If you currently have your house on the market or are planning on selling your house in the near future, then this seven-part series was written for you.
If you missed it, Tip #1 was Update Lighting Fixtures
Tip #2 Identify Red Flags
Do you know what a "red flag" is?
A signal of danger or a problem can be referred to as a red flag. In real estate, a red flag is something that gives potential buyers the impression that there is an existing problem, was a problem in the past, or could be a problem in the future.
I find red flags in most of the houses that I stage.
It is very important that you go on a "search and destroy" mission throughout your entire house and identify your red flags.
What are you looking for? Here are three examples:
1. Evidence of Past Damage
The most common red flag I see is water stains on ceilings or walls. Usually when I ask what the source of the stain is, I'm told "the roof was leaking, but it's fixed now." That's great that the problem is fixed now...that doesn't mean, however, that you don't need to paint the stained ceiling.
It's really a simple choice:
- Leave the stain - be prepared to have the leaky roof become an issue, fixed or not.
- Paint the wall or ceiling - no issue.
One more point: Some sellers try to save money or time by painting only the stained area instead of the whole ceiling or wall. If it is obvious that a repair was made, it's really no different than having the stain still there.
2. Storage and Space Issues
Do you have added curio cabinets in your kitchen to make up for a lack of cabinets or an over-the-toilet storage unit in the bath because there is no vanity? Do you have a coat tree in the foyer because there is no coat closet?
These items tell buyers that there isn't enough storage or space to begin with. Remove them!
Adding the extra counter and 2 chairs to the end of this kitchen island only makes the kitchen appear to be smaller. It sends a message to buyers that there isn't enough workspace in the kitchen and more had to be added.
The sellers had a dresser in this bath because there was no medicine cabinet or vanity for storage. The dresser guarantees that buyers will be aware of the storage problem.
3. Furniture Placement Issues
Is your furniture positioned to give the impression there is a placement issue?
The way the nightstands were placed in these two bedrooms guaranteed a red flag would go up to potential buyers. If you remove the nightstands, you remove the giant arrow in the room pointing out the problem.
These are just three examples of red flags you should be looking for.
Other things to look for include evidence of marital or medical problems, light switches to nowhere, protruding wiring, evidence of pets, and lack of light, to name a few.
No house is perfect. You know better than anybody else what the negative features are within your house. Maybe they are the reason you are moving. Do you want to highlight those issues for buyers or do you want to highlight all the positive features of the house?