Thursday, February 8, 2007

Home Staging Tips to Help YOUR Home Sell in a Slower Market

Let’s face it; many real estate markets are experiencing a slow down the likes of which we haven’t seen for years. For a home seller this means setting the price right. But equally important is the concept of home staging. The first step is back to the basics: unclutter, fix and clean! But what is the second step and third?

In the Twin Cities market buyers have on average 25-50 homes that will meet their needs. A typical showing day with buyers will mean visiting 7-10 homes and buyers do get confused. As the day wears on, buyers start to distinguish homes by their characteristics. Some descriptions are not flattering. Recently I was with a buyer who was remembering homes as “the lizard home” and “ one with the Nasty bathroom”. That day there was also the house with “neon green room” and the ever, unpopular “retro house with the orange counters”. So what can you do to make your home memorable for the right reasons?
Paint ProperlyIf adjoining rooms are painted in the same color palette, hour home will appear more spacious. Don’t take short cuts. If you don’t have time or patience to properly tape trim and ceilings, hire a professional. Painted woodwork and ceilings are noticed and sometimes worse than not painting at all.

Go Luxurious
Invest in accessories to accent your home. Big, fluffy coordinating bathroom towels and mats warm up the bath. Fresh flowers on a beautifully set dining room table look inviting. A color-coordinated rug in the foyer will make a wonderful first impression.

Cush-up the Carpeting
Don’t replace the carpet on the cheap. Invest in the BEST padding you can find. Buyers will in most cases have to remove their shoes when walking through your home. In their stocking-feet, they will feel the difference!

Make it Match
Slipcovers are a quick and inexpensive way to update and coordinate mismatched furniture. Put away the old blankets and cozy up the room with a beautiful accent throw and a few pillows.
Empty the ClosetsMake certain the closets are neat and organized. Replace and paint any shelves and organizers that appear dingy.
Replace Handles, Knobs and SwitchplatesInexpensive yes; but often overlooked. Handles that are outdated or missing and switchplates that are dirty or worn send the wrong impression. If they are replaced to look new and shiny, it shows that you pay attention to the details of your home.

Pack the Personal Items
The Elvis collection has to be packed! Likewise, take down the annual school photos of Junior from age 5 to 18. Use the “3 in any direction” rule. No more than three accent pieces should be able to be seen in any direction. Anymore than three is a distraction. If your photos or collection was on the wall, remember to patch the holes and repaint.

The Sun Shines When Windows Sparkle
In feng shui teaches that windows are consider the “eyes of the home” Make sure your windows are sparkling clean inside and out. Avoid the use of vinegar as a cleaner, as the smell may linger.

Before you scoff at spending money on a home you no longer plan to live in, remember this...It is still your home until it sells. It is in many cases your biggest financial investment. Consider it as a small investment for a big pay off or in this case, sale, in the end.