Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tried & True Rules to Stage By

HGTV  -  Written by Matthew Finlason 

1. Grab them from the curb.
You've seen them. Buyers hunkered low in their cars in front of your house, doing drive-bys before deciding whether to request a showing or attend an open house. Make these potential buyers fall in love with your home from the street by adding potted plants and flowers, power-washing patios and walkways, weeding the garden and mowing the lawn. It's your first chance to make a good impression, so you've got to make it count.
2. Make it sparkle.
Pretend that your mother or mother-in-law is coming for a visit. Think hotel clean. Mop, dust, vacuum, wash windows, baseboards — even the cat. Remember that people will look in your cupboards, under your sinks and in your closets. Also, pay particular attention to odors. You might even consider consulting a neutral nose by having a friend come by for a smell test.
3. Pay attention to color and light.
You may love hot pink in the living room, but too-bright colors turn buyers off. Neutralize strong colors for the broadest appeal. A neutral home appears larger and has less chance of offending someone. Also, open up blinds and draperies to make sure there's sufficient natural light throughout the home. Remember, lighting is the most effective way to set a mood.
4. Depersonalize.
Few things deter buyers more than a cluttered home. They need to see your home, not your stuff. Excessive personal items like photos, collections, personal awards, electronics and collectibles will make it difficult for buyers to see past your personal style and may deter a sale. Taking yourself out of the picture makes it easier for buyers to imagine themselves, and their stuff, in your space.
5. Consider replacing furnishings.
Think about removing or replacing worn or outdated furnishings and get rid of extra pieces. The time has come to move beyond matching furniture, so break up your sets; dated can easily become eclectic with editing and rearranging. Consider consulting with a professional staging company for design direction and advice on rental furnishings to create an inviting home with broad appeal to a wide range of buyers.
6. Invest in new artwork.
Displaying new artwork is a great way to breathe new life into a room. Photography can be used to contemporize a room and add a splash of color as well.
7. Make repairs.
Make your home a high-maintenance zone. Repair squeaky doors, chipped or smudged paint as well as broken fixtures and fittings that you've neglected.
8. Apply a fresh coat of paint.
It's the best bang for your buck that will quickly refresh a dull, dated room. Slap a fresh, neutral color on the space. Choose a beige or taupe for living spaces and a neutral green or blue for bathrooms.
9. Don't forget the floors.
Get rid of worn carpets, and consider refinishing shabby hardwood floors. An inexpensive new area rug is a quick fix and can disguise the look of old floors.
10. Spring for new light fixtures.
Renew the look of the room by replacing old or dated light fixtures, door hardware, light switches and outlets. If it's tacky and older than you, get it out of there.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Holiday Real Estate Marketing

Around holiday time, people’s minds are family, time off, gifts, and baking. But, are their minds on buying and selling real estate ? And, should you keep your house on the market, or buy a house in real estate, throughout the holiday seasons?  While the answer varies for different sellers depending upon their needs, the basic response is the same:

If your house isn’t on the market, it definitely will not sell.

The holiday real estate market is a sketchy one and doing business at this time of year needs to be thought out thoroughly. Questions will arise, such as “should we keep our house on the market or wait and relist after the New Year?” or “Can we put up our Christmas tree while our house is on the market?” Is the holiday real estate market worthwhile?

Believe it or not, this can be a great time to sell a home, especially this year (2010-11) as consumers look to take advantage of current low interest rates. In general, buyers tend to be more serious and have extra time together to look at houses at this time of year.

By leaving your house on the market through the holidays, you are likely to attract a more motivated buyer. Look at it this way: If people are out house hunting on a Saturday in December when they could be holiday shopping or sipping eggnog by the fire, it’s most likely because they are serious about buying a house. During this time, you can rest assured that you aren’t going to be showcasing your home for the tire-kickers and leisurely lookers that tend to come out in the spring.

Add that to the fact that if everyone else takes their home off the market, inventory will be reduced and you have a greater chance of finding the buyer who will purchase your home.

If you do choose to keep your house on the holiday real estate market, you might be wondering how much decorating is acceptable. Sellers with their homes on the market during the holiday season shouldn’t feel the need to give up their holiday traditions. In fact, sellers should not forgo decorating their homes for the holiday. People expect at least some decorations. Plus, they add warmth to a home.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

What's Hot (& What's NOT) in Preparing a Home to Sell

 Cynthia Black, HomeStaging by Cynthia, Inc. in KCMO
 "Over 4,500 Homes Staged...since 1999!"
To help a home appeal to as many buyers as possible, keep the following tips in mind when preparing a home for the market:
HOT: Wall paint in muted and soft colors.
          NOT: Bold faux finishes and dated wallpaper.
HOT: A few personal photos in matching frames in built-in bookshelves.
          NOT: Gallery walls...with many nail holes.
HOT: Fresh carpet.
          NOT: Taking a wait-until-after-we-move-out approach.
HOT: Neutral, clean smell throughout the house.
          NOT: Making buyers ask, "What are they trying to cover up with all of the Plug-Ins?"
HOT: A dining room with table and chairs.
          NOT: A dining room being used as an office or toy room.
HOT: Storage space in the lower level.
          NOT: Overflowing bedroom closets.
HOT: College alumni decals on a vehicle.
          NOT: Revealing college affiliations at the front door and throughout the home.
HOT: Family pets that bring us joy.
          NOT: Pet beds and litter boxes in bedrooms. 
HOT: A checkmark by every item on the "honey-do" list.
          NOT: Visible wear and tear when competing with newer listings.
HOT: An exercise area in the lower level.
          NOT: Exercise equipment in the master bedroom or main-floor living spaces.
HOT: Buyers exclaiming how everything is clean and pretty.
          NOT: Buyers muttering, "Didn't they know we were coming?" 
HOT: A properly Staged home that supports the home's price by looking expensive and beautiful.
          NOT: Leaving behind furniture not good enough for the new home, complete with dusty and dated accessories.
Because I arrive to start physically moving things around, listings can go from "blah" to "beautiful" often within just two hours!  Let me know how I can make your life easier, working with what a seller already owns!
Cynthia Black (aka “The House Whisperer”)
HomeStaging by Cynthia, Inc.