LILLIAN MONTALTO – Selling your home can be daunting.
Once you decide to sell, you must be as prepared as possible for the moment your home hits the market.
Just as you’ll need to prepare yourself financially and emotionally for the sale, you’ll want to prepare your home’s appearance.
That’s where superior staging comes in.
A home that is well-staged for tours has an advantage over one that isn’t properly prepped to appeal to potential buyers.
Along with a faster sale and a higher selling price, you get a bonus from staging when it’s time to pack up and move out.
Here’s what to consider.
De-clutter – A home without clutter is much more appealing to potential buyers than a home filled with the current owner’s bric-a-brac and knack knacks. Consider renting a storage unit to house all of the accumulated treasures in your attic, closets, garage, and basement.
If you are storing something that hasn’t been used for six months are more, chances are you’ll never use them. Donate old clothing and housewares to a charitable organization Weather permitting, host a yard sale or sell items on Craigslist or eBay. Amazon will also allow you to sell items it has in its inventory.
Downsize – Does your home look like a furniture store? How many end tables do really need. Over-furnished rooms appear smaller. Sparsely furnished rooms look larger and give potential buyers room to visualize, to dream. Store extra furniture you may want to hang on to for your new home. Unload the rest.
Repair – Touch-up paint, or re-paint with soft, neutral colors that will appeal to a buyer’s vision of a space as his or her own. Fix leaky faucets, replace non-functioning light bulbs, and tighten any loose pulls on cabinets, drawers and window coverings, or replace them. Oil squeaky hinges, replace dilapidated fixtures, and make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are equipped with fresh batteries and fully functional.
Clean – Spiff up your home like never before. If you don’t dig drudgery, hire a professional who does windows – inside and out. Vacuum and/or steam clean carpets, clean and polish flooring. Bathrooms and kitchens are often a major focus or a potential buyer. Keep these areas sparkling in the event of last-minute tours. Empty wastebaskets daily and keep trash and recycling out of sight.
De-personalize – Family photographs, political art, religious items made your home yours, but now you want to appeal to the dreams of others. Help potential buyers visualize how your space will become his or hers. Stow personal items while your home is on the market. Also stash personal toiletries and medicines. Send pets to a friend’s or neighbor’s house or board them during tours. Make sure you’ve also removed any lingering pet odors.
Style – A little gracious form goes a long with with a home’s function. Lighting levels should be bright and hospitable.
Eliminate strong or unpleasant cooking smells. Add the aroma of freshly baked cookies or bread to evoke a “homey” feel.
Healthy live house plants, fresh cut flowers and bowls of fresh ripe fruit can be attractive, but they they must look their best. Remove wilting plants and produce that’s attracting fruit flies.
Fluffy towels add warmth to bathrooms. Add clean, non-fussy bedding in the master suite and bedrooms.
Finally, a professional home stager can advise you how to make your home look the best it can look, but you can do-it-yourself. The internet is awash with staging tips.
Also remember, preparing your home for sale can be a challenge, but it will ease moving to your new home by providing an opportunity to examine your possessions, eliminate items you don’t need and streamline your life.
Lillian Montalto, broker/owner of Lillian Montalto Signature Properties in Andover, MA, has more than 30 years of experience. Since 2000, Realtor Magazine has consistently ranked Montalto in the Top 5 of 1,000,000 Realtors for sales volume. She’s the only Realtor in Massachusetts to consistently achieve this position.
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