There’s no denying that selling a home can be stressful. Most homeowners struggle with balancing the desire for a good payout with the need for a quick sale. The best way to entice potential buyers into acting quickly without having to lower your asking price is to ensure that the home is prepared before taking photos or scheduling open houses. To avoid turning off potential buyers, you need to make sure your house creates a stellar first impression.
If you’ve taken a walk around your house and noticed faded paint, damaged floors and aging kitchen cabinets, you may be asking yourself whether it’s worth investing the money into renovations you won’t even be around to appreciate. Real estate broker Mickey Conlon says the answer is almost always yes. He explains, “Buyers assign dollar values to repairs that typically exceed the actual cost of remediation.”
In other words, most minor renovations and repairs don’t cost as much as you might think. The average cost of hiring a painter is around $400 for a medium-sized room. Homeowners can expect buyers to pay more than that if they don’t have to worry about repainting immediately.
Getting Rid of Clutter
So, you’ve already hired contractors to throw up new coats of paint, replace aging fixtures, and restore that scuffed up wood floor to its former shining glory. Don’t assume that means it’s time to throw the house up on the market and see how it performs. First, get rid of all the clutter you’ve accumulated over the years.
Barring mitigating circumstances, this is one step of home prep you can do yourself. Focus on one room at a time and divide everything into different piles: one for everything you want to bring with you when you move, one for things to sell, one for items to donate, and one for trash.
If you’ve got a lot of stuff you want to keep that’s cluttering up the living room, you might want to consider renting a storage unit. This is just one of many easy and affordable ways to declutter your home without getting rid of everything you own. If you prefer to get rid of almost everything and start fresh, you can always rent a dumpster for easy, affordable disposal.
Depersonalizing the Home
Once you’ve decluttered your home, it’s time to find ways to depersonalize it. Every homeowner has an attachment to their home, but as Mode Staging Design points out, this house “isn’t for you …” it’s for someone new. Buyers want to see signs of the home’s potential, not signs of its former occupants. Try these methods for depersonalizing without spending a small fortune:
• Paint over loud accent walls
• Get rid of kitschy or seasonal decorations
• Store or sell furniture that appeals to very specific tastes
• Clear hallways of artwork and photographs
• Organize your closets
The Final Steps
Now that you’ve done all the prep work, it’s time to consider how to stage a home for photos and open houses. The staging process requires more than just cleaning and decluttering. You’ll want to create a bright, inviting look with plenty of natural light that will photograph well and create a phenomenal first impression on buyers who come to look at the house.
Focus on the most important rooms first. One NAR survey found that 55% of agents suggest focusing on the living room. Position the furniture away from the walls and make sure everything looks neat and tidy.
When preparing your home for sale, make sure to discuss your options with a real estate agent experienced in working with homes in your neighborhood. Real estate agents work with both buyers and sellers, so they have a good idea of what homeowners need to do to make their houses look more appealing. An agent is also objective and will see your home through the eyes of an outsider, just as potential buyers will. Use this essential resource to your advantage and follow all the advice above to get the best price.
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