Staging Your Home to Sell

When homes need an extra boost and sellers need to squeeze every extra penny out of their sale, real estate agents recommend home staging. Homeowners usually understand the need for a clean, well-lit, neutral-themed home that is devoid of clutter and in good repair to put their home on the market.

Staging a home can be done by design professionals or homeowners who take the time and effort to research exactly what staging is and how to do it right. When performed properly, every $100 spent on staging gives a $400 return. Most homeowners spent about $700 on home staging.

Preparing Homes for Staging

More than a third of home sellers use staging as a sales tool. Eighty-one percent of real estate agents report that staging helps buyers visualize a property as their home, even if the décor is not what they would choose. It also encourages potential buyers who begin their search online to attend open houses or book a showing.

In a perfect world, all homes would be completely empty before they are listed for sale. While this is not the reality for most homeowners, it is easiest to prepare a home for the market when it is empty and very clean. Then, say experts, homes can be staged to maximize profits.

  • Put all unnecessary items in storage.
  • Homes should be devoid of personal items, or at least look that way on the surface. Put everything needed for daily life away in cupboards.
  • Deeply clean the home and repaint it using a neutral color scheme.
  • Get rid of any items that show an eclectic sense of personal style.
  • Replace any old carpets and refinish any flooring that needs attention.
  • Replace old, out of date light fixtures, and update knobs and related hardware and electric outlet plate covers.
  • Any structural or major aesthetic issues should be resolved.

Now, it is time to stage the home.

Curb Appeal

Shoppers want to do a drive by to get a good look at the home before they set up a walk-through.

  • Replace mulch, refresh old flower beds, and fix any built-in flowerbeds that are in poor repair
  • Spray for weeds and trim and edge lawns. Make it look like professionals take care of the yard work.
  • Get rid of any low-hanging tree branches or overgrown shrubbery that conceals the home from the street.
  • The home should look well-maintained, bright, clean and be inviting. Hang a nice wreath or decorative placard on the front door.
  • Remember to put a few potted plants near the front door. If watering live plants is a problem, use silk plants.

Kitchens

In a kitchen, it is very easy to collect clutter. Personal items left on the counter can seem unprofessional and overly familiar, which is exactly what you do not want.

  • Keep coffee makers and stand mixers off work surfaces and out of the house.
  • A small, sleek crock holding matching kitchen utensils next to the stove looks nice and clean and gives a homey touch.
  • Basically, a kitchen should have reminders of what the room is for, but should not look overly “lived in”.

Bedrooms

If homeowners are still living in the home, be sure that every nook and cranny is absolutely spotless.

  • All clothing should be put away and laundry should not be sitting in baskets.
  • The bed should always be made unless someone is sleeping in it.
  • Remove all items of a personal nature that are not absolutely essential.
  • Keep furniture to a minimum.
  • Make sure there is a focal point in the room, like a nice rolled towel animal on the bed.
  • Remember to use accent colors to keep eyes moving and tie the room together.

Bathrooms

Home buyers really appreciate having bathrooms with a lot of storage, a smart, attractive setup, and an easy to clean room.

  • Counters and mirrors should not have water spots.
  • Find a way to show off the bathroom’s linen and toiletry storage.
  • Neutral, functional décor can include a basket on the counter with rolled towels, shelves and towel racks with decoratively folded towels and a bowl of ornate, scented artisan guest soaps near the sink.

Living Rooms

A living room should be ready for a business transaction at any time.

  • Keep pens handy and make sure there is a coffee table.
  • As a rule, a living room should have one main focal point and three accents to help draw the eyes through a line into the next room.
  • There should be movement in the décor, but there should also be harmony.
  • Furniture should match or at least complement each other, and accents should be 90 or 180 degrees from each other on the color wheel.
  • Try to keep the main focal point of the living room visible from all entryways into the room.

Tips to Keep Things Show Ready

Homeowners can use a couple mental tricks to keep themselves up to the task of maintaining their show-ready home. Set daily cleaning reminders on Google calendars and have a clear, concise bi-weekly maintenance schedule tied to an alarm on a smartphone.

Staging and maintaining a home is not an easy task, especially when homeowners still live in the home. Paying a professional stager and cleaning services to maintain the home is advisable for those are too busy to do the job properly. Work with a realtor to ensure your home passes scrutiny under a critical eye. With a four-fold return, staging is worth every penny invested, and every hour spent maintaining the home.

Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give the Rigley Realty Group a call today at 916-396-7487 / 916-397-4787 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.

6 Steps to Selling a House

There’s a science to selling your house, and we’re here to help you find just the right formula for success. Understanding the home selling process will help you when it comes to selling your home for the highest return on your investment in the shortest amount of time. Check out these six steps before you list that house!

Find The Right Real Estate Agent

Finding the right real estate agent is a crucial part when selling your home. You need to find an agent who is both trustworthy as well as tenacious, which can be a tricky combination. One of the best ways to find an agent is through referrals. Instead of wading through the seemingly endless list of agencies in the yellow pages and on the internet, instead reach out to your homeowner friends and other networks. Look particularly for friends or associates with similar interests and preferences and home selling ranges (perhaps in the same neighborhood). Ask for recommendations and collect a list of potential options. Make sure to have a list of questions prepared as well as a list of priorities ready for your meetings with agents.

Staging Your Home for Buyers

Seeing is believing in real estate. If potential buyers see your home in disarray, an appraisal may not be enough to sway the right buyer. Therefore, staging your home will make it seem far more appealing. There are a number of professional home staging agencies you can reach out to, at a variety of price points. This is a good option if you have extra cash, as professional stagers may even bring in attractive furniture and art, bringing an extra flair to the property. However, if you do not have this disposable income, small touches will go a long way in staging. Always have the home clean, of course, but fresh flowers, a manicured lawn, aromatics, and warm lighting will always bring a bit extra to showings.

Setting The Right Asking Price

Before setting a price on your home, make sure to look at the comparables in your neighborhood. Comparables are the recent sales in your area. When you measure the comparables against your recent tax assessment, and a recent appraisal, you should have a good idea as to the actual value of your home. However, be sure to take into consideration any improvements you have made to the property, particularly if they are significant (like an addition, a new structure, or major roofing, lighting, electrical, or heating installations). Have a price in mind that you hope to fetch for the property based on this information, and then decide how much over this price you think you can make and still find attractive home buyers. There will always be a price negotiation, and you do not want to end up with a price that is below your floor, or worse, lower than the actual value of the home. Work with your real estate agent on this process.

Accepting An Offer

Once you have attractive offers, take other things into consideration other than the finances. Perhaps you have built a strong rapport with your neighborhood, and a potential buyer would not blend well with the neighbors. Perhaps you have a vested interest in keeping the property intact, and you know one potential buyer wants to raze the house and rebuild from the ground up. Obviously, taking the highest offer will give you the best options when purchasing a new home, but there may be other considerations as well. Also, be sure to work with the real estate agent in order to assess potential buyers and their motivations.

What Happens After You Accept An Offer

Once an offer is accepted, generally the onus is on the buyers to move the process forward within the legal limits of the offer period. Buyers must get their preapprovals to the approval stage and schedule the inspectors, assessors, and appraisers to finalize their agreements for the home. You may also want to move forward with your own home buying plans if you are selling your primary residence. There could be snags during this process, but generally at this stage – and particularly after escrow – the lawyers and agents will be working on your behalf moving quickly toward closing.

What To Expect On Closing Day

Closing days should move smoothly and effortlessly, so long as there were no major snags during preapproval or after escrow. This involves a lot of paperwork and signing, as the deed transfer needs several copies of documents for all parties as well as originals for the actual recording of the new deed on the property. You may handle the closing with the home buyers or at separate times, but make sure to double check all closing paperwork before signing the deed and any new mortgage paperwork. Once the deal is finished, you may need to wait three days (often called a “cooling off” period) before the ink is truly dry and the deal is entirely finished.

Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give the Rigley Realty Group a call today at 916-396-7487 / 916-397-4787 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.