Preparing your home as a product for market is very different than living in your home. You must remove your emotion from the deal and look on it as a business proposition. If you’re not ready to do that, it’s best to wait and not put your house on the market. Think you’re ready?
You’ll be packing to move anyway, so it’s time to put away anything you wouldn’t find an a 4 star hotel room. That means you must walk around every room beginning from the left side of the door and sweeping back around to the right side of the door removing items are visually conflicting or create a sense of having no space. It’s time to put away anything that catches dust and doesn’t add to the attitude or identity of the room. Don’t forget to organize and purge the pantry, linen closets and garage.
Each room should be decorated in a way that creates an identity for the intended space. You may have used the dining room for an office, but it’s important for a buyer to see the dining room decorated as a dining room. The decor should be as neutral as possible and not visually distracting. Neutral doesn’t always mean beige! The rule of 60-30- 10 applies. 60 % is a dominant color, 30% is the secondary color, and 10% is the accent color.
Consult the color wheel to select your palette. Keep trendy colors to the 10 percent; think throw pillows, table top decor or towel sets. White space also applies to decor. White ceilings and furnishings can make a dark room feel spacious and rich, yet intimate. Be sure adjoining rooms have complementary patterns and color palettes.
Add lighting where needed.
Have your property deep cleaned. Don’t forget to change HVAC filters and have siding pressure washed. Buyers perceive a dirty house to have been ignored behind the scenes, such as plumbing, electrical, and heating and cooling systems.
Put away all family pictures & portraits. You can’t have buyers coming in and say to themselves, ‘Aww, we can’t make this sweet little family move!’ Set the stage for inviting buyers to picture themselves in your space. Buyers must feel that they only need to carry in their suitcases!
Remove all religious items and die-hard fan memorabilia. The home purchase is first made with emotions, then backed up with logic and secured with finances. I was once showing a house to a buyer and when we arrived in the bonus room filled with fan memorabilia, he remarked that he could not buy a house owned by a fan of his biggest college rival.
Don’t have buyers shaking their heads when they leave your property. All homes will get a nickname. A personal favorite was ‘the crayon house.’ From the view from the kitchen to the great room to the second floor loft, each wall had a different color! It was very distracting for the buyer to evaluate the house as a whole because of that first impression visual impact and attitude of the crayon/toy box.
Buyers are usually in the car seeing several similar homes a day in the same price range. If your list price does not measure up to everything else that was seen in regard to size, condition and materials, it will confuse the buyer who will mentally put your listing aside and your property will not be seriously considered.
For a personal inspection and recommendation of staging strategies for your home before listing, give me a call. Following my personal consultation with the seller 6 weeks prior to listing, my Personal Best Days on Market was THREE HOURS!! and it was 10% More than Sellers thought possible! For a free evaluation of what your property might bring in today’s market, contact me today.