When meeting with clients about preparing their Windsor home for the real estate market, many homeowners believe that their home needs to be picture perfect. In other words, that it needs to be decorated as if appearing on the front of a home magazine.
Of course, as wonderful as that would be, that’s often unrealistic and buyers and agents understand this. Overall, what buyers are looking for is a clean and decluttered property and most are seeking nice updates. But it is important to spend time with your real estate agent and ask for their expertise on what home repairs and projects will give you the most bang for your buck as not all repairs are created equal. Spend an hour and walk through your home and ask your agent the following questions before listing your house:
1. Which upgrades and repairs are absolutely necessary? What won’t make a difference?
2. Which home improvements make the biggest impact for a buyer and cost the least?
3. What projects are a must in today’s real estate market?
Most real estate agents are in line with what improvements are needed and what can be ignored. For example, do you really need to remodel a kitchen? Of course budgets don’t usually allow that, but updating can be beneficial. Real estate agents can tell you what you should do after viewing your property. For example, if you have a 1970’s kitchen, then changing the harvest gold or avocado green appliances would be a must. Maybe all you will need after that is a coat of paint and updated hardware for the cabinets. In other words, a real estate agent can tell you what is necessary depending on your budget.
Staging is a big plus in today’s real estate market. It’s interesting that even a decade ago this was something that only professional builders did for new properties. Today, it’s becoming more and more common. But there are simple things you can yourself that can create a world of difference.
As mentioned above, you must minimize clutter; arrange furniture so that there is an easy flow, which makes rooms, appear large. Creating a warm, pleasing scent when a buyer first walks in the door is a must as well.
Again, if you have a home that needs updating, it’s amazing what a difference you can make by simply making these subtle changes. If you are uncertain how to go about this, simply visit model homes to see how neutrality and spaciousness are used. Look around. What do you see? You don’t see anything that is personal or a room painted in a bright, loud, bold color. Builders know that to sell their property, they need it to appeal to the masses. All of these next staging tools can cost little to no money:
1. Show half-empty closets
Storage is what every buyer is looking for, so take half of the stuff out of your closets and organize what is left. Make sure it is clean and tidy.
2. Bring in the light
Good, bright light is another big plus when buyers look at homes. Take down heavy drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and make sure that all trees and bushes by your windows are trimmed so light can stream in.
Like your closet, take out at least one-third of your belongings, such as family photos, collections and personal keepsakes. Remember, the goal is that buyers want to imagine living there themselves, but they can’t if they look around and all they see is your stuff!
4. Make that valuable first impression
You don’t get a second chance to make that first impression. So make sure the outside of your home looks appealing. Spruce up the interior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. Make sure the front door area is clean and swept and if necessary, add a coat of paint to the door if needed.
Don’t get caught up in improvements that won’t help your sale. As we mentioned is our post last week, stay away from elaborate landscaping, high-end accessories and swimming pools if you are selling. These won’t matter to a buyer.
Your home doesn’t need to look like the cover of a magazine, but following the steps above can generate more cash for your sale.