Should I stage my home? This may be one of the most frequently asked questions when a person is putting their house on the market. This question is often followed by, How? There are many things to consider and we’re here to help! Check out some tips below to get your home staged to sell.
1. Clean and Repair
Starting with the most obvious first, you want to make sure your home is sparkly clean with nothing damaged. Put your home’s best foot forward with a good cleaning. If your home is large or you don’t have enough time, you could always hire a pro. Also, be sure the outside of the home is cleaned in both the back and front yards. When a home is clean, it suggests to the potential buyer that the previous tenants took care of the home and property. Alongside cleaning, you should also patch and repair anything that could be a sign of neglect. Use a melamine foam eraser pad to remove any scuffs from the walls. If there are any holes in the walls, be sure to spackle, caulk and paint that area. Additionally, apply paint to any areas where it seems to have chipped. And once again, this goes for the yard too. The overall goal of this step is to make the home look well taken care of.
2. De-Clutter and De-Personalize
When it comes to clutter, the less you have, the larger your space looks… and space sells! You may need to find a spot to temporarily store your belongings. Do not store them in your garage or closets because often times those get looked in. Alongside de-cluttering is to de-personalize. Remove pictures, personal knickknacks and anything that could identify the space as yours. It may be difficult to remove all the things that make your home feel like you, but it’ll be worth it.
3. Work On Curb Appeal
First impressions are everything. Often times potential home buyers will drive by the property first to make sure it’s worth their time. Make sure it’ll lure them in and make them feel like they could be walking into their home. Blooming flowers are always a nice way to add a bit of color and flare to the front of your home. Be sure everything is clean: siding, sidewalks, windows, and porch. Keep your lawn watered, mowed and overall put together. Your porch should have a clean doormat and neat porch furniture if there’s room. Be sure your number is easily readable and even keep your lights on during the evening in case there are drive by’s at night.
4. Brighten Things Up
Use the natural light to your advantage. Pull back curtains or open blinds, this will make the rooms feel bigger. Turn on all the lights, even during the day. This will help make your home look more inviting and save perspective buyers from fumbling around trying to find the switch. Also be sure your light fixtures are clean and appealing, even dusting your light bulb if needed. There are also different color temperatures on light bulbs, you could play with your options to find the one that works the best.
5. Rearrange Furniture
First, remove any damaged or large pieces of furniture or anything that doesn’t match the rest of your decor. With what you have left, decide if there’s still too many pieces or if you need more. You can always rent furniture if the home is too empty. Once your furniture is picked, you want to arrange it in a way that allows for plenty of open and walkable space. Additionally, there is a design technique called “floating” which positions your couches, chairs, and tables away from your walls. Add an area rug to make it feel more cozy, even if the room is carpeted.
6. Be Neutral
Bright colored walls can be a major turn off for buyers. Although it expresses individuality, it signifies the home’s past, not future. Not to mention, bold colors distract from a rooms assets and can be all somebody sees. When picking the new paint for the wall, you do not have to go straight white. There are plenty of sophisticated neutral colors to choose from and they will help make everything look cleaner and put together. Additionally, when decorating the master bedroom specifically, remain neutral. You want to appeal to all types of people, including single or married.
7. Use Every Space
If you have a room that is used as storage or junk dumping area, clean it up. Each room should have a clearly defined purpose. Identify what a buyer could see, maybe it’s an office, a spare bedroom, or a kids room and decorate accordingly. This goes for any awkward areas too. Whether that’s a small nook or space under the stairs, decorate it in a way that can show off the potential. You could set up a small workstation, put up a bulletin board or build some shelves. Even if this means you need to rent or borrow additional furniture to make this happen.
Staging a home requires much time, effort and often times, money. It may not seem like it would be worth it. But let us assure you, it is! According the the National Association of Realtors, in March of 2019, 83% of buyers said that a staged home made it easier for them to visualize the property as a future home. 1/4 of the buyer’s agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between 1%-5% compared to homes that weren’t staged. Often times, staging a home will provide you with the result you’re looking for.
We get asked that question frequently. Or if a property is already on the market, sellers often ask if they should take it off. There are arguments as well as pros and cons for both schools of thought. We’ll break down each side to help you make the decision on if you should list your home in the winter.
1. Less Competition
It’s as simple as supply and demand. If there are fewer homes to choose from, your home will get more activity and showings, in turn, more offers for more money. Additionally, when there are fewer options, buyers tend to be less picky.
2. Buyers Are Serious
Although there are typically more buyers in the spring and summer, the serious buyers continue looking in the winter. If a buyer is truly serious, it doesn’t matter the time of year. During the warmer months, people go to open houses just for fun, but in winter only the serious ones are out. And typically they have a pressing matter that is requiring them to find and close on a house quickly.
3. Online House Hunting Is Year Round
The internet has made house hunting from the warmth of your own home easier than ever. People are constantly looking at listings online. In fact, 93% of people use the internet in their home search and that’s how most begin. The only time they have to deal with the cold is to see the shortlist of their absolute favorites.
4. Agents Are Up To The Challenge & Motivated
Since the winter months are a bit slower, most real estate agents are also slow. If you choose to sell during the winter, your agent will be able to focus more on you. But, you want to be sure you get a good agent that’s up to the challenge. There are hurdles that need to be jumped when selling in winter and a good agent will know how to adapt to the current season and market the listings accordingly. They’ll know the current market in the area and be able to provide you with tips and suggestions.
5. More From Out Of Town Are Looking
During the holiday season, many family members come from out of town to visit. So, if they are considering relocating, they would look at homes when they’re in town. This often means they need to find a home fast and have a bit more financial flexibility. Additionally, people have more time off work and they take advantage of that by looking for their next home. Lastly, more people relocate for work in the first quarter of the year.
1. Curb Appeal Is Difficult
In the spring and summer months, it’s easier to show off the curb appeal of your home with flowers, landscaping, and daylight until 9pm. Winter poses a problem since everything is covered by snow, and typically not fresh snow. Homes listed in winter are often viewed with things looking drab and worn because everything is brown and gray. You could decorate for the holidays, which will make it more appealing. On the plus side, you won’t have to spend as much time meticulously working on your yard.
House hunting in winter can be a chore for the buyers. They’ll need to bundle up and endure the cold temperatures. Fresh snow can also be a traveling hazards for potential buyers, so they may choose to stay home for the day. Also, you’ll need to make sure your driveway and walkways aren’t slick or snow covered. Those who do come to look at your home can track in salt and possibility mud, which you will then need to take extra time to clean after each showing.
3. Buyers Have Limited Budgets
Near the end of the year, many people have their money tied up in other financial obligations such as buying holiday gifts, traveling, setting aside money to pay taxes, or making sure their own home and car are winter ready. With such a tight budget, more people may not be willing to invest in a new home.
4. Buyers Have The Negotiating Power
Most sellers will get multiple offers in spring and summer because there are more buyers. When there are less, some buyers may drive a hard bargain. They may even think that a seller is desperate for any offer and so they low ball them. And often times, the seller accepts because they are worried they won’t get another offer until spring.
If you have any additional questions or concerns about selling your home, in winter or otherwise, contact us! We’re here to help, know the market, and can list your home appropriately.
Whether you’re buying, selling, building or remodeling – it’s good to know the home features that every buyer is looking for. Especially if you’re remodeling or building and plan to resale, some of these items may make or break your real estate transaction.
What Not To Do
Let’s first start with a quick list of no-no’s. Although the idea and everyday use of some of these items may work for you, they could severely hurt you if you plan to sell you home since they’re not practical for the average buyer:
- Removing closets
- Combining two rooms
- Adding a sunroom
- A garage converted to a living space
- Adding a pool or hot rub
- Any feature that is too personalized such as wall color/texture, too much wallpaper, or lavish lighting that may look dated overtime
What To Do
Below are some home features that will increase the resale value of your home and what most all buyers are looking for.
Since they are much easier to clean, durable, long lasting, and have a contemporary look, hardwood floors are one of the top features a buyer wants. Engineered wood flooring is a good option if you’re on a budget, although it may not last as long it’s still just as easy to clean and has the same look.
Kitchens are where we spend a lot of our time, whether we’re entertaining or cooking. So this feature is obviously going to make the list. A buyer will likely be looking for a modern kitchen with an open floor plan. Specific features that are of importance is a large pantry, an area to eat separate from the dining room (either an eat-in kitchen or island with a breakfast bar), new appliances that are stainless steel & energy efficient, ample counter space & storage, and quartz or granite countertops all with a modern design.
Who wouldn’t want to save money? Buyers look for and are more likely to be interested in a home when it’s outfitted with energy efficient appliances, windows, lighting and HVAC. These items help save money in utilities each month but don’t take away from the buyer’s comfort level.
Having a dedicated laundry room is increasing in importance with buyers. Especially one large enough to sort, iron, fold and stack the laundry until it finally gets put away. The placement of the laundry room in a home is also important. Having the laundry room near bedrooms, just off the kitchen, as a laundry room/mud room combination or even a laundry chute if it’s downstairs are all considered to be good locations
Many older homes do not have the luxury of a walk in closet, but the feature is quickly gaining popularity. Although closet space in general is very important, walk in closets off the master are considered essential for most buyers when purchasing a home. Depending on how large the closet is, it provides a space to showcase your wardrobe & accessories, keeps your clothes organized, and allows for enough room for a couple to store all of their clothes & accessories.
A large 2 car or 3 car garage allows for the buyer to park their vehicle indoors plus adds storage space. Unlike an attic or basement, the garage is much more accessible to store belongings. The space could also be used as a workshop or mudroom with space to build shelves and cabinets. The possibility with a large garage is endless.
Outdoor patios are a simple way to extend the living space of your home. It’s really easy for buyers to see themselves sitting outside playing with their children or entertaining when the backyard is really nice. This is typically an easy and cheaper way to increase the value of your home.
We get a lot of questions about this. What… is a SHOME?
You already know the answer if you’re reading this on our blog. Of course you do! I have summed up a few reasons that will illustrate the why’s. Real estate is a complicated industry with lots of specifics and exclusions and but’s and why’s. I had to be specially trained to understand the depth of legal accountability that I am being held to as an agent so that you don’t have to worry about it.
We Aren’t Lawyers
We did, however get trained to act as your agent legally and navigate all the laws pertaining to real estate. There are tons of forms and processes that can leave the best of us spinning on a busy day. The best part of having a Realtor is that we handle this stuff for you. When you’re buying a home, you certainly don’t want to focus on the paperwork. We want you to think about the fun updates you might do- the remodeling or paint schemes. Let us handle the crazy paperwork.
We Know People
Did you know that 80% of buyers get their homes with the help of their agent? Think about it, that’s 80% of the buyers you might miss out on if you are selling your home by yourself. We are in an industry that relies on being connected, we know other agents, we know people who might just be looking for the same kind of home you are selling and wee know about listings before they hit the market. And most importantly, we create the visibility your home needs to be sold. This is what we specialize in, It isn’t houses and documentation, it’s people and marketing. As an agent, We are your best resource to sell your home.
We Have Tools
As Realtors, we have more tools at our disposal to help you buy or sell. We know about the market and it’s past and future trends. An important part of representing you is advising you when might be the best time to buy or sell. We have knowledge of the area that you might not be privy to. Such as which developments are in high demand, which one’s have certain attributes or how your home compares to your neighbors.
There are a whole lot more reasons that you need a Realtor, Check them out here. If you have any questions about having an agent, buying or selling, Let’s Connect!
Let’s Make Awesome Happen!
Thinking of selling and want to spruce up your home before hitting the market? Surprisingly you should think small when making renovations and updates for the best ROI.
If you are like most of our clients you may have a laundry list of things you believe you need to your home before you sell it. Some of the things may be costly and in the end will not improve the sale-ability of your home or even provide a good return on your investment investment. Here are some tips to consider:
If you are thinking of selling , lets meet up and we can work with you to develop a plan for success. The right improvements to increase the sale-ability of your home while being kind to your finances.
How to contact John and Tracey
John Tindall: 208-818-2456 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tracey Tindall: 208-818-2365 email@example.com
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