- Why Stage?
The housing market is recovering, Realtor.com states there are solid price increases, steady inventory and strong demand continuing well into the fall season. With this trend it is even more important to make sure your home speaks to buyers. So what rooms should you concentrate on to help sell your home?
Obviously the kitchen. Did you know that this one room it makes up 30% of a buyers decision to buy or walk away? That is a lot of power for one room in a house! If you do not have a new or updated kitchen don’t fret because there are inexpensive things that you can do to help you sell.
First look at the appliances are they all working? Have they been updated in the last 5 years and are they all the same color? If you answered yes to all those questions you are in pretty good shape. Buyers of course think stainless is the way to go, but if your market does not bear that price point having all black or white appliances is fine as long as they are all the same, the mismatched look does not convey well with buyers.
Next look at your cabinets make sure the doors are aligned, insides cleaned and straightened out, and clean the surface inside and out- if you cannot clean the cabinets of built up grime, try painting them with a fresh coat of high quality latex enamel paint. Next look at your hardware, this is an inexpensive way to update the look of cabinets. It is amazing what paint can do to spruce up a room when selling.
The next place to concentrate on is the bathrooms. This is the next important room in a house. Make sure they are clean and SPOTLESS and I mean spotless. A fresh coat of paint, keeping personal toiletry items away, clearing counter space, hanging new fresh towels can go a long way.
Both in the kitchen and baths, pay attention to your lighting fixtures. If they are original to the house you might want to update them, by spending under $100 to change them out will make a huge impression on the buyer. Small investments such as paint, updated hardware and lighting can have an enormous impact. Kitchen and bathrooms weigh a lot in the decision making process. Why? Think of remodeling costs, the average kitchen remodel in 2013 was $56,199 to $110,792* and allowing the seller to recoup an average of 57% of that. A bathroom remodel can range from $16,603 to $51,737 whereby sellers recouping 53%.
If you are thinking of selling in the near future there are small improvements you can make that can have a big impact, a professional stager can also help and direct you. If you are thinking you will be in your home a few more years, I always say there is no better time than now to renovate because you get to enjoy the fruits of the labor and money invested!
Have questions… let me know!
Did you know that National Clean out your Garage Day is the Saturday after Labor Day? Well I obviously missed it but here are some ideas to get you inspired to get your garage in order (hint, hint Hubby)
If you are like my household the only time we somewhat organize our garage is when my husband gets the tractor ready for summer mowing, or in the fall when he gets it ready for winter plowing. This isn’t bad because we do edit a lot that we have been storing but we could be a little more organized through the rest of the year. This one room tends to be a big project, so schedule a weekend to do it.
It would be nice that it did not need to be a major undertaking every time, so here are some ideas (hint, hint hubby) that you can implement and feel like you have this space of your house under control, even if the rest isn’t.
Now is the time to get organized. First remove everything out of the garage, once you have everything out it gives you a better idea of the available space. As you pull things out question everything that you touch….
Do I need it?
When was it last used?
If I have not used it, and don’t have a need for it, recycle, throw out, or donate.
While narrowing down some of the items, group together like items- all gardening equipment, sports equipment, tools, camping equipment, automotive items, you get the picture. Now you know what you have and are keeping, it gives you a better idea as to the space you will need to store these items.
The items you do not use a frequently can be put higher up on the shelves or towards the back of the garage. Use a much vertical space as possible when bringing items back into the garage- shelving units or storage cabinets are great for fitting a lot into a garage space. Your goal is to keep as much of the floor space open for parking cars. Any bins you fill with items label, so you know what goes in them. Get in a habit of putting things back where you originally got them from, and make it a yearly priority to edit the garage at least once a year to maintain.
Best of luck, send me pictures of your organized garage…I might have one when we finally decide to move (wink, wink)
With the market recovering buyers are more price sensitive and less interested in taking on projects to make the property “theirs.” Staging can help tailor your property to become desirable to your particular market. Home sellers maybe hesitant to invest any money into their properties when they are ready to sell, but with a minimal investment it can shorten the time the house is on the market. Buyers can see it as “their” home, not one that “someone else lives in”.
Sharing these two posts below are to help you understand why staging should be part of your marketing package when you plan on selling.
This article has some excellent points and quick movies to show how staging can help your property sell.
Another plus of staging is that staging as part of home selling costs may be deductible. Contact your CPA to see if staging costs can be deductible in your state to get your house sold.
When talking with your agent, ask about staging it should be part of their marketing package to get your house sold!
When getting your home ready for the market your curb appeal is just as important as the interior of your home. Every season has it nuances to make your home resonate with buyers, take advantage of them.
Your driveway is where buyers are first entering into your home. As they are traveling up the drive make sure it is in good condition. Power wash if you have stains, consider coating if it has not been done recently in the past three years. If you have a non-paved drive make sure it is smooth consider getting another load of stone to fill in any divots or dips.
As they get out of the car to proceed down the walk way to your front door make sure all weeds that tend to pop up between pavers are removed. Make sure that you are leaving the buyer with a welcoming feeling.
Adding inexpensive solar path lights can give your home “drive-by” night appeal, and create abidance around your home. These can light the way to your front door, and also accent plantings around your home making a big impression.
Your front door is important focus. This is what conveys to buyers to want to enter into your home and feel welcomed. Make sure the doorbell works, and if your handle is worn and the key lock is difficult to use replace them with a new set.
Make sure the glass on your light fixtures next to your door is clean, work and look updated- if not replace. Look up and around, remove any cob webs or hornet nests, especially during the summer months since they tend to navigate toward protected areas such as doorways.
In the spring an easy and quick way to make your property look neat and have a big impact is to lay down mulch around your foundation. Pull weeds, prune the bushes and add a dark layer of mulch. The lighter orange color does not complement the grass, so you are best to go with darker mulch.
If you have gaps in your boarders and yard fill with bright flowers. In the summer months plant flower in the blue, pink, colors they convey a cooler look during the hot summer months. In fall replace annuals that are dying off with bright colored flowers in reds, yellows and oranges. Winter, tidy up beds by cutting back perennials, tall grasses could be left for winter interest.
By paying attention to the little details, show potential buyers that you have taken care of your home by doing so they will believe there are few problems around the property.
Your entrance way into your home is the greeting to all that come and visit. It should say “Welcome,” come on in. Here are some elements to consider creating the reception you want visitors to feel.
The focus is on the door, but a beautiful landscaped lawn and path leading to the door help convey a pleasing entrance.
Pavers depending on the climate and style of your home various materials can be used to create a welcoming pathway to the entrance. It can be as elaborate as Belgian block or simple as crushed stone.
Lighting is a very important component to the look of a home. Make sure the lights correlate to the style of the home. Also make sure that the lights are large enough in proportion to the space where the light is hanging. All too often I see tiny lights that just do not look right. Consider up lighting foundation shrubs for a dramatic look. Lighting foundation shrubs also creates a welcoming feeling at night time.
Planting, this is important because it can make the home look welcoming and helps frame the home. I find a house without foundation planting look almost bare. Color from flowering perennials and annuals help bring interest and focus.
These boarders done all in one color lead you to the welcoming entrance and make a big impact.
Front Door the style does have to work with the style of the house. The color is something that owners can play with to make an impression. It is amazing how a new door knob and lock can take a basic door from boring to fantastic. All of these features should be considered when choosing a door.
Although some of these features may seem not to matter, when you put them all together they make a big impact to say “Welcome family, friends and guests” If you want to make a statement consider these details to welcome anyone that comes to your house!
Staging helps sell a house, paying attention to the details are important.
Here are 5 reasons how staging your home PRIOR to listing helps.
By setting the stage in rooms, it allows the buyer to picture themselves in a house aspiring them to have that lifestyle. If you leave your home vacant or with all your decor and personal items, it will not feel like a home a buyer can see themselves living in. IN fact only 10% of buyers can see the potential of a home.
A seller may feel that they have done a great job “clearing and de-clutter” per the advice of their Real Estate agent but the problem is a homeowner cannot objectively look at their HOME and envision it as a HOUSE that needs to appeal to the masses of buyers. The house is now a commodity that needs to stand out to sell.
Many homeowners love their “things” but are those “things” allowing the buyer to see the house, or are they seeing those things that a buyer cannot see beyond, hence not making an offer on the house.
A home that has been staged first sells about 30% faster than a home that has not been staged. The cost of staging a home on the average results in a 299% ROI (return on investment) for the home owner. For every month a home continues to stay on the market, the sale price will fall around 1% a month, and adding to that, the seller has their caring costs (electric, taxes… etc.) which add up month after month. Stage first and sell faster.
Not paying attention to the details, not having good pictures for you listing all make your home go unnoticed. 90% of home buyers today search online first. Pictures speak volumes to them, why not make sure your house stands out.
If you want to sell your home quickly and for top dollar, common sense, call a home stager to help you merchandise your home to market it properly the first time!
We realize we may have what we need to live but want is what motivates us. When marketing a house it is important to focus on what a buyer wants, not just needs. By doing so it will give your clients what they are actually interested “in.”
Think about it, when you are in a store buying an item what makes you want to purchase it. Most likely you have a purse/computer/pair of shoes but something that you saw/heard or feel makes you want the item even though you don’t need the item, but you purchase it anyway.
When selling a house staging makes sure the house satisfies the want not so much the need. The Buyers have already stated their needs, and an agent shows them listings that satisfies those. Staging helps make the house speak to buyers wants. Some of the wants a professional stager concentrates when preparing a house are:
Ease- this is a powerful want, we want to make our life easier. More rooms, more space, does a buyer need a gourmet kitchen, or know how to use all the gadgets in it- no but we want those features.
Physical Comfort- we all love to feel good, it indulges our ego.
Does a buyer need a five piece master bath En Suite to get clean and take care of their personal needs, not necessarily but they want a bathroom that feels like a place to distress, like a spa at the end of the day.
Mental Stimulation- we need to break the monotony in our lives, we like something that stimulates our minds and makes us think.
Will a house sell with dated décor and furniture, eventually. But if you update the home with furniture and accessories that are current as seen in magazines and TV shows it stimulates their imagination to be able to live like that too. They want to live like that.
Social Acknowledgement- our perception of our self is based on how others perceive us.
Décor and furnishing, freshly painted walls and lots of light is what buyers want, it give them a feeling of a house they can impress others with. Not one that has clutter, in need of repairs and walls scuffed up it satisfies the needs but does not drive a buyer to the want.
When listing a house, need is important but the want is more of a driving force.
Unsure how to create the want in your house? Give me a call to set up a consultation.
Lighting in and for your interior photographs is important because it helps highlight the beauty of a room and tells a story to a buyer. Here are some examples taken right from the MLS of homes currently on the market in my area. They will help explain what a seller needs to pay attention to.
Making sure that the natural light is coming in through the windows makes the house feel more like a home to a buyer. Highlight architectural details, you have beautiful windows they should stand out and have natural light pouring through them. Don’t keep the natural sunlight hidden behind old drapes and curtains. Buyers like light and bright.
Speaking of natural light try and get most of your interior shots when the sun is pouring in the windows. It makes the rooms look more open and inviting.
Remember though, just because it is sunny out when the photo’s are being taken of your home does not always mean the pictures will resonate with buyers. A seller has to make sure their house is clean, de-cluttered, styled nicely, all those details help the rooms present well.
Even if the pictures are being taken on a cloudy day, hopefully the photographer will be able to adjust the lighting afterwards so that your images are not too dark and rooms do not look like you live in a cave. It helps if the photo is in focus also, not like this…
If you are in a home that needs its light fixtures updated, do so before you list and have the photo taken for the MLS. If you are crunched for time make sure the photographer does not include it in the photo.
This bathroom with its large tub might be just what someone is looking for but the light…
When listing a house to sell, your home is one of numerous houses that a buyer will look at searching online. Remember you have 8 seconds to make a good impression. Make sure that the pictures of your house resonate with buyers. Details do matter
What details make up a great interior photo?
Today when you are selling you need to make sure your home speaks to a buyer – not to you. In today’s market to be effective to grab a buyer, there is more than just putting your house on the market. Your interior images of your home need to highlight your home, not your life. Being objectionable is one of the hardest things a seller has to become when listing their house. You have lived in this house for a few years; memories have been made who wouldn’t love what you love about the house?
I have been blogging about bad photography this month and why it may not help you sell your home. The details in a room relay a lot to buyers, when they are looking at listings the images send a message which they will either take a second look or pass that house on by.
Here are some pointers to help your home speak to buyers and examples of what not to do.
Take some time to depersonalize, clear up some of the clutter. Seeing all the extra “stuff” in rooms is distracting and does not allow the buyer to concentrate on the details of the house.
Personal items like your religious beliefs should be packed away when selling. Animals should not be photos when listing your home because many people do not like them, and they may create a negative connotation .
Take a picture yourself of a room, put it on your computer and look at it. Does the room look spacious or too cluttered? Updated and modern or tired like nothing has changed since you first moved in.
I know you or your child might love Barney purple, but do you think every buyer will love it too or just a few? If a few, then you better be changing those colors! Colors speak volumes –silently no less; make sure they are all positive when selling. Neutral colors are your friend when selling, and neutral does not need to be white. Remember only 10% of the population can vision any change in a room. If you are not sure then consult with a professional for a color consultation. I always say paint is the biggest bang for your buck when selling.
Let me know of your success stories, what you did to improve the details of your rooms to make your home resonate with buyers?
If you are searching for a new home now, you are probably looking at the usual sites such as realtor.com, trulia.com, homes.com, zillow.com just to name a few. Hours are spend looking a pictures of listed homes, currently for sale. As I mentioned in my last blog, typically a buyer will spend 8 seconds or less on a photograph of an online listing. And with 90% of buyers searching online, those pictures are important!
This blog is about bad photography. Sorry someone has to do it. It really does amaze me that a Realtor would post pictures as such, let alone their home seller allow it!! Like I said bad photographs are such a shame. Here are some examples.
This photo obviously is too dark, out of focus and really…too much clutter. Bad photo, such a shame. Kitchens make up 30% of a buyers decision- 1/3 of the decision based on one room, pretty big chunk of real estate weighing on one room. Why would you not want this room of all the rooms in the house to look the best it can in the buyers eyes?
Aside from too dark photographs it is nice to set a stage for the buyer, so they can see themselves in the room.
Is this suppose to be a master bedroom retreat where someone would like to go to relax, get away from the stress of everyday life? Or is it an exercise room? This image is telling me there is not enough space in the house and so it all ends up in the master. Not relaxing, not inviting, not what buyers are looking for in a new home. Bad photograph, such a shame.
The lighting is important in pictures, as by example of these two photographs. Also styling the photograph and paying attention to the little details can make such a difference. I wonder looking at these two photos what else has not been taken care of in the home. When was the last time anything was fixed or repaired that needed attention?? Just saying, bad photographs speak more to buyers than most sellers realize.
If on your house hunting you come across a bad photograph, please share with me!