The hot spring market is imminent. Are you thinking of selling? If so, now is the time to start preparing.
So just what does it take to get your home ready and sold in today’s market?
In our experience, the days of just taking down family photos, tidying up clutter and neutralizing your personal taste are long gone.
People can spot a staged home a mile away…and like any consumer these days, people are more educated and don’t like to be fooled. That being said, you still need to prepare your home so your potential buyers make an emotional connection.
People buy on emotion. We often say that the house didn’t ‘feel right’ or they couldn’t see themselves in it.
Stripping a house down so that there is nothing to connect with is not the way to go. As they say, personality goes a long way…When we list a client’s home, we begin the preparation long before it goes to market. Our on-staff decorator and home concierge service makes all of the things below come to life. Here is what we do to help our clients get the most for their homes…
Your home needs to reflect a lifestyle that people want.
Most of us like to think we will cook gourmet meals, entertain friends, enjoy great wines, enjoy indulgent baths, read great books, travel and be organized. You want people to think that if they buy your house, their life will become this ideal.
Let’s break these elements down…
The typical logic is to take down all of the family photos in your home. We contradicted traditional staging wisdom with our own home and left them up. Buyers loved the ‘family feeling’ they gave the home.
But the photos have to project a life that people want. Images of vacations & sunsets, any professional family photography is great. Don’t leave up intensely personal shot. Pick the wedding photo of you walking away down the dock instead of the closeup of your vows.
We all like to think that one day we’ll become gourmet chefs, wine connoisseurs and graceful hosts. Have you ever seen the show Selling New York? When an agent markets a property to other brokerages, they throw a lavish party so people can see the place in action.
Give your visitors the same effect. Create a soundtrack that works with your home and play it every single time you have a showing. Stock your wine rack or fill a tray with great wines and glasses. Display a few gourmet recipe books (my fave is Bon Appetit).
For comfort, always layer your linens. You don’t have to go crazy with pillows but dress your bed. Layer an extra luxurious blanket at the bottom, a textured throw and some decorative pillows. Invest in fresh sheets and fold down your duvet 1/4. Dimension creates comfort.
Lighting is key. If you don’t already have dimmers in most of your major rooms, they are well worth the money. Always use soft light bulbs and if you have an evening showing, light some candles on your mantle or dining room table.
In your bathrooms, buy luxury soaps and creams for display. Invest in lush towels. You can find a ton at HomeSense or Winners for a fraction of the cost. Put candles and a good book by the tub.
And please put away your toothbrush, used soaps and used towels, personal toiletries…anything that indicates you were just there that morning!
Don’t forget your front entrance. Many people spend so much time focusing on the inside that they forget the outside.
Make sure you have a new or new looking front mat. If you don’t already have any, get sharp looking planters and lanterns. You don’t have to spend much to fill your planters for a professional look. Just insert a pot of hydrangeas, daisies, mums or kale and add sprigs of pussy willows or simple winter greens with some birch branches.
In terms of your stuff, you need a place to put everything and if you don’t show some items, people will think your home is a museum, not possible to live in. For example, with toys – it’s fine to have them out, especially if you are in a family-friendly area and are marketing to that demographic. Every parent loves the idea that they can have toys organized so show them the dream.
A simple Expedia shelf from Ikea with basket inserts will do the trick and keep life sane while you are showing your home. (use labels if you really want to go nuts – people love labels).
Now here are our absolute DON’Ts for your home…
– put away your mail, any greeting cards and keep shoes and jackets out of sight
– if you have a pet, make them and all their stuff disappear (unless you live in the Beach…in which case only put out really adorable or funky bowls or beds)
– put all your personal toiletries away – no toothbrushes, shampoo, used soap or razors, no bath mats (unless beautifully decorative and NOT used for your morning shower)
– fruit is acceptable in a bowl in the kitchen, your half used loaf of bread is not
– dishtowels, sponges and soap should be put away (unless your soap dispenser is decorative)
– remove any appliances that are not gorgeous – this usually means toasters, blenders, coffee makers etc.
– find a home for your recycling and garbage bins…they should not be visible from the road or when buyers walk up to your house
We have seen the impact of all of these strategies time and time again. And if you are thinking of selling and are feeling overwhelmed by the thought of doing all of this yourself, not to worry. We do it all for you.
To talk about how we can transform your home for sale, give me a call or email and we’d love to help…