The DiRoberto Team's Blog
Although all home buyers have different tastes, expectations, and preferences, there are several things you as a home seller can do to make your home more appealing.
Three priorities worth keeping in mind are spaciousness (or, at least, the appearance of it), brightness, and cleanliness.
Whether your home is a compact cottage or a large colonial, a feeling of spaciousness will enhance its visual and psychological appeal.
Sometimes getting a second opinion can make all the difference in identifying ways to improve the look and feel of your home. As an example: If you're unsure whether a bulky piece of furniture, a huge plant, or a rarely used side table is detracting from that desired look of spaciousness, your real estate agent or an interior decorator can provide you with helpful feedback.
One common room decorating mistake that many people make is to choose a coffee table that's either too big or too small for the furniture or available space. It may seem like a small detail, but it's one of many elements that can throw off the balance and flow of a living room.
Another staging tip for home sellers is to have groups of chairs and couches face each other to create "conversation areas." That effect often helps to add warmth to a living room or family room, and makes it easier for potential buyers to imagine living there and enjoying the space with friends and family.
Lots of illumination, whether it's natural light or artificial light, can make your home appear more cheerful and inviting. It also reduces shadows and dark corners, which can detract from the beauty of your living space. While there is the possibility that some of your lights may be too harsh or glaring, dimmer switches can often be a quick and easy solution to that problem.
Keeping your home impeccably clean every day is one of the biggest challenges of putting your house on the market and making it available to agents for client showings. Since first impressions are one of the most important aspects of attracting a serious buyer, cleanliness should be among your main priorities. The good news is that keeping your home clean will become easier when you get into a routine. As you scramble to make sure your home is ready and presentable for the next showing, you'll find yourself becoming more and more adept at streamlining the process.
One strategy for increasing efficiency might be to get your family in the habit of cleaning up after themselves on a consistent basis. It may require a little gentle nagging now and then, but if it helps get your house sold faster, it'll be worth it! Create a cleaning checklist you can refer to when you're getting ready for a house showing to improve your efficiency. Evenly divide the work among family members, and make sure nothing important is overlooked along the way.
When you stop and think about all the preparations involved in putting your house on the market and avoiding mistakes, it can feel overwhelming! The good news is that you don't have to go it alone.
An experienced real estate agent can provide you with invaluable guidance on everything from effectively staging your home to complying with seller disclosure requirements.
One aspect of selling your house in the shortest amount of time (and for the highest price) is doing everything you can to make a great first impression on prospective buyers. You've probably heard the old expression "Presentation is everything." While that might be a slight overstatement when it comes to selling your house, it is a concept that is well worth keeping in mind. The overall impression prospective buyers take away with them after they've viewed your property will have a powerful impact on whether they decide to include it on their "short list."
Let There Be Light!
Sometimes the simplest changes can produce the biggest results. One example is lighting. If a room is inadequately lit, then you're not going to be showing it to its best advantage. Spaces that are too dimly lit can come across as dreary, shadowy, and uninviting. If you have bedrooms or other living spaces that don't have a ceiling light, for example, it might be worth the expense of having an electrician come in and correct that. Otherwise, homebuyers may find it frustrating and off-putting when they flip a wall switch, and it only turns on a ceiling fan, a floor lamp, or nothing!
Dimmer switches are often an easy and inexpensive solution for rooms that seem either too bright or too dark. Prospective buyers like the feeling that they can adjust the lighting in any room to match their immediate needs and mood.
Letting in as much natural light from the outside is another way to create a bright, cheerful ambiance in your home. Using decorative curtain ties to pull back curtains as far as possible can add a nice finishing touch while allowing as much outside light to shine in as possible.
If you happen to notice that your curtains are wrinkled, faded, tattered, heavy looking, or noticeably dated, you might want to consider replacing them with newer, more cheerful versions. The appearance and age of your curtains can have a lasting effect on the impression house hunters get from your home.
While we're on the topic of windows, keeping them impeccably clean is a goal worth prioritizing. That can be a difficult thing to keep up with if you have young children and pets who are always leaving smudges on glass and mirrors, but the cleanliness of windows is a small but important detail that will be noticed by potential buyers.
Although there are dozens of things to keep in mind when trying to make a great impression on home buyers, your real estate agent will help you identify cost-effective strategies for putting your best foot forward.
Whether you're staging your home to sell it faster or preparing for a big family gathering, there are a lot of easy, inexpensive things you can do to accentuate the positive and downplay the negative.
While one or two small touches may not guarantee making a great impression, a handful of upgrades and improvements should tip the scales in your direction. Here are a few ideas and possibilities:
- Clean carpets: If you have pets, children, or teenagers in the house, there's a good chance your carpets have some ugly stains on them. Fortunately, there are relatively easy solutions ranging from hiring a professional carpet cleaning service to renting a steam cleaner machine from your local hardware store or supermarket. In some cases, you may need to pretreat the stains with a cleaning spray. Keep in mind, however, that pre-treating carpet stains can be risky. First of all, there's the potential for certain cleaning solutions to permanently fade the color of your carpet. Secondly, some cleaning chemicals are toxic, so it's important to read the label and use them with caution. Fortunately, more and more professional carpet cleaning services are using non-toxic, "green" cleaning products, so look for companies that are environmentally friendly in their practices. Depending on the extent of your carpet stains, a good vacuuming and thorough steam cleaning, alone, might produce the desired results.
- Upgrade door knobs: You probably never paid attention to the quality of your door hardware, but it's not uncommon for homeowners to have very plain-looking doorknobs throughout their house. Visitors will probably notice them, at least on a subtle level, if the knobs are either exceptionally cheap or -- on the other hand -- very stylish and distinctive. Granted, replacing a bunch of ordinary doorknobs with $40 antique-style or crystal glass hardware could get rather pricey! A more economical alternative would be to get moderately priced doorknobs that would achieve the desired result without costing hundreds of dollars. If you're going to continue living in your home and are looking for ways to add extra style and quality to your decor, then doing an extensive doorknob upgrade is an option to consider. On the other hand, if you're staging your home for sale, then a more conservative approach might be appropriate.
- Replace light switch covers and outlet plates: Many homes seem to have run-of-the mill, plastic light switch covers, which serve the purpose, but don't enhance the decor at all. While it may be another subtle aspect of your overall decorating scheme, it's one of the many features people may notice. Metallic or artistic-looking switch covers make a much more positive statement about your attention to detail and quality.
- Remove smudges from windows and mirrors: Crystal clear windows and mirrors help bring out the best in your home. It's one of those small touches that can make a big difference in the impression you make on family, friends, and -- if your house is on the market -- potential buyers.