Selling your home is rarely easy. Especially if it is your first time, or if it has been number of years since you were an active participant in the real estate market. Even in a sellers market, taking the time to properly stage your home in preparation for sale can be the difference between one offer and multiple offers.
These days, cable television is littered with design shows, fixer-uppers concepts, and other programs aimed at helping the average Joe better understand the real estate market, and navigate through the buying and selling process works. And I don’t mean to bash any of these home-buyer or design shows. They are not only entertaining but can also be informative if taking in the proper context. Because just like the ‘Bachelor’ is not an accurate representation of dating scene for most of society, most reno-style shows do not represent the viable options available to the average home buyer and seller. So you have to take them with a grain of salt.
So whether you live in Haliburton, Minden or even in a larger surrounding city, here are 4 tips I believe every seller needs to consider in preparation for the sale of their home or cottage, in order to maximize their value.
1. Less is more. Sounds simple but this is probably the more important rule in staging. Potential home buyers need to be able see how a space might be used, but not have it so cluttered that they aren’t able to envision how a room might look with their own furniture and décor. I like to think of it like packing in preparation for a vacation. If you lay all your clothes on your bed and take away half, you probably still have twice as items as you need. The same goes for staging. Try and remove big and bulky items from main areas. If your sofa is blocking the pathway to your patio doors, it will make the room feel cramped. If you have a finished basement, consider moving your love seat and creating second living space. It will not only give the appearance of more usable living space, but open up your main floor.
2. Keep it impersonal. While you may love the picture gallery of your large extended family, and all of the precious knickknacks you have accumulated over the years, buyers will find it easier to envision themselves in your home if the décor is more neutral. This doesn’t mean you can’t add a bit of flair with accent pillows, but if you have a unique taste in art work, why not ask a friend if you can borrow a few pieces of art that you can borrow while your house is on the market, that might more closely reflect a home buyers taste. It’s worth paying a $100 to put a few extra items in storage if it means you achieving a few thousand dollars more on your resale.
3. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders. We all know kitchen and bathrooms sell homes, but a fresh coat of paint can be a very close 2nd. And a much cheaper alternative! When choosing paint colors remember to select colors that match the room you are updating. If you are refreshing a room without a window such as a small bathroom or basement, try and use light colors that don’t make the room feel closed off. Or if you have bold or patterned furniture, consider softer colors to make sure you don’t overwhelm a buyer’s senses.
4. Don’t be afraid to use the Internet. Most of us weren’t born design pros. Myself included. Google is a great resource for seeing what is trendy when it comes to color choices and décor. There is nothing wrong with finding a professionally staged room online and copying it. Furthermore, most department stores offer alternatives that are 90% as stylish but at a fraction of the cost. Remember when staging, buyers aren’t going to be looking at the name brand of your accessories. They will probably only spend a minute or two in each room. What you need to do create a space that is warm and inviting, one they can picture themselves in, so that they can move on to the next room with anticipation.