Last week I talked about how hot our spring market has been. To take advantage of this market, sellers must do their part in getting a home sold. While we are in a hot market, gone are the days when you can get away with sticking a for sale sign in the yard, a lock box on the house and watching the offers roll in. Too much HGTV! Buyers expect every home to look like it could be in a magazine and sellers who take the time to meet these expectations fare exceptionally well. Last week I talked about the exterior of the home, which is critical if a buyer is even going to consider the home. Once in the door though, the interior must present equally as well.
Getting the interior of your home ready for a buyer can be a real challenge for a seller who has lived in and loved their home for years. I was once criticized for wanting my listings to be “perfect,” but let me ask you – if you could spend $5,000 and make $25,000 more on your home sale, was that a worthwhile use of your time and resources? Of course, home sellers never know what they might have gotten if they had failed to make the recommended improvements. And those who chose not to do the hard work will never know what they might have gotten had they improved their home. So what do you do? You need the advice of an experienced agent who knows exactly which improvements will pay for themselves. You also need to hire an experienced home stager who can help you to best present what you do have. And finally, once you engage these professionals, as painful as it may be, you actually need to take their advice.
I personally learned this lesson the hard way. I marketed my own home in 2008 for 18 months. I was a big fan of color and that was obvious in my home. My home finally sold one month after every wall inside had been repainted a warm neutral color and I had it professionally staged, including a furniture and accessories package. In the end, the sale was well worth the effort!
Where to start? With the wallpaper! A Pittsburgh favorite in years past, most buyers have an extremely negative reaction to wallpaper – it is so personal that, no matter what the designer brand name, it is like asking someone to wear your wedding dress. It needs to come down. Paint can be in a warm neutral color tone (white is not necessarily a good choice) but should not be “loud.” Nick knacks need to be packed up and stored, ready to move to your new home. Windows may show better without drapes. Kitchens and baths may need “freshening” and if you have a lot of furniture, some of it may need to find a temporary home in a storage facility to open up the rooms.
Great condition sells homes. Feel free to call me and we can develop a strategy now for making a strong introduction into the market!