Designer extraordinaire, and guest author Daniela Garritano returns and this time she is writing about Selling Your House For More. If you would like to secure her services, don’t be afraid to email her by clicking here. Take it away D…
In my line of work, you never know what you’re going to find when you walk into someone’s home. I always admire my client’s for making a valiant effort to really improve the atmosphere in which they live. I know making a change can be hard. Much harder for some. But if you’ve made the fearless decision to sell your home, you can either call in a pro (ahem…) or read on for some proven tricks of the trade that can lessen the fear factor and even help you embrace the change for the better.
Truth is, buyers notice everything. And if you put a little pride into your property, it is sure to shine through. A properly staged home not only stands out amongst the competition and entices buyers, but it helps prove the worth of your asking price. Or even increase it. These small changes will not only be a personal victory, but can be a financially rewarding one as well.
1) Clean up your act!
Even the most beautiful house on the block will linger on the market if it’s dirty. Dirt isn’t exactly the best selling feature. That means no toothpaste in the sink, no bits on the floor that stick to your socks, no laundry exposed, and no clutter or dirty hockey equipment at the front door. When potential buyers see a clean home, it shows them that you have not only taken pride in your home’s appearance, but have also honored it as a valuable asset.
Daniela’s Pick: Have little ones? Consider purchasing a few inexpensive ottomans that look like furniture, but actually double up as secret storage for toys and other clutter. Try the faux leather ottoman in brown, $39.99 available at Bou Clair Home.
D’s Tip: Give each mirror in the house a quick wipe. The extra gleam will make the house seem brighter and even more immaculate!
2) Paint it out!
Buyers typically look for a home that is move-in ready. As much as you may love your tang colored walls, some buyers may not feel the same and really don’t want the extra burden of having to re-paint after a big move. Remember – for some buyers, more work for them translates to their expectation of a lower price because of the ‘extra work’ involved.
Neutralizing your décor palette can increase your asking price because it gives your home mass appeal. More traffic means more interest, more offers and potentially more money! Case in point: after 3 months of zero interest and grape-colored walls, I convinced a client to make the change and paint out the grape ASAP. Within a week, a bidding war ensued where he managed to get $30,000 more than what he paid for it – 5 months prior. Jackpot!
Daniela’s Pick: Ralph Lauren Exceptional Quality Paint, $39.99 per gallon, available at the Home Depot. Try “Countess” or “Antique Brown” for a more buyer friendly color!
D’s Tip: While you’re up there, try re-positioning your wall art in a more uniform and symmetrical pattern for a clean, tailored look.
3) Home Sweet Home
If you were to think of what helps you feel most comfortable at home, the smell of a home cooked meal and a full belly is likely on that list. A simple and effective trick I like to use when getting a home ready to sell, is the “home sweet home” factor. A plate of brownies displayed on the kitchen counter or the smell of fresh baked cookies always seem to comfort buyers enough to feel as though they’re already home – which is the comfort they want to feel from the time they walk in.
Daniela’s Pick: In addition to displaying a plate of treats, light a scented candle as well. Try Scented Jar Candle in ‘Baked Cookies’. Available at Michael’s Craft Superstore. $9.99. Yum!
D’s Tip: Create a welcoming atmosphere conducive to the time of year you’re selling, which can allure buyers into coming back for multiple showings. Selling in the winter months? Light a cozy fire or candles! Or, open the windows for a soft, subtle summer breeze if you’re selling during the warmer climates. Sigh!
4) Get De-Personal
Most realtors would agree that once the selling sign is pitched on the front lawn, you can no longer view the home as your own. It has to become a show home. The reason Designers do what they do is because their clients are not visual. Some find it extremely difficult to see the potential in a space unless it is all placed out in front of them. Buyers need an emotional connection to the home. They want to envision themselves living there and not another family.
D’s Tip: It’s always a good idea to de-personalize the space. That means more emphasis on the structure, design and finishes of the home, and less on the mounds of family photos, trophys, plaques and any other personalized pieces scattered throughout the home. Pack ‘em up!
5) Musical Chairs
Once you have de-cluttered and de-personalized your home, bring out your inner Home Stager by coming up with a new floor plan that may just be the help your home needs. It’s common to plunk down furniture wherever there is space and it can end up living in that spot for as long as you have the home (A good test? Move your sofa and look at the difference in flooring color underneath compared to the exposed flooring.) By changing the floor plan, your space can become more functional, appealing and even more spacious making the home appear much bigger. Increased space can mean increased price!
D’s Tip: Before lugging furniture around to find its niche, take measurements of the room and your furniture . Sketch a few different layouts and go from there.
Next time from Daniela: Baby, it’s getting cold outside! How to keep warm at home for less!