A Live Presentation on Home Staging
"Sell Now, Sell For More" is a live presentation on expert home staging, top ten tips for preparing your home for sale, marketing and selling your home. Heidi first presented this at the Albuquerque Home Lifestyle Expo, on February 20th & 21st. The videos above were shot during that presentation. Kicking off the presentation Heidi introduces the Realtor's role in staging, features an actual staging demonstration, provides the top 10 tips on staging resources for attendees. Learn how to sell, sell now & sell for more by staging!
Heidi is available to give this presentation to private and trade organizations. Please contact her for more information.
Top Ten Tips on Preparing Your Home for Sale
Here are some hilights from Heidi's presentation and some invaluable tips on making sure you home stands out from the crowd.
Everybody wants to sell for top dollar. Only careful planning and professionally sprucing up your home can make that happen. If done correctly, buyers will scurry for their checkbooks. The process is of average difficulty and takes 7 to 10 days to complete.
These are the top ten things you must do to make your sale count.
Your home has now just become a commodity like anything else out there for sale. You need to disassociate yourself with the house. You have to let go of emotions. This house is your past. Now is the time to look to the future.
1. De-personalize the home
Most buyers cannot see past your photos and heirlooms. If you pack these types of items away, it gives a buyer a chance to visualize “their” items in the space. Leaving diplomas, photos and other personal items on the wall or in bookcases, can create a bias in the buyers mind. These biases can be taken too far. It gives them the opportunity to judge you by age, religion, or occupation and can lead to the loss of sale based on these judgments. The less the buyer can perceive about you the better.
It’s amazing how much you can gain over the years. As a general rule, if you haven’t used it in a year, you probably do not need it. Consider donating it to charity, recycling or if you can’t recycle, throw it away. Pack up the knickknacks, books, and clear the kitchen counters. Consider putting items you use each day in a small box and setting in a closet when not in use. You are going to need to pack everything anyway, consider this a head start.
3. Organize Closets
Rearranging and organizing closets and cabinets can help the buyer’s perception of the way the home has been taken care of. Buyers Snoop! The last thing you want is to have something fall out of a closet or off a shelf and hit a potential buyer in the head. Also, if things are neat and well organized, a buyer will automatically feel that the rest of the home was well taken care of. Stack your dishes neatly, hang your shirts together buttoned and hanging in the same direction. Make sure your shoes are lined up. Just these small touches can make a difference.
4. Rent a Storage Unit
The less in your home the better it will show. You can store the boxes you packed your bookcase and wall items in, as well as all those items you do not use regularly and have packed away. This also gives you a place to put excess furniture. You only want enough furniture in a room to show its purpose. This also leaves plenty of room to move around.
5. Take It With You
If you plan on taking something with you when you leave, remove it now. Some items can speak to a buyer on a personal level and you can lose a potential sale if that item is not included with the home. A buyer can’t want what they can’t see. This includes appliances and fixtures. If the chandelier hanging in the dining room is a family heirloom and is not staying, take it down. Replace the item you are removing with something else if necessary.
6. Repair & Paint
It is very important to make those minor repairs. This includes replacing cracked tiles in floors and counters. Patch any holes in the wall. The holes from nails where your pictures hung are important to cover as well. Fix leaky faucets. Repair that door that sticks or doesn’t shut properly as well as the drawers that jam. Painting in neutral colors is also a good idea. You do not want the buyer to remember your home as the one with the red living room or purple bathroom. Replace those burned-out light bulbs you have been trying to get around to. And if you planned to buy a new bedspread for the one that is worn out on one of your beds, this is a great time to do it.
7. Keep It Clean
Make the house SPARKLE. Clean everything. Get the cobwebs out of the corners and out from under the beds. Make sure the refrigerator is clean and odor free. Wash your windows inside and out. Polish chrome fixtures. Recaulk tubs, sinks, showers and bleach your grout. Vacuum daily. Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades, and light fixtures. Make sure there are no odors. Any type of odor can make a buyer decide against your property.
Start at the front door. When you open that door does the home welcome you? Linger in the doorway of each room. Try to imagine how a buyer will see the room. Examine how the furniture is situated. Does it make sense? If not rearrange the furniture until it does. Make sure your window coverings are hanging level. Does the room have an impact? And lastly, does it look as if no one lives here? If you can say yes to this last question, you are well on your way.
9. Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is very important. Most buyers make up their mind whether they want to see the inside of the home just by seeing the outside. Keep the walkways clean and clear. Mow the lawn, paint faded window trim, trim the bushes and add plants especially plants that are yellow. Yellow seems to have an impact and marigolds are very inexpensive. Make sure your house number is visible. Pack away and store any yard tools you are not using. Now stop where a potential buyer would park and imagine how they see the exterior of the home.
10. Protect Your Privacy
If you are living in the home while it’s being sold, it is important to protect your privacy. In this day of fraud and identity theft, protecting yourself is very important. Do not leave mail where it can be seen. This includes in drawers. Buyers are nosey and will open drawers. Protect yourself. Another reason to hide your mail is so buyers cannot see your bills or other financial items you may receive. This creates the illusion that you may be in debt and need to sell instead of wanting to.
If you are not living in the home, make sure someone is picking it up regularly. Your agent will sometimes be willing to do this for you.
I have worked with Heidi since 2003. In that time she helped me find my home as well as seven income properties. When it comes to real estate, Heidi is my first call and most trusted resource
Heidi J. Gray
Heidi is a lifelong resident of southeast Albuquerque area, a full time active member of the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors®, a registered HUD broker, & recent graduate of the GAAR Leadership Development Program.