Long gone are the days of putting your home on the market and making a fast buck. In today’s housing market, you are lucky to get out without losing your shirt…heck you’d throw in your shirt if you thought it would get you a few extra dollars. That means home sellers have to pull out all the stops, in order to make their home stand out above the rest. There are a lot of different things you can try, but one of the best ways to make your piece of real estate more attractive than the next guy’s is to literally make it more attractive by staging it. Granted, it won’t get your house a higher appraisal, and it won’t convince the mortgage lender to give the buyer a higher loan to purchase your house, but it can give you the edge over the competition.
Before the for-sale sign was even in the ground, your real estate agent probably told you to get rid of clutter and paint the walls. Good advice, but that isn’t all you can do to sell your home faster. Staging a home entails much more than your average paint job, and it doesn’t necessarily have to cost you an arm and a leg. Staging a home is really more about creating an atmosphere, which you can do in many different ways. You may even want to consider hiring a decorator, although this will add to your cost so doing a little research on your own might be enough. If you choose to do it on your own, here are a few tips.
Try playing around with color. I know conservative wisdom says to stick to neutrals, but often times color can make a room appear to have more space. However, if you do decide to play it safe, pick earthy beige or an off-white that has a hint of yellow. Yellow is soothing and instantly brightens a room. Unique colors will make the house stand out to potential buyers who won’t remember one egg-shell wall from another. Now I’m not saying to go crazy and paint your home purple, but a splash of color on one wall can open things up. Oh and painting the ceiling is great for creating a feeling of comfort.
Another thing many people mistakenly do during an open house is to get rid of personal photos. I suppose the feeling here is that you want the potential buyer to envision their own things in your home, but what that does instead is make the walk through feel cold and lifeless. Family photos give the house a sense of familiarity and homeyness. That being said, don’t have a bunch of pictures cluttered throughout the house, keep it simple yet elegant. Not only will pictures create an atmosphere of warmth, it will also draw attention to the beautiful paint job you just did on your walls.
Keep the lights on in the house, when your real estate agent is showing it. Dimmer switches are a good investment if you don’t already have them because the softer lighting will help make worn-out furniture look fresher. And if you are anything like me, some of that furniture has been taken over by the family’s furrier member, which means a lot of pet hair. If this is the case, get one of those sticky rollers and run it along every surface in the house. Not only will this help clean things up, it may prevent you from causing a potential buyer to go into an allergic fit.
Try bringing the outside in by staging tall plants around the house. This doesn’t mean you should turn your home into a forest, but a few well placed potted plants brings life into a room. Along those same lines, a couple bundles of colorful flowers wouldn’t hurt either; this one will help bring a fresh aroma to your home as well. While these few tips can go a long way toward a profitable staging, there are also ways you can arrange the furniture that might help as well. If you want to go even further and re-arrange the furniture, there are plenty of decorating magazines that you can consult or try surfing the web.
Selling a home in today’s housing market is tough, which is why you need to do everything you can to stand out above the crowd. Staging your home is just one way to get the edge and it can be a very easy thing to do. Whatever you do, don’t lose hope things will eventually get better…heck after you put all that effort into updating your home you may even decide you want to stay in it!
If you are thinking of selling a home, buying a home or refinancing your home, please visit Mahler & Associates Appraisals for more information.