Here's where it starts...I had an owner's daughter ask me to list her father's home the other day. The house was vacant and I was concerned since no one had been there for 6 months. The owner had moved to supportive living. So I walked in and saw the super shag carpet and harvest green kitchen with rotary dial wall phone. ... and I worried.
But then I pulled up that corner of the carpet and saw a gorgeous maple floor.. pine floors hidden in the bedrooms. And things started to look brighter. I could picture what fresh paint could do. What new handles on the kitchen cabinet could do for the kitchen (as well painting over that harvest green). That rotary phone did not look that odd anymore.. Having my local stager stop by... absolutely.
Be patient. Don't scare those owners into total remodeling or the need to cut way below the comps. Hold the listing and get the simple work done .. pull up the carpet, paint a little, hang art, call a stager. That may be all you need. Sometimes you need just to make these moves to see the further potential you make of the home.
I looked at pictures the other day of a home that went up for sale across the street from one of my other listings. My Sellers had made the changes similar to my first story here and I will tell you how night and day my listing looks to the one across the street (that is vacant, to mine where I even have family and pets) I am looking forward to have that next Sunday open on the same weekend.
Don't be impulsive and just list it as is. Stop and look at each room. What can be done here? Take pictures before you put it up and look at them and ask the question again. You may be surprised on how little it would take
Keep adjusting. It can't kill you to try a couch turned next week the other way. Or use a tall lamp at the opposite corner.
Take good pictures. I get comments all the time on my listing photos. I look at them say wow is that the same house. If you can't do it yourself hire a pro or get a pro friend to do it. Those photos get the buyers there... it gets the dreaming started, it gets the buyers there... I will get a blog out there on this topic.
Do the little things, and don't forget to call that stager... Your owner will be happy and so will you.