Selling a house in our current real estate market can be a taxing venture. With the bloated inventory of homes on the market, competition is at an all time high. It is a buyers market and shoppers are being choosy. As a seller, it is imperative your home stands above the rest. Even if you’re planning to use a real estate agent to sell your home, it is up to the seller to ready the property for the market.
Making your home attractive to buyers can be a challenge. Buyers want the most “bang for the buck” in this market. Not only do you have to make your home appealing, you need to make it appealing to a large base of people with various tastes and styles. Here are a few surefire ways to ready your home for open house.
Make an impact on potential buyers as soon as they lay eyes on the property. Curb appeal is an essential. Keeping the yard mowed and hedges trimmed during the growing season is a must. If you have it in your budget to add any landscaping, do so. Making your home’s outdoor spaces standout from the neighbor’s is going to increase the chance of a sell. If there is any areas of your house that need repairs, address them or be prepared to either lose an interested party or to offer the potential buyer a discount for the needed preservation. And don’t forget to keep your windows and guttering clean. Houses that appear unkempt are unappealing.
De-clutter and De-personalize this is an important step in preparing your home for sale. Get rid of personal mementos around the house no matter how near or dear. Clear pictures and nick-knacks off the walls, shelves, and tables and place the items into two categories, one for the items that will go into storage and one for pieces to reuse in the room. The reuse stack should be minimal with no personal pictures or personal collections. Your Aunt Grace may adore your Precious Moments figurine collection, but your potential buyer may see it as clutter. Move unneeded and over-sized pieces of furniture as well. Box up the items headed for storage and put them in a storeroom away from your home such as a storage unit. Storage is a big concern for many buyers. Filling your home’s storage space with your extras may make the area appear inadequate in the buyer’s eyes. Many home buyers in this market are looking for a long-term residence, making your home stand out may entice a sure deal.
Making your home palatable to a wide array of tastes will increase the chance of a second look. A fresh coat of paint is a great way to broaden your home’s appeal. Choose colors that are neutral and that will invite the potential owner inside for a closer look. Soft muted colors can promote a sense of comfort, while light bright colors can give a room an energetic feel. Trendy colors may entice you at first so be sure you know what color choices are available. Pick your colors carefully and seek advice from local hardware or paint stores. They can offer suggestions on colors and types of paints for various projects. A good rule of thumb when choosing paint is use flat latex or flat oil based paint when covering blemishes in walls and woodwork. Flat paint reflects less light and shows fewer imperfections.
After the walls are patched and painted pay attention to the flooring. Is it in good repair and current or is it worn and dated? If it’s the latter you should consider replacing or repairing the flooring. Wood floors are a popular, but an expensive choice. Cork , bamboo, or laminate flooring options are available at reasonable prices to help keep within your budget. Putting down carpet is always an option, but remember to keep it neutral. Berber carpet is a well-liked, inexpensive selection. Potential buyers want a nice blank canvas to work with. If new flooring or carpet is not in your staging budget, have your current floor cleaned by a professional cleaning company or by renting a steam machine from your local store and doing it yourself. The return on your effort will be worthwhile.
Putting it all together in one tidy package is the objective. Place the key furniture pieces back in the room. Then choose decor to fit the room, keeping it to a minimum. Avoid using oversize pieces in small rooms or undersized pieces in large rooms. This creates an unbalance that may throw off the buyer’s perception of the room. In the same since, do not use items that distract the buyer’s attention from the space. A few well placed pieces can boost a room’s appeal, creating warm and inviting sitting spaces that may translate to a quicker sale. Mix up fabric patterns to add interest, consider using a delicate floral pattern balanced with a narrow vertical stripe, or go with a more modern tone with muted grays or blues. Using punches of bright accent colors pillows mingled with metal or glass decorations will create a contemporary feel. Using white, black, or any solid colored art pieces offers a feel of sophistication. Remember, if choosing a modern decor, keep objects and artworks to a minimum with plenty of straight lines in the design. Modern and cluttered just does not work together. Add appeal by using accent lighting to highlight a space. Do not hide focal points such as fireplaces or windows with furniture or other items. Keep walkways open and counter-tops organized. Ask a friend’s help when making tough decorating decisions. Another’s viewpoint can be very enlightening.
The money you put into your home is sometimes Selling your home is your main objective, so do not allow personal feelings or preferences get in the way of closing a deal on your property. Be sure of your choices before finalizing decisions on wall colors or flooring choices; these are going to be your big ticket items that you will be leaving behind for the new family. Remember, an impulsive (and bad) choice can cost you a sale.