You’ve decided to buy a new home . . . congratulations! Whether it be relocation for a job, accommodating a growing family or just wanting a change of scenery, moving into a new home can be a great adventure. Before that adventure starts, however, you have to take care of your current home. I’ve covered the topic before -but the information seems to go in one ear and leak out of the other for many sellers.
Getting your real estate ready to sell can be overwhelming for many sellers. Preparing your home properly for potential buyers to look at, often called staging, can drastically speed up the selling process and even get you more on the sale. While many people prefer to hire a professional stager, here are some tips to help you start the process of getting your home ready to sell.
Before you begin sprucing up your home or condo take a few minutes to remove and store valuables. If you have some things displayed that that have a high dollar value or high sentimental value need to be packed away now. No use leaving these items out where they could be bumped or broken accidently. Expensive jewelry, private business or family documents and extra credit cards are better off in a safe deposit box during the sale and move. Valuables should always be stored out of sight but experience has taught me that jewelry and documents are easier to access if they’re stored in safe deposit box. No small things are lost and sellers are not rummaging through packed boxes to find important documents.
First impressions matter, especially in real estate. When holding an open house, many potential buyers will drive on by if they don’t like what they see in the front yard. Cleaning up is only the first step; you want to make the yard and front of the house inviting. There are numerous ways to increase curb appeal from dressing up the front door to repainting to adding window treatments. Small gardens and planters can be warm and welcoming, and simple yard decorations can brighten up a drab landscape. Sweep or hose off the front porch and steps and never underestimate the effect a great welcome mat can have.
The key to great staging isn’t in the design and elegance of your decoration or furniture, it’s in the imagination of the buyer. Your job as a seller is to create a space in your house where the potential new owner can see it as their home. It’s great that you’ve spent the last decade collecting art and antiques from all over the world, but remember that this isn’t a time to show off what you have. Remove clutter and distractions. You want the house to be welcome and inviting for everyone so that anyone can see themselves living there.
Simple things like adding a few flowers can have a huge effect in beautifying the home while appealing to the senses. Flowers can give a fresh, vibrant and homey feel, and it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Try leaving a daisy in a small vase in the bathroom, some potted plants in the corners or some lightly fragrant flowers on the kitchen table.
Sometimes the hardest part is removing yourself from the equation. You’ve spent years making this your home, but remember, from the moment you decided to sell, it stopped being your home. While you may have the most beautiful children and family in the world, unless you are planning on leaving them with the house, it is best to remove their presence; take down pictures and mementos. Your goal is to make the house appeal to as many different people as possible. Try to keep rooms as neutral as possible while still giving it a purpose. Anything you are taking with you, such as lighting or drapes, remove from the house. A buyer can’t want something if they never see it.
You’ve loved your home for a long time, but now it’s time to let someone else love it while you move onto bigger and better things. Staging correctly can help that process along while increasing both the speed and price of the sale.