This past week I was very fortunate to be in NJ and had the pleasure of accompanying Michelle on a Resale Ready® consultation in New Providence. The realtors who called for our service felt that even though the home was in great shape, the homeowners could still benefit from our services. The buyers wanted a quick sale and the photographer was shooting the home on Monday which was two days away. When we started with our consultation, each room presented itself well, but with our handy tips we were able to guide them right then and there so they were picture-ready for Monday. Here are 5 tips for selling your house that can help you get your home “Picture Perfect,” even if you are not ready to sell your home tomorrow.
Tip One: DECLUTTER
Look around each room. Are there items sitting out or on the floor that you never use and are collecting dust? Time to sort through these things. If you don’t need it, don’t move it. This will reduce what you have and start the prepacking so you will have less to pack when the time comes. Closets are a key area that should be decluttered. Remove all items from the floor. If you have tons of winter clothes in the closet and it is Spring or Summer, pack up the winter ones. This is also the perfect time to clean out your wardrobe. If you haven't worn it or used it in the last year, donate it. Keep closets, basements, and attics as empty as possible to maximize the appearance of storage space.
Tip Two: TRANSFORM YOUR ROOMS
Make sure every room has a function. If your home has 4 bedrooms make sure it is apparent when they come to view the home. So many times we are walking through the house on our consultations and when we come to the bedrooms they have been converted into storage rooms, offices, playrooms, gyms and media rooms. This is fine as long as it is not every bedroom accept the Master. When couples become empty nesters and no longer have children in the home we find it very common that they have turned all of their bedrooms into other types of rooms. When the potential buyer comes, they end up leaving the home even though they knew it was a 4 bedroom - forgetting it was and thinking that it is not the right house for them. Furniture placement can also be a key factor when transforming your space.
In the recent Resale Ready® we did, the Master bedroom had the necessary pieces of furniture but the placement did not show the true size of the room. The room was off-balanced and looked crammed with furniture. By placing the bed in the center of the wall across from the entry and moving the leather chair from next to the bed to the opposite side of the room and at the footboard, the room became balanced and it appeared to be larger. We did have the homeowner remove the ottoman and store it in the attic since both the chair and the ottoman would not fit in the new space. If there is an empty room or nook see what rooms can lend furniture to these spaces or look for something in storage. You want your potential buyers to picture themselves in the space and start thinking of this house as their home
Tip Three: LIGHT IT UP
Houses show better in good light. Check all lamps and ceiling fixtures to make sure you do not have any burnt out lightbulbs. Replace dim bulbs with ones that are a higher wattage. Clean cobwebs off of chandeliers, ceiling lights and exterior lights. The cleaner the chandelier or fixture, the more light will be illuminated. Evaluate the need for more lighting. If you do not have lamps in the room, purchase some that you can take with you to your new house. Matching lights in bedrooms, living rooms, dining room buffets and so on create a symmetry that is very pleasing to the eye. Natural light is your best source of light. If your windows are dirty or you have multiple layers of window treatments covering the windows clean and refresh. Consider removing the layers of window treatments leaving just a blind, panel curtains or nothing at all. It depends on the location of the window and what type of privacy you need.
Tip Four: UPDATE YOUR HOME
Neutralize your space. If you have time to paint, remove dark colors on the walls and repaint with a white or off-white, neutral color. You can also liven up an older couch with new throw pillows. Adding a pop of color and some texture can bring the couch to life. Add new hardware to older cabinetry. Dark cabinets with dark hardware can look drab. By replacing the hardware with brushed nickel can add that pop the tired cabinetry needed. Think about hanging pendants from recessed lights over your kitchen sink or island. Pendants with converter plates can be installed easily with the twist of a bulb into the socket and the converter plate covers the recessed light. Great look at a low cost. If you have carpet over wood flooring, consider removing and refinishing the floors. This can give your home a whole new look and attract those buyers looking for wood flooring.
Tip Five: EVERY DAY IS A SHOW DAY
Add a seasonal touch to your home. In the fall or winter, simmer a cinnamon stick in water. In the spring or summer, display fresh flowers. Lilacs are a good flower to use when available. When leaving for the day, have all personal items stored away. We suggest having baskets under the sinks in vanities for all of your personal toiletries. This way you can pull out the baskets when getting ready and then store them out of sight as you leave for the day and someone comes to look at the house. Have the house professionally cleaned prior to going on the market so you can keep up with it daily while it is being shown. A good cleaning will make staying on top of it so much easier. If you can, avoid cooking smelly foods. The house should smell clean and fresh at all times. Too many plug-in air fresheners can be overwhelming, so don’t go overboard. Don’t forget about the outside. Make sure the yard is well maintained and ready to receive guests. A new doormat is always an excellent way to welcome your potential buyer.