So, that time has come or is quickly approaching. It may be a welcomed change for some people; for others, it is a task they dread with every fiber of their being. Whether you are a first-time home seller or a pro, the home selling process can be a daunting task for many people. Properly preparing your home before it is put on the market to be sold can seem overwhelming. A good experience is based on two things sellers must get right: correct pricing and home staging. While I cannot help you with the correct pricing, I can help you with home staging. So, let me alleviate your anxiety just a little with tips that will help your home sell faster and for the best price.
These home staging tips are essential to transforming your house into a home that buyers will love and can envision themselves living in!
Gain a New Perspective of Your Home
Now that you are preparing your home to be sold, you must view your home the way a buyer would. But first, you need to know the type of person or persons who will be buying a home in your neighborhood. Is it a single person, a young couple with kids, or an older couple looking to retire soon? Then with your buyer in mind, walk through your entire home, and ask yourself, "What will the buyer say when he or she walks into this room?” Then determine if that space should change to reflect the needs of the potential buyer. I know this may be challenging because you have lived in your home for some time. You have decorated the space to your liking and have created many memories there. But if you need help with gaining a different perspective, ask a friend or family member for their input. You do not want the house to reflect your style. It must reflect the style that is most popular to your potential buyers.
Commit to the Home Selling Process
Preparing your home to be sold is hard work. Many buyers prefer a move-in-ready home, so you should make those repairs as soon as possible. Because there are various projects to complete before the home is listed, I suggest creating a checklist. This will help you remain focused with a clear plan of action. As you complete a line item, check it off. This will ensure everything was addressed and nothing was overlooked or undone. When you commit to the process, everything will be accomplished, and there will be a great reward that awaits you at the end.
Packing Starts Now
Do not wait until the house is sold to start packing. Many of us have items in our homes that are not being used and taking up valuable space. When you sell your home, you want to showcase all of the square footage. Remove those items that are not used so you can stylishly showcase that space that is cluttered. Start by getting three large containers: one for trash, packing and donations. Sort all of the nonessential items accordingly, and remove them from the house. If possible, avoid moving them to a spare bedroom or garage because the buyer will see that space. You do not want them to think the home is small because the rooms are being used as storage.
Do Not Allow Buyers to Profile You
Some people are very passionate about their beliefs and values and may feel uncomfortable associating with someone who does not share similar ideals. As a result, do not allow buyers to profile you politically, religiously or otherwise. Any pictures, accessories or memorabilia that can identify your political and religious beliefs, ethnicity or sexual orientation should be packed away. It would be unfortunate if your house did not sell because an interested buyer became turned off by your political affiliation or ethnicity……but it happens. Style your home in a way that it cannot be profiled by homebuyers.
Display Photos That Show the “Good Life”
In keeping with the “Do Not Allow Buyers to Profile You” tip, you should not have family photos displayed throughout your home. “Well, what should I display,” you ask? We want buyers to see the “good life" in your home. Take pictures of well-known attractions in your area that people like to frequent and frame them. Or, print images of them from the internet and place them in a frame to display. If you live in a coastal town, you can display photos that represent that lifestyle. If you live in an area known for its music or art, you can display photos that represent that lifestyle. If you have photos of destination vacations, frame and showcase those too. You get the picture, right! (pun intended).
Let the Light In
When buyers are visiting your home, you do not want it to be dark and dreary. Very few people have that on their dream house wish list. You want your home to feel light and airy. Let the light in! Trim bushes and trees that are around the widows. Not only does this give your home better curb appeal, but it also allows more sunlight to flow into your home. Remember to open the drapes and raise the blinds during the open house and when the real estate photographer takes pictures.
Modernize Your Home
Most buyers want to feel like they are purchasing a house that is stylish and updated. They believe that if what they can see has been cared for then the same is true for what they cannot see. Also, many buyers overestimate the cost of home repairs, so they may hesitate to put in an offer on a “money pit”. You can update your home by installing new floors, painting the walls a light, neutral color, and updating light fixtures and appliances. You can create a very inviting primary bedroom (formerly known as the master bedroom) by dressing the bed with light color linens, large, plush pillows and a throw blanket. To give the bathrooms a spa-like feel, use white towels and shower curtains. Large artwork and live plants can be used to liven up the home.
Create Emotional Connecting Points
To complete the home staging process, be sure to create emotional connecting points. This staging technique is what transforms a space and draws buyers in. Emotional connecting points tug at buyers’ heartstrings and make them want to write an offer because they cannot see themselves living anywhere else. A table styled with dinnerware makes them think of dinner parties they can have there. A throw blanket and pillow on a chair in the corner make them think of curling up with a good book to read. The bathtub tray, staged with accessories, makes them think of a bubble bath at the end of a long day. This attention to detail will make buyers feel like it is their home, rather than just another house on the market.
And that is it! If you follow these home staging tips, you will be on the right track to selling your house quickly and for the best price. Hey, you may even have a bidding war. After all, it would be great to have multiple offers?