Updated: Apr 22, 2020
Ask any real estate agent and they will tell you that long gone are the days when homeowners could merely put a "For Sale" sign in their yard and sell their homes with little to no prep. Times have changed in a big way. Preparing your home for sale is really a necessity now. Buyers are shopping for their future home online so you want to be sure to wow them from the get go. In fact, the most recent statistics from the National Association of Realtors shows that over 90% of buyers search for homes online first. You only have a few seconds to capture their attention and put your home on their "must see" list. Do yourself a favor and put in the work to make your listing stand out amongst others. You will be rewarded with more money and a faster sale.
That being said, let me assure you that there are many affordable ways for you to provide that wow factor that is represented both in pictures and in person. Buyers need to be able to envision the home as theirs. That is what gets them to put in an offer. You can do that simply with making small changes and adding in some cozy elements.
Before I share some recommendations and items that I most often include in my staging, I do want to note that these are only the "touch points" or the places in the home that add a warm and comforting feel that buyers want. They are the final touches to help your home go the extra mile. I recommend you include these AFTER taking care of any repairs, upgrades, cleaning, decluttering, and depersonalizing. These suggestions will not help sell a home if the steps above have not been done.
I can't think of a single time that I didn't recommend paint to one of my clients. Sponge paint from the 90's? That has got to go. Walls that are dirty or haven't been painted in years? Time for a refresh.
Paint is not only cost effective but one of the most transformative updates that you can make. Did you know that painting your interior can reap upwards of 107% return on investment?? Check out this site for more information: RemoldingExpense.com
Paint can instantly make a space feel warm and inviting. It can lighten up a room instantaneously and can help buyers envision their belongings in that space. You want to be sure to choose colors that are neutral and appeal to both men and women. Light grays, blues and greiges (yes, that is a thing!) work well in just about all spaces. Try to avoid dark, bright, or polarizing colors like yellow. Hop over to my blog post on my favorite neutrals to help sell your home for more color tips.
Updating the hardware/fixtures
Major renovations in the kitchen, bathroom, or master bedroom can be very costly and quite frankly may not provide enough of a ROI that you would hope for. You will want to speak to your agent about any major upgrades that you might want to make to help sell your home, but sometimes making small changes can make a big impact. Updating the hardware can make all the difference. Changing out drawer pulls and knobs on cabinets, doorknobs, and faucets can create an instant wow factor. White cabinets with black drawer pulls shows a striking contrast or swapping out old brass doorknobs with a shiny silver finish will also serve to update a home.
Changing out old dated fixtures like chandeliers or flushed lights will also help to update the home without breaking the bank. Those old 70's Hollywood strip lights will not do you any favors come time to sell. Nor will the flush mount dome light.
And while we're talking lights...
Please, please, please change out your old, dim, energy sucking lightbulbs to bright and energy efficient ones. This is a great article to reference https://lifehacker.com/how-to-pick-the-best-light-bulbs-for-every-room-in-your-1713809049
When buyers walk through your home, they will notice how dark or light it is. If your home isn't adequately lit, it may feel like a dungeon and buyers will be turned off. Remember that buyers could see your home at any given time during the day, so you want to be sure that your home feels light and welcoming. Changing out lightbulbs so that you have high quality and energy efficient LED bulbs will not only make your space feel bright and inviting, it will also be a great feature to add to your listing description. Buyers are looking for energy efficient homes, so this will be an added bonus.
Oh let me count the ways that I love accents- and not just the ones from across the pond, but all the decorative accents for the home.
Do not underestimate the value that accents bring when preparing your home for sale. These are truly the emotional connection points that really help buyers envision the home as theirs. It could be creating a cozy reading nook with a book propped open and a throw on the armchair. It is using billowy bedding to make the bedroom feel like a peaceful retreat or plush white towels in the bathroom for that luxurious spa feel. Creating spaces with accents makes buyers feel at home, and when they feel at home, they will want to call it their home. Below is a list of the common items I recommend sellers borrow, rent, or purchase to help make their own picture perfect and a place for buyers to feel at home.
Most common recommended items I suggest for staging:
-Plush white towels in all sizes
-Plants (Real and Fake)
-Wooden pieces (cutting boards, utensils, etc.)
-Rugs (particularly in the master bedroom, dining, and living rooms)
Going the extra mile and making your home feel bright, warm and cozy, will attract buyers. You want your listing to sell fast and for the most money, so take the extra time and do it right. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first and lasting impression.