At Team Sadler Realtors, we try to help our clients understand that placing their home on the market is all about changing perspective. Once your home is placed on the market for sale it becomes a product like any other product for sale and should be handled as such. In one instant everything that defines your house – from photo filled bookshelves to light blue accent walls – is looked at from a marketing point of view. Your house morphs from a place of comfort with your family’s touches to a more neutral space that will present your home as a place someone else can decorate and call home. In this article we highlight five of the top staging considerations and we’ll discuss why it minor repairs are a must. For steps to take to prepare for your home’s photo shoot, see our article on Preparing Your Home For Photos.
The Importance of Staging
When you are ready to sell, think of your home the way a new home builder thinks of a home – it’s a product. That’s why model homes are so much fun to tour – you can totally see yourself living in one! At Team Sadler Realtors, we’ve worked with many home buyers and we’ve seen first hand what impacts their purchase decisions. Based on our experience, here are several Houston home staging tips we have found to be effective:
Remove the Personal Touches
When it comes to getting the best price for your home, put your emotional attachments to each space aside. Although it’s not easy to flip the switch on a place where you’ve built many memories, your home is now a product. This also translates to the personal touches that make the home. Store all family photos, heirlooms and other personal items out of sight. Prospective buyers want to visualize their own lives living in and decorating the space.
Note: This doesn’t mean start stuffing closets (closets should appear neat and organized). Some sellers choose to rent storage space during this process. Renting storage space is always a wise choice. See “No Clutter” below.
Make it Shine
Before you consider the first showing, give your house a good bath that rivals spring cleaning. Nothing discourages a buyer more than grit and grime, strange odors and dirty carpet throughout the space. Remember to:
- Make windows in key areas sparkle, such as your living room, kitchen, and master bedroom. Clean windows go a long way to help brighten up a room.
- Dust, sweep and vacuum each room. Don’t forget fan blades, baseboards and light fixtures that normally go unnoticed.
Make the bathrooms and kitchen shine! Bleach grout, polish fixtures and sinks, scrub toilets and tubs.
- Air out any stale musty-smelling spaces. Sometimes, air fresheners and candles won’t do it. You may need to replace worn rugs or cut out old carpet (these minor expenses can be worth it).
- Professionally clean the carpets and your upholstery if necessary.
- Change burnt out light bulbs – a bright space is an inviting place!
- Change the filter for your air conditioner to help freshen your home. Don’t forget to clear unsightly dust from the wall and ceiling vents.
- A neat & clean appearance are important when selling your home
Remove the Clutter
Mounds of clutter can distract and actually prevent many prospects from envisioning the home at its greatest potential. If prospects inspect your closets, will the children’s toys be piled up and Christmas decorations be ready to tumble out to greet them? This is the perfect time to reorganize and simplify your own life before the move. Make sure storage areas are neat & organized and clean up your home throughout and make sure your home is presentable. Be sure to inspect all storage areas including:
- Coat, bathroom and bedroom closets.
- Clear the hallways and stairs
- Kitchen cabinets.
- Garage and attic: Although a mess in the garage and attic are usually acceptable and one of the last places potential buyers look, try to organize them as much as you can.
Keep it Neutral
We all get it at some point: the desire to express ourselves on the living room or kitchen wall. Maybe you chose canary yellow or a light pink as the accent color. Whatever the deviation, prospects can’t seem to take their eyes off of bold accent walls, but unusual colors can cause potential buyers to strike your home off their list. If you are in doubt, keep your wall colors neutral – consider painting before you list your home.
There is nothing that resonates more with buyers than your home’s first impression. When a potential home-buyer parks curb side, the first thing they do is survey the exterior, the lawn and even the front door to determine if this is a place they would feel proud to call home.
In order to deliver this first impression, it takes some effort on the sellers behalf:
- Pressure wash the home’s exterior, roof, driveway, porches and walkways leading to the entrance if necessary.
- If pressure washing didn’t do the trick, consider a fresh coat of neutral paint (if it’s possible in the budget).
- Paint the front door. Even the color of a front door can characterize a home. Although you want to use discretion, a pop of color can make a house look unique from the street.
- Change the doorknob and even the lock if needed. A flimsy, loose knob or a rusted lock can send negative signals to a buyer. When they open the front door you want them to think “secure” and “new”.
- Finally, don’t forget the usual yard maintenance. Mow, trim, rake and plant flowers to present a manicured look and add charm.
Minor Repairs Now – Could Mean Higher Price Later
It is always a good idea to have a home inspection prior to placing your home on the market. Having a home inspection prior to placing your home on the market will point out any items and/or areas of the home that are in need of repair allowing you to make these repairs at a much lower cost than what the potential home-buyer will ask for in way of allowance. Buyers tend to over estimate the cost of most repairs, it is generally in the sellers best interest to make the necessary repairs themselves than leaving the repairs to the buyers. Not everyone chooses to have a home inspection prior to placing their home for sale, therefore, we have made a small list of repairs that can be easily completed before marketing your home for sale.
When sellers are focused on closing the deal on their home and moving out, they don’t always consider investing in minor repairs. However, these small improvements can help foster a quicker close as well as secure a higher selling price. If your home is on the market, here are repairs to consider:
- Patch and paint over any holes in the walls.
- Shampoo your carpets
- Keep pets outside if possible
- Change out dark, dinghy features such as bedspreads, towels, curtains and old rugs for brighter, airy adornments.
- Fix leaky kitchen, bathroom and outside faucets.
- Re-caulk sinks, tubs and showers. Also remove rust or other stains while you’re at it.
- Fix anything that’s broken – e.g. a sagging fence or screen, chipped tile, broken doors, etc.
- Repaint or re-stain the front door
Although preparing your home might take some upfront time, depending on its condition, it’s a process that has proven to decrease the time to sell your home. Such minor repairs and improvements will help attract a home-buyer and make the home inspection go smoother – thereby keeping your home-buyer confident. To learn more about selling your home check the process of selling a home.
Be Prepared For The Unexpected
Although you’ve done your best to fix up your home, some potential problems may be revealed during the home inspection. If you’re worried about costly repairs on major items like air conditioners and other large appliances, consider purchasing a home warranty. Some companies offer home warranties for sellers that help cover the costs of expensive repairs while their home is on the market. If you’re interested in purchasing a home warranty during the sale of your home, talk to your Team Sadler Realtor to decide which warranty is right for you.
Are You Ready to Sell Your Houston or Surrounding Area Home? Contact Team Sadler Realtors
Our team can help take the stress out of listing your home – and we can help you maximize your home’s sales price. Please let us know if we can assist you! Please complete the form below and a Team Sadler agent will contact you within 24 hours or less. For immediate assistance please Call or text (713) 628-4487.
If you have questions about buying or selling a home please do not hesitate to give us a call. We are passionate about real estate and welcome any opportunity to earn your business and put our real estate skills to work for you.
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