Plan your next housing situation
Don’t jump the gun too early and start the home selling process without knowing what your next housing situation is. Determine if you are going to buy a home, build a new home, or rent. Odds are you will be buying a home, so below are some great high-level steps to take when preparing to buy a house. We wrote a complete Home Buying Step by Step Guide with great detail on the steps below.
- Check your credit report and dispute any inaccuracies
- Be smart with your money
- Figure out how much you can afford
- Gather required tax, legal, and bank documents for your mortgage lending process
- Research desirable areas to live
- Find a great real estate agent & mortgage lender
Home staging is most likely a term that you have heard before. It is the practice of preparing your house to sell in a way that will make it appeal to the largest number of buyers. There are many studies that show the positive impact that home staging has when selling your house. According to a 2017 study by the National Association of Realtors, staging helps people to sell their homes faster and for more money than unstaged homes. Here are 5 home staging tips from the pros to help you do the same.
Depersonalize and Declutter
The saying “less is more” is what you want to live by when you are staging. The first thing you want to do when you begin staging your house is to declutter. Work through each room (including closets) and do the following:
- Throw out any items that you no longer need and cannot benefit someone else
- Sell or donate the items you don’t need or want anymore, but could still work for another person
- Pack up items that you won’t need to use while your house is for sale, but that you do want to take with you when you move. Then store these items offsite.
Once you have finished decluttering it’s time to remove your personal touch on the house. Pack away personal items such as family photos and anything that has your name on it. Your goal is to create a space that any person could walk into and imagine themselves living in. Your family pictures all over are a clear reminder to a buyer about who owns the house, so remove all of these reminders.
Draw the Buyer's Eyes Around the Room
Place items around each room that will help draw the buyer’s eye around the room. Many people hang pictures too high. Art on the wall should be hung where eye level would be for someone that is around 5′ 5″. You want to keep their eye where the rest of the decor is in the room instead of drawing it up the wall further.
You need to find the right balance for decorations in a room. You want enough items that the eye naturally flows to the next item around the room. If you have too many items people will be overwhelmed and not know where to look.
Don't Forget the Little Things
Add a few small touches around your house to show buyers the lifestyle they can enjoy while living there. This could include things like:
- Placing a tray of ice cold lemonade on the back patio table
- Draping a blanket over the arm of a living room chair with a book on the coffee table
- Using a tart warmer to make the house smell inviting
- Placing a basket with rolled towels on the edge of the spa tub in the master bath
Look for little comforts of home that you can add around the house.
Tie the Exterior and Interior Together
It doesn’t matter how nice you make the inside if you leave the outside looking rough. Clean up your landscaping, make sure your outdoor lighting works, paint the front door with a bold color, and add a few potted plants on the porch.
Remember to use the three-color rule both inside and outside. The three-color rule means that you should use three colors within each room. You use one color in 60% of the room, one color for 30% of the room and the last color as the accent color with 10% of the room. To have the look of your house be cohesive you want to use the same colors throughout the interior of your home. Then, flip it around outside. Use the same three colors but make your accent color be your 60% and vice versa. This gives your house a flowing look from the outside in.
Never underestimate what a good deep cleaning can do for your house when you are selling. You want your house to look like it has never been lived in. When you look at a decorating magazine the rooms are never messy, that’s what you want your house to look like. Go through each room of the house and clean starting at the top and working your way down. Buyers will look everywhere, so make sure you are doing the same.
Before listing photos are taken and before each showing make sure to put away all dishes, clear your countertops, and hide away your shampoo and soaps from your shower. You want it to look like the buyer could walk right in and take ownership of the house right at that moment. Messy rooms make people uncomfortable and they make buyers wonder how well you have really kept up on the maintenance of your house. Always take the time to clean before every showing.
These steps can sound like a lot of work, and honestly, they are. But, if you stick with it and work through the plan you improve your chances of finding a buyer fast, which means you won’t have to do showing after showing. The work can payoff with a shorter time on market and a higher offer from the buyer.