Am I ready to sell? Step 1 : Preparing my home

Preface:  This is a great article from House Logic.  I’ve seen so many homes with buyers and sellers over the years.  The stand-out homes aren’t the fancy homes.  Buyers forgive issues like smaller square footage, older, and imperfect floor plans when they see a home that is clean, decluttered, freshly painted in a neutral (but not boring) shades, etc.  This all seems very obvious but it is so important that I’m posting this article for emphasis. 

I’d say that 3/4ths of the homes that I visit with buyers do not follow this advice.  It’s probably more than that.  So, if you carefully follow this, you’ll be ahead of 75% of the other homes on the market like yours. 

I get asked all the time, though, why this is important given the lopsided nature of the market right now.  There are few homes and lots of buyers.  Here’s what happens though-  homes that do not follow this advice get offers but the buyers are not as willing to pay full price as they want to leave room for the obvious repairs/fixes needed.  When a home is not clean and neat, the buyers assume it needs work.  However, a home that is clean and neat gives the impression that it is well maintained and buyers are more willing to pay top dollar and even join in on a multiple offer scenario. 

My advice?  Read the below article.  Call me.  I will come by and give you advice from a fresh, objective perspective on things that can be done to improve your home for sale (no obligation of course).  Do those things and have your home professionally cleaned.  It’s $100 to $200 for a full cleaning.  It’s well worth it though for the extra $1000’s you are likely to gain for a clean, neat home vs. an “as-is” home.  Blow buyers away when they walk in your door.  That is the goal. 

Thank you!  Here is the article: 

 

7 Tips for Staging Your Home
Article From BuyAndSell.HouseLogic.com

By: G. M. Filisko
Published: March 19, 2010

Make your home warm and inviting to boost your home’s value and speed up the sale process.
The first step to getting buyers to make an offer on your home is to impress them with its appearance so they begin to envision themselves living there. Here are seven tips for making your home look bigger, brighter, and more desirable.
The first step to getting buyers to make an offer on your home is to impress them with its appearance so they begin to envision themselves living there. Here are seven tips for making your home look bigger, brighter, and more desirable.
1. Start with a clean slate.
Before you can worry about where to place furniture and which wall hanging should go where, each room in your home must be spotless. Do a thorough cleaning (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/maintenance-repair/home-cleaning-secrets/) right down to the nitpicky details like wiping down light switch covers. Deep clean and deodorize carpets and window coverings.
2. Stow away your clutter. (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/maintenance-repair/home-cleaning-secrets/)
It’s harder for buyers to picture themselves in your home when they’re looking at your family photos, collectibles, and knickknacks. Pack up all your personal decorations. However, don’t make spaces like mantles and coffee and end tables barren. Leave three items of varying heights on each surface, suggests Barb Schwarz of Staged Homes in Concord, Pa. For example, place a lamp, a small plant, and a book on an end table.
3. Scale back on your furniture.
When a room is packed with furniture, it looks smaller, which will make buyers think your home is less valuable than it is. Make sure buyers appreciate the size of each room by removing one or two pieces of furniture. If you have an eat-in dining area, using a small table and chair set makes the area seem bigger.
4. Rethink your furniture placement.
Highlight the flow of your rooms by arranging the furniture to guide buyers from one room to another. In each room, create a focal point on the farthest wall from the doorway and arrange the other pieces of furniture in a triangle around the focal point, advises Schwarz. In the bedroom, the bed should be the focal point. In the living room, it may be the fireplace, and your couch and sofa can form the triangle in front of it.
5. Add color to brighten your rooms. (http://www.houselogic.com/photos/painting/home-color-ideas/slide/plenty-of-upside/)
Brush on a fresh coat of warm, neutral-color paint in each room. Ask your real estate agent for help choosing the right shade. Then accessorize. Adding a vibrant afghan, throw, or accent pillows for the couch will jazz up a muted living room, as will a healthy plant or a bright vase on your mantle. High-wattage bulbs in your light fixtures will also brighten up rooms and basements.
6. Set the scene.
Lay logs in the fireplace, and set your dining room table with dishes and a centerpiece of fresh fruit or flowers. Create other vignettes throughout the home – such as a chess game in progress – to help buyers envision living there. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light.
Make your bathrooms feel luxurious by adding a new shower curtain, towels, and fancy guest soaps (after you put all your personal toiletry items are out of sight). Judiciously add subtle potpourri, scented candles, or boil water with a bit of vanilla mixed in. If you have pets (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/pet-odor-can-chase-away-buyers/), clean bedding frequently and spray an odor remover before each showing.
7. Make the entrance grand.
Mow your lawn and trim your hedges, and turn on the sprinklers for 30 minutes before showings to make your lawn sparkle. If flowers or plants don’t surround your home’s entrance, add a pot of bright flowers. Top it all off by buying a new doormat and adding a seasonal wreath to your front door.
More from HouseLogic
Spring Cleaning Guide (http://www.houselogic.com/guide/spring-cleaning-101/)
11 Ways to Create a Welcoming Front Entrance for Under $100 (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/home-improvement/front-door-entry-ideas/)
Fragrant Plants that Will Keep Your Home Smelling Good (http://www.houselogic.com/blog/air-quality/fragrant-plants-will-keep-your-home-smelling-good/)
G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who occasionally rearranges her furniture to find the best placement-and keep her dog on his toes. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.