In today’s real estate market, selling your home can seem quite daunting. Keep in mind that like any other competition,your home must stand out from all the other homes that potential buyers have looked at. This IS a competition, and something you need to prepare for. You wouldn’t enter a beauty pageant and come out in old sweats and your hair in rollers would you? Professional Home Stagers are an excellent resource in getting your home “market ready”. A professional Home Stager has been trained to know your market and create an environment that is pleasing to the largest amount of buyers possible.
There are a number of things any Home Stager will tell you that you can do to prepare your home. Most Home Stagers offer a consultation for a minimal fee and can give you great ideas, or you can also hire them to come back and do the actual physical staging themselves. These five tips would probably be found on the top of any Professional Home Stagers’ “to do” list.
1. CURB APPEAL- Cut back bushes, keep the lawn mowed in summer, sidewalks clear in winter, plant fresh flowers or add a few large pots of flowers to add a splash of color to the front steps. Remove any clutter- kid’s toys, extra vehicles, boats, or gardening equipment. This will be the buyer’s first look at your home, if they don’t like what they see they’ll just keep driving.
2. VISUAL CLUTTER- When a buyer walks into your home, that’s the first thing they should see- YOUR HOME. Not all the family pictures (although they are adorable, they are not for sale!), nor your collections of dolls, toys, dvd’s, Elvis figurines. If it is not enhancing your home for the buyer, it does not need to be there.
3. WALLPAPER- This is a big one. When buyers walk into a room and see wallpaper, they’re actually thinking “ok, how much time/money will this take for me to get this down?” Now, there are some wallpapers that are very neutral and non-affending, you may want to ask your realtor or Home Stager’s opinion there. I’m talking about the ones that have pastel flowers, swirls, stripes, or anything that’s been on your walls since the 70’s. Don’t make the buyer offer you a lower price because they know there’s a lot of work involved.
4. WINDOW TREATMENTS- A large part of my business is Interior Design. When I discuss window treatments with a client, I have yet to have someone say ” I really want my windows completely covered with frills, ruffles, panels and drapes”. If they’re not asking for it, chances are today’s buyers aren’t looking for that either. The windows are a huge part of the house, and need to be seen in order to help sell the home. Even if you are planning on including the window treatments in the sale of the home, they should still be simplified. Panels on either side of the window will soften the look without covering the window. If the windows are in bad shape, they should either be replaced or repaired. And don’t hide a beautiful view!
5. TOO MUCH FURNITURE- We often have extra furniture in our homes for ourselves: for entertaining, for comfort. But when it comes to selling your home, less is often more. It’s best to create a good traffic flow. Oftentimes the room’s furniture layout can maximize a small space or create a warm cozy feeling in a large space.
Getting your home ready to put on the market does take some work, but it may be the competition of a lifetime, and as you know, you only get one chance to make a first impression.