In a buyer’s market with plenty of homes to choose from, Home Staging is arguably the most important thing you can do to get your home sold before the competition. And while hiring a professional home stager is the best way to ensure your home is prepared to its absolute fullest potential, there are many things you can do on your own to achieve a big impact in the eyes of the buyer.
Below are 10 of the top tricks to help you prepare your home for sale to ensure it’s as appealing as possible to every potential buyer.
KITCHENS SELL HOUSES
You need not think that sprucing up a kitchen has to be such a massive investment as granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and travertine tile are beautiful additions to kitchens. You can give the kitchen a major facelift with a fresh coat of paint on the walls, updating of hardware and faucets and simple accessories on the counters. Before you replace the cabinets consider having them re-finished or re-painted and add some updated hardware in a brushed nickel or bronze finish to give them a like-new look for a lot less money.
CURB APPEAL IS CRUCIAL
Hedges should be trimmed, grass mowed and pine islands manicured as your house should excite the buyer from the moment they arrive. Put a fresh welcome mat out to greet guests as they arrive, replace tarnished exterior sconces, doors and hardware, place eye-catching potted plants on the steps leading to your door. That first exterior photo that pops up on the MLS is crucial to encouraging buyers to explore further, with over 80% of people searching the internet before ever stepping foot in a house.
BUYERS LOVE BATHROOMS
Place a stack of fluffy towels by the tub and a basket of soaps and lotions by the sink and ensure your bathroom has a soothing color on the walls. Again, updates don’t have to cost a top dollar – consider painting or re-finishing the vanity, hanging a new framed mirror and updating the faucets and light fixtures.
LIGHTEN AND BRIGHTEN
With the biggest return on investment, lightening and brightening is the cheapest thing you can do. Turn on every overhead light and lamp in the house before all showings and pull open your blinds and curtains. From the 70s or 80s, do you still, have those heavy window treatments you put up? Pull them down and let the light pour in – you’re selling your windows and the view, not the dressings surrounding them.
AVOID LINING THE WALLS WITH FURNITURE
This is one of the most consistent mistakes I see when staging for clients. Not only do most rooms have 1-2 pieces that are simply not needed, everything that’s in the room has been pushed to the walls so there is a big, empty, unusable space in the middle! Allow buyers to see the peripheral of the room as you pull sofas off walls, remove extra furniture that isn’t serving a necessary purpose. This will add instant visual square footage.
When searching for a home, the goal is to find the one you can best envision yourself living in. Buyers need non-personal style and décor in order to feel “at home” as they are walking through that being said. Use a beautiful framed mirror or landscape artwork to replace them with the personal photos, deer heads or plate collections. Do your best to implement that style in your own home as you flip through Pottery Barn and West Elm catalogs?
PAINT, PAINT, PAINT
It should always be painted over when it comes to the busy wallpaper, nicked walls, and ultra-dark or bright colors. Simultaneously curb odors; nothing gives an easier, less expensive facelift than a fresh coat of paint in a nice neutral color. A variety of colors in a natural palette will give your house a memorable warmth and charm though don’t let the word neutral lead you to painting your entire house beige. In nature such as beige, sage, soft yellow and gray-blue, use colors you see. If you’re overwhelmed by the thousands of colors on tiny swatches at the paint store, try ordering a professionally recommended paint deck of colors like “Paint Colors That Sell” to slim down your options to only those best paint colors that are proven to help sell homes.
FRESH BEDDING = MAJOR BEDROOM MAKEOVER
The bed should be an inviting, beautiful focal point that beckons buyers to come in and take a load off, in the bedrooms, and especially the master. An updated bed-in-a-bag can be purchased for $40 – $100 at TJ Maxx, Linens-N-Things, Marshalls or Target. With the feeling and color of your room in updated patterns such as jacquard or damask purchase bedding accordingly. Or play it safe with an elegant white duvet with a few throw pillows that bring in the color of your walls!
KNOW YOUR BUYER
Is your home a two-bedroom townhome, or a five-bedroom house on an acre in East Cobb? Of who will most likely be looking at and eventually purchasing your home, the location, size, and layout of your home are good indicators. Cater to them with the style of furnishings, colors and overall lifestyle you present in the house, once you’ve identified your buyer.
DECIDE YOU’RE GOING TO SELL
You should not simply stage your home, put it on the market and then sit back and wait while staging your home is necessary to ensure you get top dollar as quickly as possible. You can never be sure what action will actually secure a contract – so, you need to do it all. Keep the box full as you print your flyers in color, not black and white. For every showing and that there is a fresh scent when buyers walk in, ensure every inch of your house sparkles. When you’re available on the weekends, open your doors for an open house.