February is the month of LOVE…so, if you’ve loved your house in the past, but are ready to leave it, this blog post is for you! A big part of the selling process is to get top-dollar for you when you sell your house. I consider that a big part of my job, which is why I feel so strongly about professional staging and photography. But the other part of the equation is what a home seller can do – prior to putting a house on the market – to also help ensure they get the most money out of their home sale.
When I go on a listing appointment, I walk around the house and take notes. I ask the potential sellers what made them buy this house…what features did they love about it when they purchased the home? I find out what upgrades and updates they’ve done, both visible (like granite countertops, wood flooring, etc.) and behind the walls (new AC unit, new water heater). An important part of this walk-thru is identifying what things the potential seller should do to get ready to sell. This is not the time for big renovations! It’s the time to freshen things up a bit. Here are the top five ways I advise sellers that they can quickly and inexpensively get a home ready to sell for the most money (in the least amount of time), because that’s the goal!
- #1 CLEAN UP – De-clutter by doing it yourself, or hire a realtor (like me!) who provides this as a service to you! Buyers want to see the house, not the stuff inside it.
- #2 KITCHEN DUTY – The kitchen is the heart of the home, and it alone can sell a house! Consider painting, upgrading cabinet pulls, updating to stainless steel appliances.
- #3 BATHROOM BEAUTY – Master baths are especially important, so anything you can do to make it spa-like, such as painting, updating lighting, even fresh towels, can make a big difference with little time and money!
- #4 MAKE-UP FOR WALLS – The scuff marks and evidence of years of living in a home, especially with dogs and kids, can vanish with a fresh coat of paint to walls – grays and beige are best. And don’t forget those baseboards – make them stark white for a great finishing touch!
- #5 DRESS IT UP – Add some curb appeal with masses of flowers, trimmed up landscaping, and a painted door. Make buyers excited when they drive up to your house, so they can’t wait to see what’s inside!
I tell sellers that the most important thing – which is very appropriate for February, the month of Valentines Day – is that a home should feel loved and cherished, and like the sellers take great care of it. These things make it easier for a buyer to fall in love with it too. Want to know more? I’m always here for you, just get in touch!
I know from my own experience in real estate that hiring a professional stager to stage the house is key to a successful (and less painful) home selling process. In fact, it’s part of what I call my Show & Tell Strategy – the “Show” part being to set up a home to show well through professional staging, the “Tell” part being to tell the home’s story through professional photography. So, I was excited to read this new article, Can Home Staging Really Win Over Buyers?, that
now provides legitimate research that supports my strong feelings that staged homes sell faster and at higher prices than their unstaged (and frankly, sad) competition! One of the strongest statements in the article is that 81% of real estate agents who represent buyers say that their buyers can more easily visualize the home as their own…this is so important to getting a buyer to fall in love with a home. And I don’t care how cute your home is – every home benefits from staging it to sell! Why is that? Because a house may be decorated beautifully, but staging is NOT decorating. A decorated home in my opinion is very personalized – there are family photographs, unique treasures, big comfy beds, etc. A staged home is very de-personalized and items are placed in ways that allow a buyer to see the home in it’s best possible light…and to seem as large as possible, because size does matter to buyers! My advice for home sellers everywhere – get a professional realtor who provides staging services to you. My advice for home sellers in DFW – contact me (Heather Kinder Sims) and let me show you how my Show & Tell Strategy can make you a believer in the home staging process too!
The short answer is “Yes!” But I’m a realtor and of course I’m going to say that, right? Well, I’ll be honest and tell you that I think there are times of the year that are better than others to sell a home, and there are pros and cons to them all. It’s a fact though that homes sold in November and December sell faster and sell closer to their asking price, according to a National Association of Realtors (NAR) study (go to link). This is not conventional wisdom – everyone says that the summer months are the best time to buy and sell! Think about it for a minute though…if you’ve just run a marathon and there are only two companies selling bottled water at the end of the run, aren’t those two companies going to be able to sell the bottled water at a higher price than if there are ten companies selling bottled water? It’s supply and demand. As a runner, you need that water and you’re going to pay for it, and you’re probably not going to haggle over the price, at least not much – you not only need it, you need it quickly! As a bottled water company at that race, you’re in a pretty good position.
During the holidays, sellers are in a good position too. One, there are not as many homes for buyers to view and choose from, so there’s less competition. Two, the buyers that are looking during this time of year are serious buyers – they are out looking because they have a serious need to buy a new home, either a relocation for work, a lease ending, their home has sold, or something similar. Three, the buyers that are looking very likely want to be in their new home by Christmas and/or the beginning of the year, which means they want a new home quickly. (Check out this video for more information!)
All of these are pros for sellers! Now, sellers still can’t get crazy and list their home during the holidays for $30,000 more than market price and think it’s going to sell due to these factors…price and condition of the houses listed are still important…we can’t ever forget those cornerstones of selling. The bottom like is, if you’re thinking of selling, don’t listen to conventional wisdom and try to sell during the late Spring and Summer months like most people do! Get your home on the market in November or December – if it’s priced well and looks good to buyers, it will sell it quickly for the price you set. Want to know more? I’m always here to help!
You probably have heard of home staging if you want HGTV or TLC or those kinds of channels, but what is home staging and what is the process? Home staging is the process of using a professional stager to situate the items and areas in your house so that it will appeal more to buyers by telling them a story…watch to see why!