchair for the living room doesn’t mean it won’t look great anchoring a sitting area in your bedroom. And try perching a little-used dining-room table in front of a pretty window, topping it with buffet lamps and other accessories, and pressing it into service as a beautiful writing desk or library table.
If you have a room that serves only to gather junk, repurpose it into something that will add to the value of your home. The simple addition of a comfortable armchair, a small table and a lamp in a stairwell nook will transform it into a cozy reading spot. Or drape fabric on the walls, lay inexpensive rubber padding or a carpet remnant on the floor and toss in a few cushy pillows. Voila – a new meditation room or yoga studio.
One of the things that make staged homes look so warm and welcoming is great lighting. As it turns out, many of our homes are improperly lighted. To remedy the problem, increase the wattage in your lamps and fixtures. Aim for a total of 100 watts for each 50 square feet. Don’t depend on just one or two fixtures per room, either. Make sure you have three types of lighting: ambient (general or overhead), task (pendant, under-cabinet or reading) and accent (table and wall). Also make sure all your light bulbs are working and if you have light bulbs above a mirror make sure they are all the same colored and wattage.
Make It Bigger
To make a room appear to be bigger than it is, paint it the same color as the adjacent room. If you have a small kitchen and dining room, a seamless look will make both rooms feel like one big space. And make a terrace or patio look bigger and more inviting by painting it green to reflect the color of nature. Another design trick: If you want to create the illusion of more space, paint the walls the same color as your window treatments. It will give you a seamless and sophisticated look.
Don’t be afraid to use dark paint in a powder room, dining room or bedroom. A deep tone on the walls can make the space more intimate, dramatic and cozy. And you don’t have to go whole hog – you can paint just an accent wall to draw attention to a dramatic fireplace or a lovely set of windows. If you have built-in bookcases or niches, experiment with painting the insides a color that will make them pop — say, a soft sage green to set off the white pottery displayed within.
Vary Wall Hangings
If your home is like most, the art is hung in a high line encircling each room. Big mistake. Placing your pictures, paintings and prints in such stereotypical spots can render them almost invisible. Art displayed creatively makes it stand out and shows off your space. So break up that line and vary the patterning and grouping.
Mixing the right accessories can make a room more inviting. When it comes to eye pleasing accessorizing, odd numbers are preferable, especially three. Rather than lining up a trio of accessories in a row, imagine a triangle and place one object at each point. Scale is important, too, so in your group of three be sure to vary height and width, with the largest item at the back and the smallest in front. For maximum effect, group accessories by color, shape, texture or some other unifying element, stagers suggest.
Raid Your Yard
Staged homes are almost always graced with fresh flowers and pricey orchid arrangements, but you can get a similar effect simply by raiding your yard. Budding bougainvillea clippings or unfurling fern fronds herald the arrival of spring, summer blooms add splashes of cheerful color, or a large bird of paradise will add extra color to a room.
Serene and Inviting
Create a relaxing bedroom setting with luxurious linens and soft colors that will make a potential homebuyer want to hang out. Bedroom staging trick: If you don’t have the money to buy a new bed, just get the frame, buy an inexpensive air mattress and dress it up with neutral-patterned bedding. And remember to un-clutter. By cleaning out your closets, you’re showing off your storage space, which sells houses – it always ranks high on buyers’ priority list.
If you can’t afford new cabinets, just get new doors and drawer fronts. Then paint everything to match and add new hardware. And instead of replacing the entire dishwasher, you may be able to get a new front panel. Check with the manufacturer to see if replacements are available for your model. If not, laminate paper, which goes on like contact paper, can be used to re-cover the existing panel.
Unfinished projects can scare off potential buyers, so finish them. Missing floorboards and large cracks in the sidewalk on the way to your door tend to be a red flag, for example, and they cost you less to fix than buyers might deduct from the asking price.
Prim and Polished
Having tile professionally painted can make a bathroom look brand new. And accessorizing can make buyers feel like they’re in a spa. Put out items like rolled-up towels, decorative baskets and candles. It’s a great way to create a polished look, and it doesn’t cost much to do.
Donna Lynn Davies
Timothy Real Estate Group