RISMEDIA, Jan. 19, 2008-(MCT)-First impressions are the most important and you never get a second chance to make that first impression. If you are planning to put your home on the real estate market this spring and it has the “lived-in” look, or needs a general sprucing up, consider staging your home.
Staged homes generally sell faster and at a higher price. While home staging starts with clearing the clutter, packing personal items and rearranging the furniture for a better presentation, it also can mean fresh paint, new carpet and landscape changes or additions.
Most prospective home buyers make their first impression within the first few moments of parking in front of your home. For this reason you should try to appeal to the widest possible range of people previewing your home.
Here is a short list of ideas that can help you stage your home for rapid and top dollar sale.
Because this is where first impressions begin you also should start here. The porch should be uncluttered and free from junk. It couldn’t hurt to power wash and repaint the exposed wood portions, including the door. If the hardware on the door is worn or tarnished, you should consider replacing it. Many times planters containing brightly colored flowers placed on both the right and left of the door invite potential buyers to come in and take a long look. You might need to trim or remove some of the existing landscaping or perhaps even make a well chosen addition or two. Whatever you do, remember that within the first 30 seconds prospective buyers are forming their first and most lasting impressions of your home. Make your curb appeal pop!
Unclutter and Unstuff
Overcrowded rooms create negative inspiration in the minds of potential buyers. If you plan on discarding any furnishings before you move, do it before you show your home. If your preference is to have a lot of furniture in your rooms, decide on the minimum amount that will best show your home and move the rest to storage. Avoid arranging furniture along all four walls; instead try placing a couple of pieces at an angle to create a cozy area for intimate conversations. Closets should be only half-full and the floor of the closet should be visible. If the closet is crammed full of your stuff, potential buyers will feel there’s not enough closet space for their things.
Clean windows and screens inside and out and open drapes and blinds. Allow as much natural light into the home as possible. The more light, the more “homey” the room feels. Be prepared to find a few things that need special attention. When this amount of natural light invades a room you will inevitably find areas that need to be cleaned or repainted.
Don’t scrimp … repaint the entire room. If you just try and touch up the problem areas the paint color probably will not match when dried. While you’re at this, carefully consider the paint color. Light and neutral should be the rule of thumb when selecting a new paint color.
Put out the good towels both in the kitchen and in the bathrooms. Inevitably, a visitor or two will need to use your facilities during a showing. Make sure throw rugs and runners are in good shape and cleaned; particularly in the entry way. The entry way is the place where prospective buyers spend more time than just about anywhere else in the home. They want to get a feel for the home. Make sure you have bright neutral colors, clean rugs and attractive decor in this area.
In season or purchased from the florist, real flowers — don’t use artificial — add charm and warmth to any room. Pots of seasonal flowers on the front porch and hanging baskets on the back porch bring life and energy to the home. A simple market bouquet can brighten any room of the home and provides a natural attraction to prospective buyers.
Clean it up, straighten it up, tighten it up and polish it up. The little things may seem trivial to you but to prospective buyers minor things can mean the difference between making and not making an offer.
Copyright © 2008, The Edmond Sun, Okla.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
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