Are you “Staged” for a Change? (Part 2)
Getting someone to buy your house is much like dating in the sense that there has to be chemistry and a certainty that they will call again. To achieve this marriage of the minds, your house needs to be “dating ready”. Here is what I share with my clients to find their buyer match. I call this my “7 Steps to Staging Your House for a Happy Sale”.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->1. <!--[endif]-->You had me at the Curb otherwise known as Drive-by Dating. You’ve seen them. Buyers not wanting to wait for that appointment to see the house, so they hunker low in their cars and do a drive-by to see if your house will be the home of their dreams. To make these potential buyers commit to seeing the inside, make the outside as inviting as possible. This is easily and inexpensively done by adding potted plants, power-washing patios and even the outside of the house. “Outside” is the new “Inside!” Don’t forget a fresh coat of paint on the front door. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->2. <!--[endif]-->Depersonalize also stated, “She’s just not that into you.” They need to see your home, not your stuff. Taking yourself out of the picture allows them to visualize their lifestyle in your space. You want to create an inviting pathway through the house. Put your personal valuables away someplace safe, I’m thinking a vault.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->3. <!--[endif]-->They will be nosy, it just makes sense. Sensory research shows that the smell of a home can affect a person’s mood, according to Terry Molnar, executive director of The Sense of Smell Institute, a New York-based organization that focuses on the importance of smell to human psychology, behavior, and quality of life. Wow! So, take out your trash, deep-six the cigarettes, avoid the fish dinners, and wash the dog. But watch out for the heavy scented candles, that smells like trouble to savvy buyers. Your house should smell clean. Light floral puts people in a good mood, citrus such as lemons or grapefruits tend to energize and vanilla is comforting, so maybe they will stay awhile.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->4. <!--[endif]-->Complements go a long way on a first date. Match your staging with the architecture of your home. Don’t go too modern if it’s a log home and by the way, early attic is not a style. Avoid heavy window coverings and let the natural light shine in. Stage the room for its original purpose. A mud room should not serve as an extra home office. Concentrate on big rooms, remove worn or dated furniture and get rid of extra pieces. Remember the rule; less is more.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->5. <!--[endif]-->Color me beautiful. Even though the blue wall calls to you, a neutral color will make a room appear larger. You want your buyer to feel they are getting a mansion for the minimum. A fresh coat of paint is the best bang for your buck. A Taupe color can make you see green$$. Use different variations of the same color throughout the house. The Paint Quality Institute, a paint education resource, refers to this as “layering.”
<!--[if !supportLists]-->6. <!--[endif]-->You light up my life. New fixtures are a great way to create ambiance. Use your windows as natural lighting (Making sure they are clean of course). Entering a house with all the drapes drawn is a turn off to my buyers. Replacing that large plated glass mirror or medicine cabinet with a framed mirror and new light fixture can make a big impact in your bathrooms. You may want to add dimmable lighting here. The key is consistent wattage. Speaking of bathrooms, don’t forget those plush hotel style towels to turn your bathroom into a Spa.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->7. <!--[endif]-->Now we’re cooking. The kitchen is where it all happens. Most of my conversations about the house we are viewing take place in the kitchen of that home. Granite is still king and you want to show it off. Remove the toaster, coffee pot and of course last night’s dinner dishes. Using pendant lights to show off that island, or under cabinet lighting to draw them in goes a long way in creating an inviting kitchen for your buyer. Make sure any plants you have in the kitchen are not painted in a factory somewhere overseas, it needs to look natural. Grind a lemon in the garbage disposal and wipe down the cabinets and appliances. Sparkle is the key word here.
I hope these steps empower you to make a date to sell your home if that is part of your next journey. Anything you can do to prepare your house for a buyer is a great help and don’t be afraid to consult with your Real Estate Agent. I always keep several Staging Experts in my contact list to call upon. Bottom line, staging is more than an exercise in tasteful interior design. It is a business decision that can have a huge impact on your investment and timeline.
Finally, I am so blessed to have a successful career that allows me to help people create a new path, to get the most out of their investment, and to ultimately help them live a big life.
Jones Team Colorado - Keller Williams Realty Success