Show Off Your Home’s Interior
The process of preparing a home for sale is called staging. The amount of effort required can range from just rearranging your old furniture to more complicated preparations involving the replacement of your current furniture with new “staged” furniture. Professional staging often results in a more satisfying and more emotional experience for potential buyers because the “staged” furniture provides an exciting glimpse of the home’s potential. It also often results in a higher sale price for the seller.
The Benefit of Staging
In one study involving 174 houses which had remained unsold for five months, staging the properties and re-listing them resulted in successful sales within 1.5 months. That’s how crucial staging can be.
The Costs of Staging
That depends on what kind of staging is done for the home. At the very least, the realtor should assist in eliminating clutter and moving the furniture into a more pleasing arrangement. A stager can also be hired at an hourly rate to provide the best arrangement for the current furniture, and this service can cost anywhere from $400 to more than $2,000.
The most effective option is to make the staging company responsible for furnishing your home, and some of your current furniture can be replaced with “staged” furniture. Setting this up may cost you as much as $4,000, with additional furniture rental fees that could cost more than $1,500 a month.
Despite the apparent high cost, staging is actually a very good investment. It usually causes the sales price of your home to rise by a larger amount than what you spent for staging it. But regardless of whether you choose to employ staging methods or not, here are some tips to help you get your home ready before you put it up for sale:
- Get rid of the clutter! Removing unnecessary furnishings makes your home look more spacious and therefore more attractive. For this to work, you may have to remove about half of the furniture inside your home. You can either sell the excess furniture or put it in storage.
- Use off white colors and neutral styles and textures. Doing this allows your potential buyers to more easily imagine what it will look like with their own belongings.
- Carpets should be replaced or cleaned. This is another worthwhile investment. Cleaning or replacing your carpets makes your home look more attractive—and even smell more attractive.
- There’s no need to make your home too attractive compared to the neighbors’. Turning your home into a veritable mansion won’t really help if the neighborhood is run down.
- Have your home inspected before making any improvements. These inspections can confirm whether your planned improvements are even viable.
- Eliminate personal items, such as photos, religious icons, and knickknacks. You want potential buyers to focus on your property, and not wonder about who its owners were.
- Keep your curtains open or just remove them entirely. Natural light makes your home look bright—and more attractive.
- Avoid setting up multi-purpose rooms. These types of rooms give the impression that your home needs a lot more space.
In a lot of homes today, most of the activities happen in the kitchen. This is why it’s considered by many as the most important room in residential real estate. While major renovations do result in higher prices, often the price increase doesn’t do much more than just cover the expense. In contrast, some inexpensive improvements can offer a more sizable return:
- Get rid of the clutter. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. That’s just how important decluttering is.
- Clean your kitchen thoroughly.
- Don’t replace the cabinets; just repaint them.
- Put in brand-new knobs, which can make your home look more modern without having to spend too much.
- Lay in some inexpensive flooring to replace your worn-out floor.
This is another important area of the house, and a dirty bathroom can really mess up your chances of making a sale.
- Detail the bathroom and make sure every square inch is gleaming.
- Get rid of all your personal items, such as your cleansers and toothbrushes.
- Install a new silver or brass towel rack to replace your old one, and hang white fluffy towels on them.
- Install new modern fixtures and faucets.
- A simple air freshener will work wonders!
- If you have large mirrors, hang them in the living room.
- Make sure you accentuate your fireplace if you have one.
- Keep it neat, and put all your belongings in your cabinets and closets.
- Make it look neutral by removing all personal items.
- Put in a smaller bed, which makes the room (and even the house itself) appear much bigger.
- Again, remove all the clutter.
- If you can, store your items up high and not on the floor.
- As much as possible, clean the garage floor and get rid of the stains.
What to Replace and Repair
Unless you bought the house at a huge discount and you want to renovate it to make it comparable to the other houses in the neighborhood, major repairs don’t really make sense if you are planning to sell. These renovations rarely bring in a price increase that’s more than what you spent on the renovation.
Other types of repair or replacement to avoid are those touches that buyers may fail to recognize or appreciate. Putting in new marble floors imported from Milan, for example, is a type of improvement very few buyers care about.
What you need to do is to concentrate on the smaller and more affordable repairs. This increases the value of your home considerably without having to spend a lot of money. For example, you should do these repairs before your home is put up for sale:
- Replace, clean, or repair your carpets.
- Replace your outdated light fixtures.
- Touch up your wall paint.
Boosting Your Home’s Curb Appeal
The first thing buyers notice is how your home looks from the outside. An awful exterior may prevent some buyers from even bothering to go inside.
- Get rid of the clutter in your lawn. Put all the toys back inside, and put all your tools in the shed. Get rid of the animal droppings too.
- Have your lawn cut and edged, and your shrubs and bushes trimmed.
- Paint your walkway, or add a nice glossy finish.
For the exterior of your home
- Repaint the areas which need some touch-up.
- Remove the dirt and the spider webs
- Get your windows washed. (John Stevenson has a company that can do this for you.)
- Upgrade your door handles and light fixtures.
- Flowers make everything look great, either on your lawn or by your door.
With these tips, you should be able to significantly boost the value of your home without necessarily spending a fortune on repairs and renovations.