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Staging your home to sell

Staging your home to sell

This time of year I spend a lot of time visiting homes to give staging advice.  As we get into spring, this is prime time selling season and people are interested in putting their best foot forward.  When a buyer is going through a home they are asking two questions: Do I like this home?  Has this home been well maintained?  So, to maximize sales price we need to make the home likable and look well maintained.  Following are some tips to that end.

*Disclaimer: you do not need to do a complete overhaul on your house to get it to sell.  Some people tell me that they don’t want to do a thing to their home.  That is fine, we just might have to make some price concessions.  Sometimes the priority is to just move on and they don’t have the time or money to do repairs.  This blog post is about how to do everything possible to maximize sales price, but if that isn’t your goal then we can still get your house sold!

1)  Declutter!  A room with lots of stuff in it feels smaller. Furnished homes show better than vacant homes so you don’t want to get rid of everything, but make sure that your stuff isn’t getting in the way of people seeing your home.  Think of your home as a showroom rather than your home.

Before

Bedroom-Before

After

BedroomAfter

2) Take down personal items that get people thinking about who you are and what your story is rather than how great your house is.

3)  Are there any smells in your house?  Often you get used to your own home so you might want to ask a friend this question, but smells (especially pet smells) will keep people from purchasing the home because they often over imagine what it will take to have the smell removed.  This is critical.

4)  People can’t necessarily tell if something has been well maintained or not because many things are behind the scenes.  So, they are looking for cues.  So, sometimes little upgrades can help give the impression that you aren’t a person that “goes the cheap route” when doing things to the home.  Spend the extra $100 when getting a new faucet, do the tile backsplash in the kitchen, get the stainless appliances.  You don’t need to do this on everything, but do it on the things that show.

5)  Along the lines of giving cues for being well maintained, make sure your home is squeaky clean.  Have the windows washed, have the carpets cleaned, have fresh vacuum marks for showings.  It is amazing to me how big of a difference it makes to people if the home is clean or not.  I think it just contributes to a feeling of them wanting to be there or not.  If you need a referral to a window washer or carpet cleaner please let me know, I work with some amazing professionals in this area!

6) When you’re budget is limited, doing upgrades on the kitchen will give you the best return.  Kitchens sell houses.  A tile backsplash really makes it pop.  New hardware on the cabinets can make it look updated inexpensively.  There are different expectation depending on the price point, but having this is an area where people spend time and often people hang out when entertaining so they want it to be a room they are proud of.

For example, here is a before and after picture from my old kitchen. We decided to spend some money on new cabinet doors. The sides and shelving are fine, we just wanted to update the look. So we got unstained doors, took them to Seven’s for exact matching and then got to work. And it was worth it.

Before:

Kitchen-before-300x225

After:

Kitchen-after-300x225

Do you have questions about upgrades that you should do to YOUR house?  I am happy to do a personal consultation.  We have been through many houses with hundreds of buyers so it has given us a really good perspective on what people are looking for and we’d love to put this experience to work for you!

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