Sellers are always looking for tips to add value when selling their home. Here are a few simple tips to help you accomplish your objective.
Before we get started, try to separate yourself from the emotion of the situation.
I know, I know, your children grew up in the house. It’s where your children took their first steps and where all your memories are. On top of that, you probably cut the kitchen countertop from a solid piece of stone with a hammer and chisel all by yourself. As a realtor, I would tell the Seller I love their story…and I appreciate all your hard work, but the buyer doesn’t care, and the market doesn’t allow your home to be priced any higher because of your efforts, memories or other emotional attachments.
Great! Now that you have separated yourself from the emotional aspect of selling your home you are ready to go forward, thinking objectively, and earnestly trying to find what the market wants. You are now in the frame of mind to discover what the highest and best use of your home would be. This means you are now able to recognize that although you have a wonderful quilting room, the potential buyer may not be a quilter and may need this space for something else.
Now it’s time to get to work.
First, sit down and create a plan. What style are you trying to achieve? What types of homes are selling near you? I like to focus on new homes or newly remodeled homes to see what style is in trend. Remember, you are trying to discover the highest and best use of the space. Popular design magazines can be a valuable resource and are available at the entrance of both Lowes and Home Depot.
Second, decide which steps can be done within a reasonable time frame and budget. This may include carpet and paint, maybe more…maybe less. At a minimum, do what you can to replace non-functional, worn out, or eye sore items in your home. This includes holes in the wall, dirty walls, dirty windows, ripped window screens, etc. Ask your agent to help point out these eye sores. Chances are you have lived with the ripped window screen for so long you just don’t even notice it anymore, but a potential buyer will.
During this step it is possible to want to do too much. Remember, you are looking for low cost improvements that will have the greatest impact.
Next, it’s time to remove the clutter. Remember, less is more! Kitchen and bathroom countertops should be clear. One possible exception to clear countertops might be a bowl of lemons or a flower arrangement. Sorry ladies… a KitchenAid mixer is not a piece of furniture, don’t leave it on the countertop.
Now that you have a home that is clean, has the look you are trying to achieve, and is free of clutter, you are ready to stage the space. Staging helps others envision the home’s possibilities, and create the desired mood (feng shui). When a potential buyer enters your home he/she can envision the highest and best use of the space…for them…not you. When staging, don’t forget step 3 (less is more), and use the design magazines used to create a plan to help shop for the items that will color coordinate and complete the look you are trying to achieve. No need to break the bank here, a few well placed accent items and maybe floor rug is usually enough.
It’s worth mentioning that you get to keep the staging items when you sell, so even if you spend a little here you’ll get to enjoy the new look in your new home.
Finally, price the home correctly. Don’t ruin all your time, effort, and expense by turning around and asking too much. Over-priced homes do not sell. Your realtor should be able to give you some valuable advice here. Listen to your realtor! If you’re not comfortable with the recommendation get a second, and maybe third, opinion from different realtors. By the way, under-pricing is not always such a bad idea. Under-pricing can generate a lot of excitement, get offers quickly, and occasionally end in a bidding war where the price goes up.
Following these simple steps will help add value, enabling you to sale your home quickly for top-dollar.