According to NAR, 77% of buyers’ agents indicated staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. Before you list your home, follow this list of staging preparations to highlight a home that sells.
Many buyers are looking to move to gain more space, so help the house appear as spacious as possible. Eliminate excess or oversized furniture so potential buyers have the most accurate idea of the room size, as well as space to walk through. If you question if the piece is too large, remove it. Throughout the home, pull the furniture several inches from the walls to allow the corners to be visible.
Closet contents should also be drastically reduced. The amount of belongings in the closet should be sparse, and the floors should be clear. A jam-packed closet appears significantly smaller than it really is.
Lastly, remove clutter from all surfaces. Create four categories — throw out, donate, move to storage and keep. This will show the home is free of visual clutter, and you will also have an easier move out. If your home is filled with an abundance of furniture and decor pieces you don’t want to part with, rent a storage unit for the duration the home is on the market.
Evaluate the amount of personal items throughout the house, including photographs, art, religious symbols, knick-knacks and books. If you think all of the personal items have been edited down, go through and edit one more time. The goal is to allow potential buyers to envision themselves living in the home. A styling trick is to create neutral vignettes — a grouping of accessories often in threes — throughout the home. These accessories could include wall art, candle sticks, vases, all varying in shape, color and texture.
Maintain an immaculate environment
While living in a listed house can be difficult, especially with children or pets, take careful steps to make sure the house stays sparkling clean and odor-free. A house that smells odd to a potential buyer can prevent them from wanting to look through the rest of the house. Rather than masking smells with candles or potpourri, open windows. Run a humidifier and use an air purifier to neutralize the air.
Invest in a professional cleaning service to deep-clean the house, including the baseboards, windows, floors, walls and carpets, to remove both surface stains, as well as odors.
Set one focal point per area
Creating one central focus point can make a room look more cohesive, and can help potential buyers better visualize themselves and their belongings in the space. Once you identify the focal point, style the furniture and decor around it. As a reference, the living room’s focal point can be the fireplace, window or TV; the bedroom is often the headboard and the bathroom is the vanity area.
Select a continual color theme
A fresh coat of paint throughout the home can go a long way. Select a neutral paint palette that seamlessly transitions throughout the house. This color flow makes the house feel more open and larger, and offers a blank canvas that many buyers crave.
Let in the light
Allow as much light to come in as possible. Open draperies and shades, remove unnecessary blinds and move any items that may obstruct windows or other light sources. A bright, airy home is one of the first features a potential buyer will notice.
Don’t forget the exterior
The front door is the first impression — make it count. Make sure the landscaping is manicured, the front door is in good condition, the exterior lighting is functional and there are seasonal arrangements on the front porch. Pressure washing the siding and deck can also make a big impact.
Unofficially, the spring selling season begins after Super Bowl Sunday. This means there are approximately five weeks to transform your home into a house in which a potential buyer could envision themselves living. Preparing your home to sell can quickly become an overwhelming hurdle if you don’t approach it as a series of small steps. Follow this week-by-week checklist to have your home ready to list by the peak selling season.
Find the right real estate agent. Buying or selling a home can be a major undertaking, and that’s why most buyers and sellers enlist the services of a real estate agent to guide them through the process. A good agent will provide all the knowledge and resources needed to make your home sale more seamless, from local market insights and negotiating skills to marketing exposure and more.
Inspect your home’s infrastructure. Check your home to make the updates and repairs that will improve your home’s value. Evaluate the condition of the pipes, windows, roof, etc., so you have the time to fix these issues, and so you aren’t surprised when it’s time for a potential buyer to bring in an inspector. In addition to the larger items, make sure the handles on the cabinets are tight, the lightbulbs are working, and scuffs are removed from the wall, to present the image of a well-cared for house.
Declutter. Create four categories — throw out, donate, move to storage and keep. Do this to make the move out easier, as well as to show a home that is free of visual clutter. If your home is filled with an abundance of furniture and decor pieces you can’t part with, rent a storage unit for the duration your home is on the market.
Deep clean. After the home is decluttered, conduct a deep clean, including windows, baseboards, walls and floors. Additionally, deep clean the areas that are closed off, such as closets, cabinets and drawers. Potential buyers will likely be opening these storage areas so be sure to keep them tidy.
Assess the curb appeal. While lawn maintenance in January is minimal, make the necessary updates to entice buyers before they enter the front door. Paint the front door, replace the mailbox if it’s damaged, update outdoor lighting if it shows signs of wear and tear, and set out a seasonal arrangement in the outdoor planters.
Paint the walls. If your taste is on the bolder side, paint the walls in a neutral color palette prior to listing. Neutral colors will appeal to a wider variety of buyers, and help them better picture themselves living in the home. Don’t forget to touch up the baseboards and door trim.
Stage the house. Consider enlisting a professional stager who can assess the current condition of your home and determine the tweaks that will set it apart from the crowd. They often have inventory they can bring in, or will rearrange your belongings to create a different layout.
Take professional photos. The majority of buyers begin their home search online, so great photography is essential in order to capture their interest. Once your home is in tip-top shape, work with your real estate agent to have a professional photographer take photos of the house.
Final cleaning. Pay special attention to the bathrooms, floors and countertops. These are areas that will catch the first glances of buyers walking through your house. Also make sure the home is odor free. Consider opening the windows, running a humidifier and using an air purifier to neutralize the air.
Add life. Set out fresh flowers, plants or a bowl of fresh fruit to breathe some additional life into the home, and to create a welcoming vibe.
Hide valuables. With strangers walking through your home, make sure you remove or lock up any valuables, such as jewelry, treasured collections and artwork.
Written by @properties
From money-saving gadgets to devices that provide an extra level of security, it’s easy to see why smart-home technology is becoming more and more popular. In fact, it can even increase the appeal of your home to potential buyers should you plan to sell.
Here are five smart upgrades that can potentially add value to your home and make life a little easier in the process.
Thermostat – You’ve heard that you can adjust the temperature of your home from your smart phone, but the technology doesn’t stop there. The newest thermostats will go so far as to learn your habits – when you’re usually at home and at what times of day you change the temperature – so they can make adjustments automatically.
Lighting – Control your home’s lighting from your phone or voice control device (looking at you, Alexa) with a smart lighting system. Philips Hue is one of the most popular systems, giving you full control over every aspect of lighting so you can create the right mood for any moment. By simply replacing your existing light bulbs with Philips Hue, you can do everything from change colors to set timers that control the lights remotely so it seems like someone is home.
Doorbell – Gone are the days of “ding-dong-ditching” thanks to smart doorbells. With video cameras and intercoms, these gadgets allow you to see who’s ringing your doorbell through your phone. While most smart doorbells have two-way talk functionality and motion detectors, others like the Nest Hello take it a step further with facial-recognition technology.
Keyless entry – Can’t find your keys? We’ve all been there – and that’s why products like the August Smart Lock come in handy. Automatically lock and unlock your door as you leave or approach your home, and keep track of who’s coming and going with a 24/7 activity log. You can also give your guests keyless entry through the August app so you never have to hide (or lose) another key under the doormat again.
Smoke/carbon monoxide detectors – Homeowners rarely test smoke alarms as often as recommended, but that’s not a problem with smoke/carbon monoxide detectors like the Nest Protect which do all the work for you. The Nest Protect not only performs tests automatically, but also alerts your phone to tell you if there’s danger and lets you use hush those irritating false alarms when you’re cooking dinner.
For more advice on how to prep your home for sale or increase its marketability, click here to read more on our blog or contact an agent any time.doorbell, home appeal, home updates, keyless entry, lighting, preparing to sell, Real Estate, real estate technology, selling a home, smart home, smart home updates, Technology, thermostatDecember 6, 2018by Amy Corr
This post originally appeared on the @properties blog. Written by Amy Corr Amy Corr is the managing broker for the @properties Highland Park, Lake Forest and Bannockburn offices. Outside of work, Amy can usually be found with her husband, two daughters, and their pup Stanley.
Written by Arin Agase
Ahhh, ’tis the season for crisp fall air, pumpkin spice everything and cozy vibes. Today, we’re giving you all the fall feels with the ultimate fall porch inspiration. Whether you’re going for something classic, modern, or even spooky — we’ve got you covered. Feel free to get creative with gourds, colorful pumpkins, hay, wheel-barrows, and autumn accessories. Comment down below, and let us know which porch is your favorite. Bonus points if you tag us (@atproperties) on Instagram with your creations!
Farmhouse Fall Porch
It’s the farmhouse charm that delights on this porch! Local farms were used to source the pumpkins, which is often viewed as a huge plus since you’re usually spending less than at the grocery store and supporting a local business. Mix in some vibrant mums, and fill in the holes with autumn accessories. Easy as pie, and some stellar curb appeal.
DIY Nesting Boxes
These show-stopping DIY nesting boxes filled with faux pumpkins, frames, pillows and vintage signs are a definite delineation from porches of falls past. The best part? You can use this year-round with plenty of fun themes and accessories.
Rustic Fall Porch
Add in a fun chalkboard, corn stalks and pumpkins from the local farm. Such a charming little stoop — and easy to boot!
When conjuring up images of a fall porch, pastel hues aren’t exactly what would come to mind. That said, it totally works! By picking a theme and staying with it, the light and airy color of the front door is mirrored in its wreath and whimsical pumpkins. A true delight!
Outdoor Bar Cart
Transforming a .bar cart into a min pumpkin patch is a sure-fire way to stand out from your neighbors. Add in some green oak leaves between the pumpkins to add some color for now and use the top rack to set a big bowl of candy on once Halloween rolls around. Your effortless hospitality is sure to not go unnoticed.
A few tips to consider when decorating your porch:
- Create a cozy seating area: You may already have a porch bench or swing — make this the highlight of your decor. Add cozy pillows, blankets, pumpkins, flowers and other fun finds to add the finishing touch.
- It’s a sign: Use a play on words, like ‘Happy Fall, ya’ll’ to jazz up an outdoor chalkboard for an easy way to showcase your personality.
- Add color: Use a combination of colorful pumpkins like white, blue, pink and green to get out of a strictly-orange funk. I actually found mine at a local grocery store, and it’s an easy, inexpensive way to add some character.
- Use what you have: Get creative with props and seasonal decor! Think beyond the traditional use for items the next time you’re strolling through a Target or Michael’s store.
Written by Nicole Regan
It’s time to find your dream house but there’s just ONE thing standing in your way: selling your old home. So how do you stage your current home to make it photo ready? Glad you asked!
Here are 5 simple tips to make your home full-price listing worthy:
When we were house hunting, we were naturally drawn to clean and well-organized homes.
As soon as you decide to sell, start decluttering. The easiest way? Secure a storage unit. All those things you’re not using take up valuable real estate, making your home feel smaller than it really is. Packing items in a storage unit before listing will not only help sell your place, but also make packing easier once your offer is solidified. Your home will feel spacious and open, especially in photos and showings.
Curate Your Home
Do you have different styles, patterns, and colors under one roof? If so, it may confuse and distract buyers from the bones of your home. One way to keep buyers on track is to ensure everything is cohesive and flows.
This may mean storing away unique or outdated furniture, re-painting walls or even rearranging furniture. Not everyone will be a fan of your plush shag rug or crazily-printed wallpaper. So make sure you appeal to the masses when deciding what to show.
Clean Out Your Closets
If your closets are bursting at the seams, how will potential buyers know how much storage your home has? Winter coats stuffed in the corner and jam-packed shelves won’t impress anyone. It makes your home feel smaller than it actually is.
To best showcase your storage space, pack away all out-of-season clothes (this should be almost half your wardrobe!) Hang remaining clothes on matching hangers, all facing the same direction, and clear clutter from floors and closet shelves.
When doing this, you’re again getting ahead on packing, which is a major bonus if you sell your house quickly.
One of the keys to a quick sale is making buyers feel like your house could be their own. Depersonalize by packing away certain collections, photos, and mementos that may be distracting. If your office has memorabilia of your favorite sports team, consider replacing the jersey hanging on the wall with an abstract painting.
When people can imagine themselves living in your home, they are more likely to put in an offer quickly.
Increase Curb Appeal
When people see your home for the first time, you want to ensure they don’t drive away before stepping foot in the house.
Creating curb appeal is easy to do and you can find our best tips here. If the outside of your home looks inviting, people will be eager to see what they will find inside.
By following these simple tips, you’ll have your home showing-ready in no time.