Home Selling Preparation
"Dos and Don'ts"
Do Use Plants to Create Visual Interest
Don't Choose Plants with Very Spiked or Erratic Shapes
A great way to boost your home's appeal is to strategically position houseplants in a way that creates a natural flow and provides focal points to guide visitors from room to room.
Be careful, however, to not use too many plants with long, disorderly branches or extremely spiked leaves. Those shapes can create a subconscious impression of chaos and hostility which, believe it or not, may negatively affect how people feel about your home.
Tip: The photo below shows a good use of plants with soft contours to enhance an entryway and draw visitors into the home.
Do Invest in Sale-Appropriate Remodel Projects
Don't Waste Money on Projects that Others Will Re-Do
Sometimes it's smart to remodel a kitchen or spruce up countertops prior to listing a home, as long as you are able to produce a final result that feels complete.
This means not limiting yourself to new kitchen countertops if the cabinets will also need to be replaced soon, or if the floor material is so significantly different in quality that it feels like a mismatch. It may also mean not remodeling a kitchen at all if the rest of the rooms are so dated that a new owner will almost certainly expect to tackle the entire home.
Tip: Please call on me anytime you're considering a project for resale purposes. Each decision needs to be made on a case-by-case basis, and I'm happy to give you my expert opinion as to what will pay off the best for you when you sell.
Do Use Staging Items to Show Functionality
Don't Let the Staging Overwhelm the Room
Potential buyers often find it easier to envision themselves living in your home when you create scenarios for them with tasteful staging. For example, decorating a breakfast nook table with coffee cups and cheerful place settings may help them get a feel for what it would be like to spend a pleasant morning there.
Just remember that the goal is to draw as much attention as possible to your home's space, functionality, and open flow. Too much staging can actually defeat this purpose by becoming the focal point of the room, as in the photo below.
Tip: Sometimes less is more when it comes to good staging.
Do Spruce Up with New Paint and Carpet
Don't Choose Colors with the Wrong Undertones
Could your home use some new paint or carpet before going on the market? Remember that warm, moderate colors with an earth tone base tend to create a friendly feel that appeals to prospective buyers.
Be sure to choose true earth tones if that's what you're going for. Too often homeowners mistakenly end up with walls and carpets that have pink, blue, or green undertones. By then it's usually too late!
Tip: Compare paint and carpet swatches side by side; this makes it much easier to detect differences in undertones.
Do De-Clutter, Especially Before Photos
Don't Forget that Busy Patterns Are a Form of Clutter
These days most people realize that it's important to remove unnecessary items from a home before taking listing photos, but did you know that busy fabric patterns can also create visual clutter? The bedroom below is a classic example.
If you look at bedroom listing photos online, you'll see that 30 to 40 percent of the surface area of each picture often consists of the bed covering. This is why it's a good idea to make sure that busy bedspread patterns don't detract from the room's appeal. Notice how much nicer the bedroom below looks compared to the one above.
Tip: Take a picture of the bedroom, and replace the current bed covering if it makes the room look busier and smaller than it should.
Do Keep an Eye On New Decor Trends
Don't Commit to Edgy Styles Likely to Lose Appeal Soon
Touring new open houses is a great way to keep track of upcoming design trends, and this can be useful when you're staging or remodeling for a sale. Just remember that prior to listing your home is not the time to test whether or not Pantone was right when they pronounced Tangerine Tango the Color of the Year. :)
Tip: The goal is to not sink money into styles that are on their way out, while at the same time staying with the tried and true whenever there's any doubt.
The Easiest Home Preparation Tip
A new welcome mat (especially one with the word "Welcome" on it), a pot of fresh flowers next to it, and a sparkling clean door and doorstep all do wonders to create a great first impression.
Are you planning to buy or sell a home, or do you know someone who is? Please call or email me - I'm never too busy to help you and the people you care about with real estate.
(What the lawyers make us say: The information in this newsletter is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Please always consult a qualified expert before making decisions based on this content. Nothing in this article is meant to be taken as expert legal, financial, or medical advice.)