Buyers look at several properties in a short amount of time. After a while the properties begin to run together. The first impression can be the difference in how long they stay in your home, how well they recall your home, and what impression stuck with them about your home. Your home must stand out above others in your price bracket.
Adding cost-effective amenities and improving the general cleanliness and condition of the home is what we call “staging.” Here are some very inexpensive ideas that can make the difference in a sale.
- Remove or rearrange furniture to emphasize the size of your home.
- Declutter your closets. Again, emphasize the storage space your home offers.
- Remove excess family photos.
- Consider painting to freshen look of home. Repair, patch, and clean walls, outlet covers, vents, and doors as needed. Use a light neutral color paint.
- Carpets cleaned.
- Windows, Drapes, Blinds, and Window Sills cleaned.
- Remove clutter. Nothing on the refrigerator, hanging off cabinet fronts, and sitting on the counters.
- Remove unnecessary items throughout the bathroom. New set of towels can add a fresh look for minimal cost. The bathrooms need to look and smell clean.
- Clean and organize the Garage. If its a 2 car garage they should be able to park 2 cars.
- Get a storage unit, if necessary. Or hold a Yard / Garage Sale. It will make your move easier.
“Curb Appeal” ~ The outside is as important as the inside.
- Walk around your home with fresh eyes looking for trash, weeds, overgrown plants, and anything that is out of place. Haul it away.
- Check paint, brick, gutters, and roof for any maintenance issues.
- Remove extra items from the yard, patio, and pool area.
- A well-maintained lawn and landscaping is very important. It conveys a well-maintained home!
- And last, but not least look at your front porch with the eyes of a guest. Is the door clean, porch swept, “welcome” mat in place, no hoses or cords in sight? During growing season place plants near entry to welcome and brighten your porch.
Once you feel you are ready here’s a test. Grab your digital camera. It does not need to be fancy; this is only a test. Start at the front door and take pictures of every room. A picture says a thousand words and you will be surprised at what you overlooked or impressed with your efforts and ready to go!
When a seller stages their home, one of two things happens:
- The home becomes more valuable than other comparable properties in that price range.
- The home gets moved up in price and becomes the lowest priced in the next higher price bracket or category.*
Three things to remember:
- You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
- A review of over 2,800 properties in 8 cities found that staged homes, on average, sold in half the time that non-staged homes did.
- Most buyers make decisions about the property they see within the first 15 seconds of entering the home.
SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times
by Gary Keller