Daryl Lippman's Blog
If you're getting ready to put your home on the market, the thought of organizing, cleaning, and arranging it may seem like an overwhelming project!
Knowing where to begin and how much money to spend on home staging and decorating are among the many questions that may be flooding your mind, right now.
The key to success is to make as much of an impact as possible, without spending more money than necessary.
One way to avoid "spinning your wheels" when it comes to maximizing the appearance of your home is to work with an experienced real estate agent. A good agent will quickly notice aspects of your home that need attention and advise you on the most cost-effective ways to improve its marketability. If they've shown dozens (or more) houses in their career, they'll be very familiar with all the things that attract buyers, as well as what repels them.
Although everyone has different tastes and expectations, many house hunters are attracted to gleaming hardwood floors, energy efficient windows, and stainless steel appliances. While it may not be cost effective to have new floors, appliances, and windows installed to sell your house faster, you can make the best possible impression by making sure the windows are crystal clear, hardwood floors are polished, and appliances are clean and shiny.
Since many house hunters pay close attention to the kitchen, it's especially important to win their approval on appearance and cleanliness. Because food is prepared and often consumed in the kitchen, it's going to be one of the more challenging rooms to keep clean -- especially if you have children. However, if a prospective buyer is wavering between two houses for sale, you can be reasonably sure that the one with the clean kitchen and bathrooms will be their preferred choice.
There are a lot of other ways you can make your kitchen appealing to buyers, too. By minimizing clutter on counter tops and displaying fresh flowers and a colorful bowl of fruit, you can make your kitchen look much more inviting. Prospective buyers will also respond favorably to appealing fragrances, such as freshly baked bread, cookies, cinnamon buns, or coffee. Clean windows, attractive curtains, and plenty of natural light will also add to the ambiance of your kitchen.
The ideal reaction from potential buyers touring your home would be something to the effect of "I can imagine us preparing dinner, entertaining guests, and sitting around the breakfast table in this house!" Setting the table so that it looks like the family is just about to sit down for a meal together is one way to help convey that image. The encouraging news is that when someone expresses sincere appreciation for the comforts and features of your home, there's a good chance they'll find a place for it on their short list of possibilities!
Although your real estate agent will be doing all the "heavy lifting" when it comes to marketing your home, your frame of mind and attitude can have a surprising impact on the success of his or her efforts.
This is especially true in regard to sprucing up your home and keeping it in tip-top condition for showings.
Your agent will do their best to bring prospective buyers to your home and offer you suggestions for making the best impression on house hunters, but it's up to you to implement their ideas. Those recommendations could run the gamut from keeping your lawn looking impeccable to applying a fresh coat of (neutral color) paint to areas that need it. Admittedly, it can be difficult to keep your home looking immaculate for every real estate showing, but "near perfection" is a goal worth aiming for!
Staying positive and optimistic in the face of setbacks, fast-approaching deadlines, and missed target dates can be difficult, but it's essential for fueling your motivation. If you, as a home seller, begin to feel discouraged and pessimistic, you may begin to label priorities as "not that important" or put things off that really need to be addressed now.
If you've been updating and maintaining your home on a regular basis, your to-do list might be shorter than home sellers who have been saying "We'll take care of that next year!" Problems develop when "next year" never comes and projects keep getting bumped to the future. If you're determined to put your best foot forward in the real estate market, there's no time like the present!
Since preparing your house to be listed can feel overwhelming, the secret is to prepare a priority list and tackle one task at a time. It can also be helpful to get feedback from your real estate agent on what improvements and changes will produce the most impact. A seasoned agent will be able to quickly size up the condition and appearance of your home, and let you know what issues need to be addressed first. Their experience, objectivity, and trained eye will help you identify cost-effective solutions and be able to present your home in its best light.
Although a good real estate agent will leave no stone unturned when it comes to effectively marketing your home, they will appreciate and be energized by the fact that you have pride in the appearance of your house and property. There are a lot of ingredients that go into the successful staging and sale of a home, but you can help keep the momentum going by doing a little extra painting (where needed), cleaning, and clutter reduction.
"Accentuating the positive and minimizing the negative" should be your watch words from the day you decide to list your house until the moment the sale of your home has been signed, sealed, and delivered!
Making a good first impression on prospective home buyers is the key to getting your house sold within a relatively short period of time. Once your house is on the market, you'll want to make sure any major flaws, aesthetic issues, and potential buyer turnoffs have been fully addressed before the first prospects walk through your front door.
Although serious house hunters often return for a second -- and sometimes third -- walkthrough of your home, first impressions determine whether they'll be back for another look.
Since time is of the essence and you may be on a limited home improvement budget, it's necessary to prioritize the projects that will have the most impact on the image you project. When it comes to making cost-effective decisions on preparing your house for showings, your real estate agent can provide helpful insights and objective advice. Seasoned agents can size up a property within minutes and identify ways to improve the look and feel of your home. Although every homeowner is going to have a different set of priorities and issues to deal with, there are a few focal points that would apply to just about everyone.
Curb appeal: To attract the maximum number of prospects to your home (and to put them in a receptive state of mind when viewing your house), it's essential that your property looks well maintained. In addition to having a manicured lawn and bushes that are neatly trimmed, your curb appeal also depends on the condition of your driveway, walkway, and house foundation. The appearance of weeds, cracked surfaces, and peeling or faded paint are sure to be seen as "red flags" to many people and will detract from the impression your home conveys.
Clutter control: Getting a handle on clutter in and around your house is a vital aspect of enhancing its appearance and marketability. Whether you're dealing with storage areas that are jam-packed to the hilt, too much furniture in your living room, or a front yard that's littered with bicycles, lawn equipment, toys and junk vehicles, clutter is a visual cue to people that "something is wrong here!" Clutter inside your house can cause rooms to look smaller and living space to appear as chaotic and uninviting. Even clutter in garages, basements, closets, and attics can send the wrong message to potential house hunters. On the other hand, uncluttered space is like "a breath of fresh air," and can go a long way toward winning over one or more interested prospects.
General recommendations: While everyone's situation is different and unique, cleanliness, proper room lighting, and basic home staging techniques can help maximize your chances for a successful showing. Applying a fresh coat of paint, where needed, also increases the eye-appeal of everything from your front steps and hallways to bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen areas. Thoroughly steam-cleaning carpets and refinishing faded hardwood floors can also be cost-effective ways to bring out the full potential of your home