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July
29

 

If you were in the early stages of selling your home when social distancing began, now is the perfect time to get serious about preparing your home to show. While you are sheltering in place, use this time at home preparing it to show both physically and virtually. If you already have a real estate agent, request a video walk-though for their suggestions prior to showing. Your realtor can be a fresh pair of eyes with no emotional ties to the house or its contents.

According to The Mortgage Reports, Feb. 2019, the most common home improvement items agents recommended to sellers are:

  • Decluttering (95 %) Remove "junk" from rooms, closets, and cupboards. This adds immediate appeal and gives the illusion of more space. We all love our stuff, but let's face it – lookers need to be able to see the "bones" of the house. Homeowners often have too many memories and attachments to belongings that can cloud seeing the whole picture. Begin packing up your personal items including pictures and mementos from vacations. 
  • Entire home cleaning (89 %), and carpet cleaning (78 %). Clean one room a day until the whole house looks clean and inviting. Consider re-caulking your kitchens and bathrooms, too. Bright caulk gives the appearance of cleanliness, which can help to sell your home. Look at your walls and trim. If the colors are outdated, or look dingy, PAINT! New paint can mask home odors while insanely brightening a room.

You should also make repairs or replace items in your home which are broken, worn out, or in obvious need of an update, such as electrical outlet covers, door stops and door handles. A home buyer will look at the "little things" in your home and, if those items are neglected, the buyer will wonder what else is in disrepair.

Five Most Important Rooms to Stage

According to On Stage, the five most effective rooms to stage are:

  • Living Room 

Your living room should be an inviting space, without feeling cluttered or closed in. In a small living room, you need to show that furniture will fit. 

  • Dining Room

Potential buyers need to be able to envision entertaining guests at formal dinner parties, as well as hosting their family Thanksgiving dinners in your dining room. Remove anything that blurs that image such as children's toy box or pet's kennel and feeding bowls.

  • Master Bedroom

The master bedroom needs to offer a relaxing sanctuary to viewers. Neutral paint colors and soft carpet and window coverings add to the calming feeling it should offer. 

  • Home office

With the current trend of working at home, there has never been more demand for a space designated as an office. If you do not have a designated home office, stage a spare bedroom as one.

  • Kitchen 

The kitchen is the heart of your home. Edit what is on your counter tops to allow potential buyers to see the space available. Bring in fruit and greenery to add color for photos and showings. 

View virtual open houses on social media to see how they are prepared. Listen to what your agent tells you because they see all the listings. In this competitive market more homes than not are staged. Remember: Quarantine will soon be lifted. This time will pass whether you have done anything to prepare your home to sell or not. The final goal is to sell your home and sell it quickly. Your home has served you well – now is the time to prepare it to be someone else's home.



July
29

 

 

Is Your Home Ready to Sell?

Getting your home ready to sell already has a huge list of tasks, but on the top of that list is painting. Have you customized all the paint colors in every room? If you are an eclectic paint person, chances of finding another quirky person to love all your choices is like finding a diamond. When wanting to sell your home it is best to choose several like colors in the same family and paint each room that way. You never want to paint the whole house one color, like the 2005 band-aid tan but you DO want to paint in like colors. If you are going with a grey, then stay within the family or tones of that color. If you choose a warm color, then you can also branch out to warm white or beiges. 

Colors that pump up your ROI are essential in not only selling your home, but also getting more bang for your buck!

Colors to Add:

By painting your front door in a charcoal or dark grey or navy blue can possibly attract $1500 more to an offer.

Having a taupe living room allows the space to feel warm, inviting and flexible for would-be buyers to see changes they would like to make. This can raise your potential by $1500.

Blue in any of these rooms also ups the selling power. In the kitchen add classic blue (the 2020 color of the year); bathroom and bedrooms, think periwinkle. You probably do not want to do more than one room blue, but whichever you choose could add another $1000 of value to your home. 

Colors to Avoid

If your living room is blue, you could possibly devalue the price by the same amount of money, as well as, yellow kitchens, dark brown or stucco exteriors, red dining rooms or white bathrooms. 

Colors like orange, purple, black and red are color you want to avoid. People usually do like these colors, but they make it hard to visualize anything else because they are so bold. If a looker can't visualize what they would do in this house they simply will not buy it. 

Use yellow with care. Yellow is a very helpful buying color when done correctly, but incorrectly could look like big bird instead of a sunny morning yellow.

When painting your exterior, plan to use a "Greige" - somewhere in the middle of beige and grey. Not only is it a neutral color, but it adds value to your property.

Minimum is Key

Painting goes a long way and if it's something you can DIY - it will be a huge cost you saved and get in return. 

July
29

 

If you are thinking of selling your home, adding curb appeal can increase your home value 3% – 5% according to Consumer Reports. You can utilize this time while sheltering at home to get your house ready to put on the market, and remember, staging does not stop at the front door!  Your home's curb appeal makes a great first impression. Create a vision that will make everyone want to see what's inside. 

Here are a few simple, low-cost curb appeal improvements that you can do in a day, a week, or a month, by yourself without hiring a landscaper or handyman. 

Your Front Door Makes a Statement

  • Paint your front door a distinctive color. Polish or replace your doorknob and hardware. Your front door is the focal point of curb appeal!
  • Create a welcoming entryway by placing symmetrical elements such as topiaries or sconces on either side of the front door.

Create a Mood

  • Install low voltage landscape lighting to walkways, flower beds and trees. In addition to creating a warm inviting curb appeal, they add security to your home.

Mailbox Makeover

  • Your mailbox should compliment your home. Apply a fresh coat of paint to match the house's exterior color. 
  • Replace old house numbers with new ones. 
  • Surround it with a beautiful flowering garden.

Get Your Flowerbeds in Shape                                                                                                         

  • Prune back new growth
  • Pull weeds
  • Plant contrasting colors and staggered heights of flowers
  • Add mulch

Note: Prime spots for flower beds creating curb appeal are at the front corners of the yard, along driveway or walkway, and immediately in front of house.

Guttering

  • Clean out your gutters. Look for peeling paint or rusty spots and repaint them if necessary. 

Patio/Deck/Front Porch

Add an artistic flair with containers of potted flowers and nice patio furniture to your front porch and back deck. Many times, your existing patio furniture needs to be thinned out. Notice if your deck has become a storage place for outdoor toys and mismatched outdoor furniture. 

You may need to rent a storage space to start moving extra items and furniture into. Be objective and try to see your home as if for the first time. Give your potential buyers a blank canvas to paint a picture of what their dream home looks like, starting with curb appeal!



July
29

 

Oftentimes, closet space (or the lack thereof) is a deal breaker when deciding which house to buy. So, it is your responsibility to present every square inch of closet space that you have, favorably. That may be a challenge if you only have shallow reach-ins. But there are steps you can take to help sell would-be buyers on what you do have to offer.

A dirty home can greatly reduce your asking price, and dirty closets can turn buyers away. Unfortunately, closets collect dust, cobwebs, and odors, (like smelly tennis shoes). Before beginning your closet organizing project, grab your cleaning supplies and a step ladder, then dig in for some deep cleaning. 

One Step at a Time

  • Remove everything from your closet. Don't grab an armful of hangers, but take out one item at a time. Take no more than 30 seconds per item to decide whether to keep, toss, or donate, and put it in its respective stack. Same goes for shoes, belts, scarves and boots.
  • Once your closet is empty, wipe down every surface with a warm wet rag or sponge. Use your ladder to reach the ceiling and high corners where cob webs gather. You may want to use an all purpose spray cleaner on walls, baseboards and shelves to tackle grime and odors.
  • If you see any indication of mold, use a mixture of Clorox Mold Eliminator Bleach to kill 99.9% of tough mold found lurking there.
  • Now is the time to vacuum and spot clean the carpet, or dust mop and polish the hardwood floors.
  • Let your closet air out and dry completely, leaving the doors open. You might want to wait a day before resuming.
  • If your closet is painted a dark color, now is the time to paint. Dark colors make the space look smaller, so choose a light, neutral color like biscuit or vanilla. Remember, the goal is to make it look spacious!
  • Place your favorite scented dryer sheets in closet drawers, on top of shelves and even inside of your clothes pockets to make your closet smell as if you just pulled your clothes out of the dryer.

Now comes the magic trick. Create the illusion of more space by putting back LESS STUFF!

Rule of thumb is to get rid of 50% of the items originally in your closet. If you just can't bear to toss or donate them, box them up and move to a storage facility. That may only be your garage or attic, but seriously consider renting a space until your house sells. It doesn't help if you just move clutter from one space to another in your home.

  • Leave 1" of space between each hanger. You should be able to see the back of the closet wall between your clothes.
  • Same goes for shelves with folded clothes and linen closets – leave open space above and wiggle room between each stack.
  • No shoes on the floor! This can be challenging, but get creative with this one!
  • You should have 20% - 30% of wide open space when this step is finished.

Now on to the Nitty Gritty!

You don't want your closet to look disorganized in ANY way. Mismatched hangers create the sense of chaos.

  • Replace all hangers with the same style and color.
  • Make sure they are all pointing in the same direction.
  • Experts suggest having all of your clothes facing left, sorted by color.
  • If you closet is dark, think about adding a light fixture.

Home buyers expectations are sky high due to DIY and staging TV shows. You have your work cut out for you, but during this time of isolation, you may be able to complete some projects you always talked about doing, but never seemed to find the time. Do what you can to give prospective buyers their dream closets!



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