Home Staging in CT
Pros Agree – Your Home is The Stage.
And it will be judged by the performance it gives in the eyes of the buyer. Statistics have proven that selling times are cut drastically and selling prices are much closer to asking prices on homes that were “staged.” So instead of waiting month after month while homes may actually lose value, invest in doing things the right way – Stage Your Home For Sale.
Your CT real estate agent will likely suggest many tips to help make your home more marketable. Listen to them! They are professionals and they really do know what sells. If you have ability to hire a professional home stager in CT by all means do. They will add far more in value by their work and suggestions than their fee will cost you out of pocket.
Or if you are ready for the challenge, sit back and read some of these recommendations and dig in yourself preparing your home for sale.
In a competitive tough buyer’s market homes still sell quickly for right price when they look their best. Home staging is not about decorating or interior design. It is an investment intended to make your home appear more desirable to buyers, not to make it the way you would like to see it. Showings do not last long so there is only a short amount of time to impress the buyer with your home. One mistake can prompt them to overlook your home and move on to other properties on their list.
Professional home stagers know what they are doing and are well worth the investment if you are able to hire one. If not, there are several things that you can do yourself to ensure that your first impression is the one that “wows” the buyer.
Real estate agents react very well to properly staged homes too because “they show well” which means they are more likely to sell quicker. That is incentive for agents to show your home more often to more buyers.
Clean, De-clutter and De-personallize!
To coin a brand name metaphor, kitchens and bathrooms need to be “Spic and Span”. It goes without saying but we will say it anyways – “clean, clean, clean”, your home must be cleaner than it ever has been while you lived there to make the absolute best impression. When you are done with all this important work you may look around and decide to stay instead of sell! But that is the point. Many people own a jewel in the rough that they love just the way it is. But with a little polishing and lots of elbow grease that jewel can sparkle for just about any buyer that walks through your doors.
Less is more. Anything that doesn’t need to be in the room should be removed. Too much stuff in a room can make it feel cramped and small. Less in the room will make it feel airy and more spacious. Think of bathrooms and bedrooms especially. These are by nature, personal spaces that tend to have lots of items on top of counters and dressers. While you are showing your home find another place to store those items that is out of view.
This may be hard to do, but all the family photos need to come down and be packed away in boxes ready for your move. Remember, the goal is to sell your home not just to list it – so that means you will be moving soon. So it is OK to start putting things in boxes now, just don’t leave the boxes in open view. Maybe you have a clean, dry area in the basement for them or you may even need to rent a storage bay for a month or two. The worst place to stack boxes will be the closets. Buyers will want to look in the closets and the less they see in the closets the better.
In the kitchen clear all the countertops and by all means put those refrigerator magnets in a container until you move into your next home. The kid’s rooms also need to be in good shape. This one will be tough to manage but the pictures of Justin Beiber or Robert Pattinson need to be put into storage for now. Those knick-knacks that are so lovely and fit your tastes may be just the visual trigger that subconsciously makes a bad impression on a buyer. Remember the Golden Rule of home staging, “Less is More.”
A Fresh Coat of Paint Works Wonders
A great time to clear the decks of distracting personalization and decoration is when you freshen up the paint in your home’s interior. Unless your home has been painted in the past few years this is a must for home sellers. This can be done yourself (as long as you follow some simple guidelines) but many sellers opt to just hire professional painters. Understand that the cost is an investment that will help your home sell much quicker and for the best price possible.
Painting your ceilings will make a huge difference in the look and feel of every room. Adding brightness and space to the room with a fresh coat of ceiling paint is one of the first steps to creating a more appealing home for buyers. Ceiling painting is one of the more difficult DIY projects and can result in paint spatter getting where you didn’t want it. For this reason, most home stagers will recommend hiring a painting company to handle the ceiling painting.
Keep a uniform look throughout the home with any new painting. White ceilings across the board will create a continuity and improve the look of all the rooms. If you decide to paint the walls, the same rule applies. Don’t get too adventurous with colors now, a neutral look very close to white that compliments your trim and flooring will be just the right choice. Many times the trim can be left just the way it is and the wall painting alone will do the trick to make the room really pop. If you can use one color throughout the whole house we advise to do just that. The whiter the color, the brighter and bigger the room appears. Interior painting is probably the single best investment any seller can make. And we are not just advising that because we are Franklin Painting! Ask any real estate agent or home stager and they will likely say the same thing.
The exterior of your home may need painting too. Do it if you can manage but even if you can’t invest in completely repainting your exterior, be sure to fix the real eyesores like broken, missing or rotted trim or siding and any real ugly situations. Even if your home’s exterior needs work, if the interior hooks them they may just add fixing the exterior up to the “to do” list for after they buy the home. If the interior looks good you are well on your way to an acceptable offer. Nothing freshens up a room like a new coat of paint. The potential buyer will spend lots of time looking at the inside compared to scrutinizing the exterior.
It’s Time to Say Goodbye – It’s Just Got To Go.
Clear the way in every room. Take a look around and ask yourself what you intend to get rid of and then do it! Sell it, give it away or trash it – whatever it takes to make more space in every room. As long as the room functions well without that overstuffed recliner with only two rips in the seat, by all means enjoy your last night together and then move it out of the room to the curb. Someone else will likely pick it up and you will be rid of one more trap that can turn a buyer off on buying your home. Remove bulky furniture that is not really necessary and free up space now. Store the furniture if you plan on keeping it otherwise start having garage sales early and get rid of stuff you don’t want that is just cluttering up your home from the viewpoint of an objective visitor (the buyer). Visit a high end furniture rental company if need be to make sure that you can remove that ugly old sofa from view without leaving a hole in your room’s functionality. Many of them will rent on a very short time frame at reasonable prices.
Remove anything that is taking up visual space and thereby shrinking your room. No paperwork scattered on desks or countertops, no boxes stacked in a corner. All hallways and doorways need to have full access, nothing blocking the way – not even the dog’s bed or a hamper. This means that when you open the door to a room you can swing it all the way open without knocking anything over. Fix all minor dents, chips or nicks in everything including appliances, trim, counters, cabinets and walls.
Never if at all possible leave your home completely empty of furnishings. This is very disconcerting to buyers who have a hard time imagining what rooms would look like or be used for. If you have an empty room find a suitable use for it temporarily, an office – or den can fill any empty room fairly easily. Again, the home furnishings rental company will be worth the cost if you had to move out of your home and leave it vacant. Home stagers are really expert at making an empty house look great.
Let as much light into the home as possible during a showing. Open the blinds and the curtains so dark areas are lit using as much natural light as possible. If rooms are still dark the lights should be on when the buyer arrives and in rooms with inadequate lighting, additional lights that match the decor should be introduced. Having fresh flowers around the home is a great touch that adds a nice touch to any home. Think of it as a selling expense while you get to enjoy having them around as well.
Selling Means Not Smelling
If you are a smoker, stop smoking in the house before the fresh coat of paint. It will not eliminate the odor but it will help mask it. Better yet, quit smoking entirely while you are cleaning house! Non-smoking buyers (a large majority) will snub their noses up quicker than you can hide your butts if you smoke in the home. Many buyers will specify that they will not even tour a home with smokers in them.
While we are on the subject of odor, be sure to limit any odors that may offend anyone. That includes scented candles, sprays, excessive perfume use and even left over cooking odors. Pet smells are a big no-no when selling your home. You may need to clean the carpets and do your best at deodorizing to eliminate tell tale scents that can hurt your salability. Lysol is not a remedy. If persistent odor issues are a problem you will need to scrub and clean tough areas, get the air vents cleaned or even replace old stinky carpeting. Go ahead and get down on the floor and take a whiff. If your carpeting doesn’t pass the smell test either replace it or remove it. Many times if hardwood floors are under the carpet they can work better for first impressions than a worn carpet that the buyer will likely replace anyways. Remember if you are showing to a family with young ones they will be on the floor crawling around and mothers are very sensitive to dirty floors of any kind.
It’s Time to Get Started
Get a clipboard and take an inventory of the way your home looks before you start. Take special note of tasks that need to be done and write them down. Make believe you have never seen your home before. Try to be objective while you wander through your home. It is difficult but you need to see through the eyes of a potential buyer, not your own eyes. And be sure to look EVERYWHERE.
You are selling the entire house so you can expect buyers to open refrigerators, closets, pantries, cabinets and dishwashers. They will visit the basement, the attic and every room and space in between. You need to make sure your closets are organized, your refrigerator is presentable and your dishwasher is empty. The cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms need to be well organized and presentable. Subconscious impressions made by messy or unkempt areas can and will prove to influence buyer’s impressions. If you visited a car lot and all the cars were covered in road grime and mud and the interior had food containers and dirty laundry in the back seat would you buy a car from them? Oh yes, did we mention no dirty laundry hanging around in hampers or on the floors?
One last big selling point today is a home inspection done in advance by the seller. The buyer will likely do their own anyways and find any problems, so it is better to discover them first and fix what can be fixed within your budget to get your home ready for market.
Franklin Painting Can Help
If you really want the edge over other homes on the market consider a professional home stager or take these tips and start the work yourself. Remember Franklin Painting of course when it comes time to do the painting if you would! Other great impression makers can be handled by our crews too. We can pressure wash the deck to bring back the original look. We can wash the roof especially after the winter has added lots of small debris, leaves and dirt on your shingles. We are equipped to clean the exterior siding as well. Don’t forget moldy, dark concrete walkways can also be brightened up with our power washer.
Franklin Painting LLC – Call us Toll Free at 877-646-7774
or at our main office number 860-678-7701
2 Eastview Drive, Farmington, CT 06032
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