Welcome guest blogger Karla M. Davis of Classy and Fabulous. Karla is a Home Staging Specialist & Interior Designer in the central Florida area who has owned Florida Home Staging & Redesign for the past 5 years. She was a featured speaker alongside HGTV stars at the Orlando Home Show. She and her work have been featured on numerous radio shows and her articles have been published nationally in newspapers and on the web.
Staging Tips to Get Your Home Sold By: Karla M. Davis
Today is my very first time writing as a guest blogger. I feel so honored that Karen asked me to contribute to her blog as it’s one of my daily blog reads that I’ve been following for a long time. I love the concept of ‘Strictly Simple Style’ as I’m a big believer in affordable, stylish design for all. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Karen over the past year through her thought-provoking and humorous posts and learning some fun and creative tips along the way too! Thank you Karen for having me. :) As a Home Staging Specialist, the #1 question that home owners ask me about most is what to spend their money on when fixing up their ho me so they can sell it quickly and for top dollar. While there are literally hundreds of tips I could provide, here are some sure-fire tips to not only get more interest in your home but ultimately get the highest price in the shortest period of time without investing a lot of money.
5 Key Areas of Focus When Selling your Home:
1. Curb Appeal- If a potential buyer is scared off by the exterior of your home, you’ll never get them inside.
• Mow the lawn, keep it well watered, nicely mulched and remove dead branches.
• Re-paint any scuffed, chipped, peeling or faded areas on your home’s exterior.
• Have siding or brick pressure washed if it’s dirty or has visible mildew.
• Add a fresh, neutral colored welcome in front of the door.
• Plant cheery flowers or topiary trees in m atching urns or pots on either side of the door.
• Make sure the mailbox and house numbers are clean and not crooked and that the house numbers are visible from the street.
• If you have outdated or peeling door hardware, replace it with a fresh new set.
2. De-clutter-The old adage of 'less is more' is true in staging also. The quickest way to make your home feel smaller is to fill it with clutter and oversized furniture pieces. Staging is all about selling a lifestyle and you'll want the buyer to believe they'll live that same organized, clean and stress-free lifestyle.
Karla de-personalized this bedroom to create an environment that would appeal to an array of potential buyers.
• Pack up knick knacks, pots and pans as well as excess books
• Clear everything off of the kitchen counters leaving only 3 item, small appliances should be stored under the counter.
• In order to make your home appear larger and provide better traffic flow, pack up items that are not used regularly and put them in the attic or in a storage facility but not the garage or closets as buyers will look there and will believe your home isn't large enough for their belongings.
• Scale back and organize all clothing closets and other cabinets and drawers so they appear orderly.
• Use decorative storage baskets or lidded boxes to tame items that you use frequently like remotes, magazines, and even mail or other paperwork. It’s all about the buyer envisioning themselves living in your home but they can’t do that if your home is filled with personal items. You don’t want to be remembered as the house with all of the Elvis memorabilia but as the one that was charming and cozy.
• Take down family photos, collections, sports team paraphernalia, religious or political items and monogrammed items and pack them up for the move.
• Remove old antique items and craft projects which are too taste specific.
• Remove pet items and your pets (if possible) while your home is shown. Not everyone will love the idea of Fido, some have allergies and it could create a negative connection if the buyer fears the home is unclean or bad for their health. Remember, the idea is to make the home marketable to as many people as possible. It’s worth the time of packing up a few items to sell your home! Kitchens are the heart of every home and they are a huge selling feature but sometimes they can be a home’s downfall. If you were considering doing some renovations, I would recommend starting with the kitchen first, followed closely by the bathrooms (provided that there are no structural issues or major repairs, otherwise begin with those).
• Replace outdated drawer and cabinet hardware
• Update older faucets and damaged sinks
• If you have fluorescent lighting swap it out for recessed lighting or an updated fixture.
• Replace dated, damaged or ugly countertops and update or paint cabinets. If you don’t like your kitchen, chances are nobody else will either. I once arrived at a home that was already on the market and the owners wondered why their home wasn’t selling. Their doorbell was missing, wires were hanging out of the wall, an old tattered mat sat outside their front door and their grass was brown, their hedges looked unruly, toys were also strewn across the lawn. Small repairs really turn a buyer off because of the time and money involved but most times they are quick and inexpensive fixes.
• Repair anything that is: outdated, broken, faded, cracked, peeling, chipped or missing. These are typically: outlet covers, wall holes, floor tiles, ripped screens, missing or damaged roof shingles, door knobs, sliding glass doors or closet doors that no longer slide smoothly on their track, windows, blinds, faucets and lighting.
• Replace burned out light bulbs
• Baseboards take a beating, be sure to wipe them down and repaint a fresh coat of white as well as trim.
• Repaint any rooms that are not currently a neutral tone. Your whole home doesn’t need to be beige but red, bright colors like yellow, dark colors like navy all need to be lightened up for the sale.
Tips for Showings:Before a showing, spend 5 minutes opening all blinds and drapery to let light in and lamps used in darker rooms, especially at night including porch lights. Alternatively, put lights on a timer while you’re away Don’t rely on your Realtor. If they are walking in with buyers and did not arrive beforehand, they will be doing all of this as they arrive. Also, make sure your home is not only clean but Q-tip clean. It should be immaculate when shown so if you don’t have the time, a good investment would be to hire a reasonably priced house cleaner. The first impression counts and nobody wants to look at someone else’s dirt. When your home is ready, snap some photos or have your realtor take some for the MLS listing. You may want to invest in hiring an inexpensive photographer or family friend who is savvy to take quality photos of your home. Today, 85% of buyers look at online listings before ever requesting to see the home in person. Quality photos and a properly staged home will get buyers into your home and ultimately get your home sold. When in doubt, bring in a friend or neighbor for an objective eye if your budget is tight. Go pro if you can, even a 1-hr consultation with a local Home Stager can help immensely in getting you off to the right start so you don’t spend your hard-earned money unwisely.
Great tips Karla! If you are in the market to get your home sold or just want to spruce up your home, Karla offers e-design services at very affordable rates.