Tag Archives: home staging

Helpful Hints to Get Your Home Ready To Sell

Before choosing to update your home and make it appealing for a sale, a seller should seriously consider if that improvement will re-coup all the costs. Yes, buyers today want updated features, and many do not want to do the work themselves. Most likely if you over do it, you will be loosing money in today’s market.

“In an ideal real estate market, that would add value, but in today’s market, expensive pre-sale renovations, for the most part, aren’t worth it. The numbers bear this out: In general, a home remodel will cost quite a bit more than you’ll get back when you sell; remodels done in 2010 will only recoup 60% of their price when the house is sold, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2010 Remodeling Cost vs. Value survey, done in partnership with the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).” – RISMedia

Kitchens and bathrooms are still what attract buyers. So yes, that is where you would want to start. Here are some tips on what to do and not do if you are getting your home ready to sell.

In the Kitchen

  • Costly professional-grade cook’s appliances should be avoided. If buyer might enjoy the professional grade he might actually prefer a rival brand or maybe the buyer is not a chef.
  • Have your appliances serviced so that they are in excellent working order. If your appliances are seriously out dated, you may want to consider replacing them. Buyers do love stainless appliances – a great selling point for sure. Many times you can find new appliances on amazing clearances because it is old stock. One time I found an oven at Sears for 90% off.
  • Consider skipping replacing your kitchen cabinets even if slightly outdated. This can be a “taste-specific” issue and very subjective. If you chose light cabinets and they buyer prefers dark wood, then you might loose them over and improvement.
  • Think about refacing the cabinets if they are extremely outdated. You could have a company come in for under $2000 and this is a great investment in comparison to at price new kitchen.
  • Granite and marble should be avoided as a pre-sale upgrade. It is too costly. With so many different options, it will be tricky to find something that will please a large number of buyers.
  • Hiring a professional cleaning company is a wonderful idea. Have you ever had your car detailed. Well detail your kitchen and even the rest house. It will not go unnoticed.
  • Do touch up your the paint on the trim and the walls. Hopefully you still have some left over paint or that swatch to get more.

In the Bath

  • Don’t invest in big ticket “taste specific” items like the kitchen. Skip expensive tub and shower upgrades as they are a matter of taste.
  • Go a ahead and replace dated fixtures in the bath, sink and even lighting. Oh yes, and please get rid of that brown, green or pink toilet. Buyers don’t like to be forced to decorate around the color of the toilet. Another idea is replace your small shower head with a rainwater style to give the shower a spa feel.
  • Do try to brighten up the vanity. It is affordable to add a large mirror and lights.

Photo Copyright 2006-2011 – Amy S Myers

Sellers: Great Ways to Make a Room Look Larger

Making a room look larger than it really is, is an art – an art that anyone can do. It is simpler and easier than you might think just to change some little things that can make a big difference.

1. Don’t use bright or dark colors for the color scheme of a room, used white, pastels and neutrals for that larger feel.

2. Use s single color and select different shades and textures to fill the room.

3. Lighting is key in make a space open up. Try using spot lighting or even a torchiere lamp to bounce some light off the ceiling. Skylights and solar tubes can be excellent for adding natural light to a room.

4. Keep a limit on the accessories in the room. This will make the room feel less cluttered.

5. Make sure colors on the ceilings and floor are light. Use light colored wood and carpet for that open feel.

6. Add wall mirrors to increase the largeness of the room. This reflects images, light and color. Double the size of a room by adding mirror tiles on a full wall.

7. Consider using a love seat instead of a full size sofa in a smaller area. Place furniture closer to the wall when not in use.

8. A single painting works better than a group buy giving a bigger feeling.

9. Using glass in any kind of table will give the feeling of more openness.

Home Staging Makes a Difference

Staging is a very import process in selling a home. Some are more talented than others and some have larger budgets than others. Recently, I sold a home that was staged very well by an investor. We were quite surprised at the closing when my buyers and I met the home owner. This young single woman in her mid to late 20’s was quite the investor with 300 rentals and close to 10 house flips in the process. One of her special talents was staging her properties. She has the man power to do the renovations and then she runs out and picks some a few pieces of furniture, throw rugs and some accents. She does such a great job with the cosmetic items, fresh paint, flooring and decor, it makes the place hard to resist. The staging really brings out the buyers emotions and draws them in. I must say it might make some people jealous being able to go out shopping each time she flips a house – which she pretty much does. She does not always use the furnishings over because most of the time the buyers ask her to include her furniture and accents with the sale of the house. It sounds like a win win situation for the buyer and the seller.

So sellers out there, are your walls and carpets dirty? I had a seller that was not able to see this even after potential buyers made comments. If you don’t have extra funds for special accents, at minimum make your home squeaky clean and clutter free. You need to be competitive in this buyers market.

What Buyers are Looking For . . .

I have been observing my buyers lately and getting more of a feel of what some of them really want. This is the key (of course) to finding them the perfect home.  As a buyer you need to really communicate and give your agent as much information as possible. Sometimes the buyer forgets to mention things, but as you go out and show them properties, you can definitely hone in on the specifics.

As I have said before, the staging does woo buyers. They walk in and say oooo or yuck. It is all on how you have it ready for showings.  The agents in my office tour our listings to get other agents in the office familiar with all our properties. When we go on tour, you can tell the same thing. The agents are oooing at some of the decor. The ones that are not staged so good, don’t have many comments.

The number one thing I notice on agent tour and with buyers is the colors. The homes with the neutral and versatile colors get the comments and make people remember the house. It makes them feel cozy, comfortable and at home . . . and that is what you want. You want them to feel like it could be their home and that their furniture and decor could fit it with out much effort or no effort. If a buyer has to paint over that red accent wall, or that dark blue on all four walls in the bedrooms ( a recent encounter ), that may just be too much bother for the buyer. I know it sounds silly but some trivial things have turned off buyers. Most buyers want to just move in and have the least amount of things to deal with – life is just too busy. Just moving to a new residence can be enough to deal with.

Another thing is to get rid of the clutter. A couple of houses that I went into recently just had too much clutter and tons of personal photos. Sellers need to get rid of as much of this as possible. Since you, the seller, are moving – pack it up now. It will come back out later in your new home. If you can afford it, get storage unit or even borrow some space at a friend’s house if possible.

One of my buyers even prefers and empty home, she said it helps her visualize where she can put her furniture. So if your home is over cluttered with furniture and unnecessary items, it will definitely effect the buyer.  Re-evaluate what your home looks like inside to the potential buyer, it could be one of the reasons it is still on the market.

Make Buyers Bite

HGTV came up with a list of several things that make buyers bite. Here are some key things to consider when getting your home ready for sale.

1. Have A Nice Entryway – This is your chance to have a great first impression. What are the buyers seeing when they first come in.

2. Hardwood Floors -  Many Realtors have found the buyers want hardwood floors.

3. Fabulous Fixtures – Fixtures can change the whole look and mood of a room

4. Beautiful Baths -Great Bathrooms and Kitchens sell homes. Buyers love fancy upgrades such as marble counters, spa tubs and tile flooring.

5. Countertop Considerations – Try to get away from counter tops with grout lines. Buyers do not like them and they are hard to keep clean.

6. Stainless Steel – Buyers love the commercial look of stainless appliances in the kitchen

7. Pre-Organized Closets – Organizing your closets goes a long way. If buyers see the organization, they think the home is well taken care of.

8. Light Up – Make sure dark areas are lit up with lamps or natural light. Buyers do not like dark rooms.

9. Built-Ins – Buyers will look at built in furniture as an added perk.

10. Flat Yard – Families love wide open yards for picnics, the jungle gym, and the trampoline.

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Five Top Points Buyers Dislike About a Home

Smell is the first thing that buyers will complain about when Looking at home. Dog smell, pet odors and odd cooking aromas or some the main reasons that they will turn around and leave. The home owner tends to not be always aware of the smell because when they are living around it daily. Often times you do not smell the odors in your own home because you are so used to it.

Cleanliness is the next big thing. I have had many buyers look around and disgust and shock that some sellers did not even bother to clean up. This does not mean home staging, it is more about the dirty dishes in sink.

You know I had a buyer once that often would say they thought a home we were viewing was dirty, but I had the hardest time convincing them to clean up their own while trying to sell it and theirs was dirtier. I received constant comments about this seller’s home. It is a great idea listen to tips that your agent gives you. Most of the time is it coming from the buyers feedback.

Another thing is try to not be in the home when buyers are viewing it. It is the third thing that buyers complain about. Buyers are just not comfortable with the seller in the home. Most of the time the buyer will be quick to view the home and not take the time to see all the features.

The fourth complaint is cleanliness. Try putting the clutter pile in a cubard and picking up the laundry. This is not just because it looks neater, but also because they can then see all the things that might have been covered up. If you have a storage issue that is going to be easily detected. Many sellers will move less used items to a storage facility.

The fifth spot goes to unfinished projects. The last thing buyers want to see is a home-improvement project not completed. It just gives a bad impression when a wall may be half painted. If you did not finish painting, what else may not be done or done correctly?

These things are not so much that important though if your home is priced above market value. Buyers do not like to see a house that is not reasonably priced. It makes the seller look as though they are not that reasonable to deal with and are unrealistic. If you have your home over priced for the market, it will sit longer, and cost you and your agent a lot of extra time.

If you have a home that is priced properly for the market and follow these suggest items, it will stand out among the crowd.

Are Colors Important When Selling a Home?

Today I received the following questions from a college friend:

“Got a quick realty question for you for my wife, please, if you don’t mind. Looking to put our house on market soon. Living room with open floor plan has a red wall (tomato red, 8ft wide x 12 ft high), behind seating area that’s only visible when walking through or dining. Every other wall is pale yellow. Would you recommend painting the red wall before showing (go to a mocha color), or leave it and hope the buyers go for it?

Thanks! -Tom”

Here is my response:

Hi Tom!

Red is a great color for an accent wall but not for selling a home. Neutral tones are the best. So a Mocha sounds great. You want the buyer to be able to picture living in your home with their own things and feeling comfortable and cozy. Using neutral colors you have more of a chance at doing that. You can blend more furnishings with neutral tones rather than the red or other accent color. Yes, I would say paint before you show.

Remember the first 30 days are the most critical. In most cases you will have the most buyers come through in the first thirty days being of having your home on the market.