When preparing to place your home on the market for sale, it becomes a product. Just like any product on the shelves at your local store, it has features & benefits, pluses & minuses, and there are other products to compare. To gain an edge in the marketplace, we must price the home right and look better than the competition.
Same as shopping for a car. For instance, if you are looking for a new BMW 328i. You find three for sale, similar looks, similar miles, but different pricing... which will you buy?
OR you find three that look different, one is obviously superior on how they’ve taken care of it, similar miles and similar price... which will you buy?
OR you find three cars; two are in great shape, one not so much. You immediately rule out the one in lower condition... Of the two left, one is priced a bit (not much) higher than the other. Will you buy the cheaper car or make an offer on the one that is priced higher?
Sometimes it is difficult to think of your home as a mere product, but it helps to feel that way so that you can get top dollar for your property and sell in a reasonable amount of time.
Before Buyers Ever See Your Home In Person, They Are Forming An Opinion
Our first recommendation for staging is to start packing. This is work, but work that has to be done anyway. Let’s do it now so that we can get top dollar for your property.
Buyers make quick decisions in new situations. Your home needs to make an impression such that the quick judgments of potential buyers are favorable. The buyer will make judgments about your home as they view it through the “lens” formed in that view online.
Remember, Buyers judge what they cannot see by what they can see. There is so much of what a home has to offer that a shopper can not see. So we need to make sure that what can be seen is presented well. That’s our goal––to help you present your home so they can see all the good things it offers.
Presence and Stature Start in the Driveway
One of the worst things that can happen to a Seller is to have the Buyers drive up to a home and say: “I don’t want to look at this house” - before they even put the car in park. This first impression is nearly impossible to overcome.
We want to offer some suggestions that we have learned over time that will give the Buyers a "WOW" first impression.
Start by standing in front of your home with this checklist and pen. Jot down anything that leaps out at you. Then, walk around the outside of your home with this checklist in hand.
● Shrubs and landscaping should enhance, not hide, the home.
● As a rule of thumb, tree limbs should be far enough from the ground so you can walk under them.
● Flowers add color and beauty to the home. Flower beds should be clean and look good in all seasons. Make sure all beds are free of leaves and debris.
● Mow and neatly edge the lawn during the growing season. A perfectly mowed lawn does wonders for presence.
● Mulch will do wonders to boost the presence and stature of your home at any time of the year.
● In the fall, be sure to rake leaves from your lawns.
● Inspect your property: remove all trash cans, discarded wood scraps, and trash. Remove all storage containers, children’s toys, and other unnecessary objects.
● Fresh, clean windows always make a great first impression.
● A fresh coat of paint is a game-changer. When buyers shop online, having the latest trend in paint color makes the Buyers feel it is new and trendy.
● Vacuum out bugs and clean the glass on exterior light fixtures where possible.
● If you have a covered entryway, add a bench or set of chairs to help the shopper imagine themselves relaxing here.
● Consider exterior pressure washing. Is this needed?
● Does your doorbell work? This is a small fix with a big impact. Yes, Buyers try to ring the doorbell. :)
● Sweep the porch and keep clean the entire showing process. Check the porch ceiling for cobwebs.
● Do you have a fairly new welcome mat? If not, this is a small purchase that can make a huge impact in those few minutes the buyer's agent is trying to open the door.
We see our homes through our hearts and the memories made there. To get the highest price, we want to appeal to potential buyers who will see the home through calculating eyes. If buyers have the choice between two comparable properties that are similar in price, they will choose the one in the best condition.
The following list will help you give the inside of your home the greatest presence.
● Air out the home. Someone who lives in a place is the last person to notice any peculiar odor that may be obvious to visitors. If pets or smokers are in the home, this is especially important.
● Clean blinds and vacuum drapes where necessary.
● If your carpets look dirty or have not been cleaned in over a year, clean them. Buyers only know what they see and the clean carpet feels new.
● Clean or polish all hardwoods and tile flooring.
● Pack up some from all closets, cabinets, and drawers. This is a great time to re-home anything you have not used in the past 3 years. Doing so tells the Buyers that you have plenty of storage.
● Look around each room and check for any furniture that is placed in entryways. This could be moved to the garage or storage. Doing this helps rooms look larger and helps the Buyer to see their own furniture there.
● Remove personal photos on tables, mantels, etc.
● Put maximum safe wattage light bulbs in all fixtures. Checking to ensure they are all the same color (soft white is best) helps with photography.
● Clean all wall switches and replace any broken plates.
● Remove posters in children’s rooms where possible.
● If there is a smoker in the residence, remove all ashtrays and all smoking needs to be done outside (not in the garage) while the home is on the market.
The kitchen may be the most important room in the home. Clean this room like your sale depends on it- because it does!
● Clean the oven and keep it clean––even if this means eating out for a short season.
● Clean around the seal of the dishwasher door, refrigerator doors, and oven doors.
● Look at your kitchen as if you were a health home inspector. Pay particular attention to the garbage area, cracks, and corners.
● Remove any disorganized items.
● Shoppers will look in the cabinets because they are interested in seeing how much storage space is available.
● Put soaps and supplies in containers or cabinets.
● Keep counters and sink clean and empty.
● This is one room to take special care with lighting. Many laundry rooms are dark and uninviting. Upgrade wattage in light fixtures goes a long way.
● Repair any leaky faucets.
● Caulk bathtubs, showers, and sinks where necessary.
● Coordinate towels in one or two colors. Fold clean towels in thirds and hang them onto racks each day. New towels are inexpensive and make the room feel super clean.
● Put shower/tub items in a plastic tub and store them under the sink out of sight.
● Replace shower curtains and liners. This is super inexpensive and makes a big difference.
● Clean shower door. Use a solution of one part muriatic acid and ten parts water (use goggles) and scrub with a pad.
● Fresh flower arrangements do wonders for a bathroom, both in appearance and aroma. No plug-in air fresheners or scented candles, please.
● If you have pets, be sure to clean around the food area and empty/store litter boxes during showings.
WATCH OUR VIDEO
We know this seems like a lot, but once you get started, it will go quickly. Start now. We will schedule a staging appointment the day before photos to tidy up anything additional.
By this time, you’ll be feeling great, well, maybe a little tired! - Team Fraker