If you know the near future involves putting your house on the market, it’s never too early to begin the planning process. Even if you’d rather wait until the spring months to sell, there is more involved in the sale of your home than simply putting a “For Sale” sign in the yard. Here are some practical tips to consider during this exciting time to get your home ready.
First and foremost, finding a reputable real estate agent should be top of the list! Selling your home solely on your own can be a daunting task and a real estate agent can help navigate the sale of your home, no matter how hot or cool the market may be in your neighborhood. There is a reason knowledgeable homeowners often rely on the talents of a real estate agent, saving you time and money in the long run.
It’s important to find a real estate agent that has experience in the area where you are selling, one that you connect with and feel comfortable sharing your expectations with, too. Do some research when looking for a real estate agent and also seek recommendations from others that have recently sold their home. It’s also important to interview the agent to make sure he/she is a good fit for your needs and your personality.
Curb appeal is one important aspect of selling your home. Buyers do often judge a book by its cover! If interested buyers are driving around looking at neighborhoods and come across your home with unkept landscaping and broken shingles, it’s likely they will mark your “Open House” off of their list. Make sure your front yard is tidy and cracked paint is repaired, adding finishing touches like flowers and a new welcome mat can also make a difference. Old, ugly mailbox? Fix that too.
Declutter and depersonalize. Always on the list of things to do when you’re getting your home ready to sell, cutting down on the clutter, the trinkets and the family heirloom items makes a big difference in your home’s appeal. Staging your home with the motto in mind that “less is more” is something that can begin during the months leading up to the sale of your home. Donate unused items and keep in mind during the process that nothing is off-limits when trying to sell your home. Buyers will peek into your closets and look under your sinks to find out what space is available. If they notice too much stuff, it takes away from the beauty of your home.
Some personal photos are fine to keep up on the walls, but too many family photos and oversized artwork may be distracting and overwhelming to the general public. When you are trying to sell your home and start to think of it as a blank canvas for the new homeowner to enjoy and add their personal touches to, it will help you determine what should go and what could stay as part of your overall décor.
Want to sell your home? Invest in some paint. The cold, winter months are a good time to paint the home’s interior. Accent walls are nice, but you may want to consider painting your walls and halls in a more neutral color since most buyers will appreciate a color scheme that they can spend less time updating. A fresh coat of paint, fixing any scuffs and scratches on the walls, will be very beneficial when trying to sell. How many times have you watched HGTV “House Hunters” and heard potential buyers complain about a room’s color? Although painting walls is one of the easier things to fix for home-buyers when they otherwise love a house when browsing, a paint job is just another way to freshen up a home and give it a neutral “look and feel” that will hopefully entice more shoppers.
Other ways to prepare your home for sale include thoroughly cleaning the house and garage, fixing anything that may have been broken for a while (like a cabinet pull or toilet paper holder), and taking care of any funky smells that you’ve noticed coming from the basement. We tend to overlook certain things in our homes that need fixing because we get busy and tell ourselves, “we’ll fix that next weekend”. Before putting your house on the market, make sure you create a thorough check list of items that need to be fixed and tackle that list. Give yourself enough time to fix what’s broken and freshen up what’s stale.
Now is the perfect time to begin the process of organizing the home for prospective buyers. A little planning will ensure that your home will be ready for the market, whether you want to sell it next month or six months from now! Unsure about what your next steps should be to get your home ready to sell? Contact me and I’d be happy to answer questions or assist you in any of your real estate needs. My number is (618) 978-2384 or email me at Sandie@SandieLaMantia.com. Happy New Year!
We’ve all seen the shows on HGTV that can remarkably take a fixer-upper and turn it into a home that not only looks completely different, but has the “wow factor” that people want when staging their home for resale. Not only are the remodeled homes structurally updated in many cases, they are also beautifully staged with on trend lighting, furniture, pops of color, greenery and appealing home décor. Most experts agree that a home with furniture helps sell a house, and properly staging that same home allows the seller to appeal to the pickiest of buyers. A well-staged home will stand out from the pack! Here are some of the latest trends based on an article from the National Association of Realtors.
Know your market. A big part of staging is creating a lifestyle in the home for sale that appeals to the demographic. For example, if your home is on the outskirts of town in the country, using a modern, city-loft appeal for décor is less likely to be effective. It’s important to research the distinct neighborhood characteristics and incorporate that into staging your home.
Get glam! Believe it or not, a current trend is adding a little bit of sparkle to décor. Whether it’s a decorative pillow stitched in shiny silver thread or a sparkly picture frame, adding silver is the trendier version of the popular shades of gray. Smaller doses of golden glimmer are also being used in staging, accommodating more of a “vintage” vibe. Both trends work well with modern, glass-top tables, mirrors and the incorporation of metallic bedding, throws, and fabrics.
Color pop. Today’s walls are more neutral, while pops of color are being combined in different ways with home décor. The article refers to this recent trend as “movable color”. The benefit of using accent colors in your pillows, vases, and area rugs is simple: it’s easier to change things up a bit, moving colors from room to room or simply changing the entire “feel” of a room with a few, personalized items. Popular colors forecasted for this year are navy, purples, and blue accent colors.
Outdoor spaces. More and more of us are retreating to the home for entertaining. Whether it’s a small gathering with friends or a loved one’s birthday celebration, there’s been a recent resurgence in home entertainment with a focus on comfortable outdoor spaces. Outdoor dining, kitchens and water features top the list of enhancing those exterior spaces. Throw in a comfy all-weather couch and a walkway leading to the backyard garden, and you will certainly impress buyers with a little piece of outdoor living at its best.
Get in the mood! Mood lighting is always something to consider when staging your home. The power of using the correct lights in certain spaces can really add to the way buyers perceive your home. Ambient lighting is being used more and more to enhance living spaces. Wrought iron lamps, colorful lampshades and metallic lamp bases will all convey very different feelings, textures and sense of space. If your small sitting room seems to be missing some pizzazz, perhaps it’s time to add some mood lighting! You’ll be amazed how a certain lamp can transform the room.
Go green. The “going green” buzzword is a popular one in home building, real estate and home decorating. Repurposing old furniture, using twigs from outside as filler for a vase and displaying your antique storage chest as a coffee table are all variations of popular techniques used in home staging. Bringing the outdoors in, whether with barn wood or weathered antiques, gives any home that “lived in appeal”, adding a personalized touch.
When staging your home, it’s okay to add a little bit of your own taste into your living spaces. However, it’s important to remember that you are trying to appeal to a new potential buyer, which means de-clutter, re-organization and strategic staging is key. In a market with unsold inventory and empty homes, staging will perk up your property and separate it from the cold, vacant listings that lack appeal and a sense of warmth and personality.
As a licensed Realtor, I know the local market and have first hand experience in what potential buyers look for in our area. If you are planning on buying a new home, or selling your existing home, I have the experience and knowledge you want. Contact me at 618-978-2384 for your real estate needs and staging recommendations while the mortgage rates are still low. I look forward to helping find you and your family an ideal home for making new memories!