Happy May friends! I thought that Spring would never grace us with it's presence! Big news on my own home front - we are MOVING! Not too far though and it was pretty unexpected. We have been keeping our eyes open for something but since we love our current home we weren't actively looking. Then one day we saw "our" house and the rest is history. Once our house went on the market, it made me realize how important the topic of home staging for selling is. The right size and location may not be the only thing that can sell your home.
Being an Interior Decorator, my home is always styled to some extent. Yes, we do LIVE here! We have two young boys that almost every day find a place for cars, trains, forts and wrestling matches but when it came time for selling our home we made sure it looked like we didn't live here. I will tell you why this is important.
No one can prepare you for the actual stress of selling a home. Yes, everyone has their horror stories from both buying and selling but it is much more personal on the selling side. This is your home you are about to hand over to someone else. This is the place you created memories in, possibly thought it would be your forever home, know the inside and outs of and you now are putting on the market.
No matter what time frame you actually have to move, no one wants their house to be on the market long because it eventually loses its appeal. I'm not saying that the right buyer isn't out there BUT if you want to sell your house quickly I've come up with a few tips:
1. CLEAN YOUR HOME:
Now this one may sound like common sense but I cannot tell you how many homes we have been in where people did not clean up before us showing up. I am not talking about blue-ray light clean but no one wants to see dirty dishes or laundry out when they are looking at their potential home. And please, take out the garbage!
2. DECLUTTER AND DEPERSONALIZE YOUR HOME:
This is something any realtor should tell you. In order for someone to visualize themselves living there, they should not see pictures of your family or pets in the home. A natural partner to taking down the personal items is to declutter. This is different from cleaning up as it means, taking items off the counters and shelves, clean out closets of things you don't need on a daily basis. This gives the perspective buyers a real sense of how much space they have to work with. We have a small pantry in our kitchen and small linen closets so I cleaned out and organized each one and packed away coats and sweaters we aren't currently wearing so our buyers could see exactly how much space they have. Plus, there will always be things you haven't used and are expired and it just feels oh so good to throw it away!
3. DO UPGRADES:
I know, this sounds contradicting. Why do upgrades when you are moving? Bathrooms and kitchens are what sell your home. Ask anyone who is looking for a home what they are really looking at and they will tell you not only the size and amount of bedrooms, floors or open concept but that the kitchen and bathrooms should be updated (unless they are Chip and Joanna Gaines). The upgrades do not need to be major renovations. Paint, hardware change and lighting fixture changes go a long way.
4. STAGE THE HOME FOR PICTURES AND SHOWINGS:
The biggest feedback we received was how well our house showed. We would open the drapes and shades all the way, leave all the lights on and even had music playing for when people would come. The biggest thing you want for your prospective buyer is to FEEL the home. 90% of the population cannot envision themselves in the home if it is dark and messy. Think about your favorite design magazine, how those homes look and the rooms make you just want to sit and relax right where the picture was taken. That is how your home should feel when buyers come through. Make the buyers love your house so much they ask if they can buy your furniture too! This goes for the pictures as well. I'm sure I am not the only one that has seen realtor photos of homes with messy counters, dark rooms and dirt everywhere.
Staging and styling your home does not mean you have to get all new items. In fact, it's better to stage it for you to like living in it while your home is on the market. That makes it easier for you to keep the items where they are for those last minute showings. My girlfriend recently asked me to stage her townhome for pictures and selling (see above and below photo) and I was so excited to do it! Styling for my projects has always been my favorite part of designing so it's only natural that I add this service to my list. You can check out details here
Selling your home does not have to be all stress. Create that environment for your prospective buyers like you would for your family and friends. Showcase your home and all the great attributes it can offer the next family. Make them fall in love with your home and not be able to turn it down. Then once it sells, you can focus on falling in love with your next home. Happy Selling!
Until next time,
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