For the majority of us our home is our largest asset. It is most likely going to bring the greatest return on investment and it is perhaps the only investment that allows you to enjoy it while it increases in value. Therefore, homeowners should put a lot of thought and consideration into the eventual possibility of selling the home. After all, we all sell at some point, right?
You may be thinking of selling in a month, six months or six years, but the process is the same and the main objective is to get the maximum return on you investment as quickly as possible since time is always of the essence.
Staging has become an important factor in home sales. However I take a different approach to traditional staging. I actually don't even like to use the word "staging." Staging implies false or façade, which most savvy buyers can see right through.
I like to call it detailing the home, or creating a lifestyle that buyers want, presenting the home as a "hot commodity."
I do this by helping homeowners make decisions that will not only improve the way they live in their homes, but ultimately increase its value. Keeping a home updated and organized throughout the years will help to give the home the curiosity factor that makes people interested in seeing more.
As we all know, good curb appeal and updated kitchens and bathrooms help sell a home. They don't need to be high-end or luxurious. Just updated, clean, and well designed is enough. The investment made in these updates will definitely translate into cash at closing and could be the difference between a fast and profitable sale, versus a listing that languishes on the market.
Investing in preparing a home for sale can difficult for many homeowners in this challenging market, but they can't really afford not to. Frequently, we hear that a homeowner did not know that the cost of preparing a home for sale-including the cost of professional staging-is often tax deductible.
In addition, it can often be charged on a credit card and paid off slowly or once the home sells. This minimizes the out of pocket costs for the homeowner and gives them the confidence that they have increased their profit potential.
I have found that the magic formula for selling high in the current market is what I refer to as a "price & product equilibrium." A fair market price, excellent marketing, and a well prepared "staged or detailed" home is the winning combination for a successful sale.
Top 5 ways to boost your home's appeal:
1. Curb Appeal - People do judge a book by its cover, so the outside of the home becomes as important as the inside. Seasonal color, a well manicured lawn and landscape, and a freshly painted front door all add value and interest to the home.
2. First Impressions - Make the entryway of the home inviting. Add a mirror. Buyers really do like to literally "see" themselves in a home they are interested in. Remove all personal items such as coats, shoes, sports equipment, etc. This will give buyers the impression that the home offers plenty of storage solutions. Adding flowers or natural elements will also add a welcoming touch. Don't forget to attract a buyer's sense of smell. Consider air fresheners that are subtle with a natural scent like cinnamon or vanilla. Stay clear of florals. These small tricks will give buyers a positive first impression and make them interested in seeing more.
3. Kitchens sell homes - A well designed updated kitchen will pay for itself and then some. Changing out cabinet hardware is an inexpensive way to change the look of the kitchen. An interested buyer will open up drawers, cabinets, and closets so remove anything unnecessary and give the illusion of a clutter-free lifestyle. Also, keep the counter tops clear of clutter and most appliances.
4. Bathrooms - In most cases, today's buyers are looking for homes that they can move into and live. They may have long term goals of renovations and updates, but they want to feel good about the investment that are making. Keeping the fixtures updated is essential to giving a bathroom that "move-in ready" feel. Again, by reducing the clutter and personal items, buyers will see the potential.
5. Furniture placement and flow - Edit down furniture and accessories to help buyers envision their things in the home. There does not need to be something on every wall or every corner. Leave passageways and hallways opened enough to allow two people to pass. It may look bare to the homeowner, but will look fresh and organized to a buyer.
Also, always keep paint colors neutral and current. Paint is an inexpensive way to freshen up a space and neutral colors always give a good first impression.