Setting the Stage for Selling your Home or Jan's Gems!

Okay, so you decided to sell your home because your home doesn't meet your lifestyle today. Great, now--- roll up your sleeves. Truly, more than ever, the market is a "price war" and a "beauty contest". This has always been the case, but when the "going gets tough" the sellers with the desire to maximize either their price or timing on the market will do some sprucing.

There are some Staging Professionals I can refer you to, but before you invite them over, can I give you some things to do before the professionals come in?
  • 1. Clean up. It's time for the deep cleaning or replacing. If the carpet is worn, replace it unless you have hardwood under the carpet. Scrub the floors, wipe around the windows, and door frames. Wash the light fixtures~ even the light bulbs. Wash the siding and clean the outside of the windows. You'll want to fill any cracks or holes in the walls or on the outside (tuck pointing brick , if necessary). An old Realtor friend told me once that she invested in a glass cleaner company since she recommended the product so much. 
  •  2. Declutter and rearrange Simplify the furnishings in your home. Buyers have no imagination and can only see what you don't have covered. Remove that spare chair or table if you don't use it and re-arrange the sofa and chair to give the most about of floor space to see. Pack up your knickknacks and other non-vital decoration. Open up those shelves that are storing your books. A decorator friend told me that a book shelf should be 50% books on any one shelf so there is a place for a knickknack or to see the back of the unit. Another decorator said if you have one "highlighting" color, consider painting the back of the shelves a slightly lighter shade of the same color. According to her, it ties the room together and opens the bookcase. 
  •  3.Don't forget about the closets and pantry. Highlight the storage space, don't clog it up. Consider closet organizers if you need more space than one bar. Buyers are not being "nosey", they want to see the storage possibilities for their personal possessions. 
  • 4.Neutralize The walls and floor coverings don't need to represent your personal style anymore. To appeal to the highest number of buyers consider having one "highlight" wall and the rest neutral. 
  •  5. Focus on the curb appeal. Make is a wow! Make sure the grass is cut, flower beds are tidy! Oh, not the season? Shovel the walkway and the driveway to your home. Make it easy for the cooperating broker to access your property. Sounds silly doesn't it? Last winter, my buyers and I decided to "pass" up the houses that I couldn't find the driveway because of all the snow. Look up at your house, and check out the gutters to see that they are clean of debris, and look at your chimney and see if it needs repair. 
  • 6. Appeal to all the senses. Let the natural light in during the day, and in the evening turn on a light in each room. Consider using a vanilla, apple or those natural linen smelling candles or better yet, pop in some vanilla or chocolate slice and bake cooking into the oven. Music~ make it light and relaxing elevator music. Consider reading to the children rather than the children occupied with "Cowboys and Indians" in the basement.

These simple fixes will add up to a home-buying experience from a buyer, not just a "look around".