Preparing Your Home for Today’s Market: Do's & Don’ts From a Morris County Stager
2. Clean your home by cramming all your junk into every conceivable storage space. Buyers look in closets and cabinets – it’s a given! If your closets are crammed with “stuff”, your sending a flag that their “stuff” won’t fit either.
3. Wait until the first open house to eliminate unnecessary furniture and clutter. Rent a small storage space or call on family to store the things you don’t absolutely need. This serves two purposes: shows the rooms bigger and you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to moving.
4. Assume buyers are going to take on all your unfinished projects like leaky faucets, broken doorbells, torn screens, and chipped molding. Today’s buyers want turnkey homes - they don’t want to finish your DIY projects - they just don’t!
5. Forget about curb appeal – it’s the first impression; what buyers see on MLS and when they arrive at your home. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges, put down fresh mulch and add a few potted plants for pops of color and use a blower to remove debris from your driveway, walkway, steps and porch. Drive buyers in, not away!
6. Fill the house with scented candles, air fresheners and Glade Plug-ins that scream you’re trying to mask a hidden smell – you’re not fooling anyone. It’s like substituting perfume or cologne instead of taking a shower – it doesn’t work and is a huge turnoff! Clean is the only smell everyone loves!
7. Assume buyers are pet lovers – many are not and even if they are, they don’t love your pets! During showings and open houses, temporarily take pets out and all traces of them. This is a hassle, I know, but it’s temporary and you want to sell.
Now for the Do’s:
1. Find a reputable Realtor who will price your home based on their research, knowledge and comparable comps, not what you think your home should list for. 80% of people think their home is worth more than it is. You don’t know the market – that’s why you hired a Realtor, remember?!
2. Paint the interior of your home if it hasn’t been done in 10 years – it’s the biggest bang for your buck with a 150% return on investment. Painting is the best way to clean up, neutralize and rid your home of unpleasant orders that have permeated the walls. Stick to beiges, taupes, creams, grays – it goes with any décor. Red dining rooms are out folks – it is what it is!
3. Throw out any outdated, dusty floral arrangements and flower swags that went out with the eighties. Replace them with real plants, or buy silk arrangements that will pass for the real thing – just not at the dollar store!
4. Replace or fix leaky toilettes, broken cabinets, door hinges, knobs – you know - all the projects you’ve been meaning to do, but didn’t. Now’s the time!
5. Highlight and clean up outdoor spaces like patios, decks and porches. Create a lounge or dining area, replace old welcome mats that say anything but, or add a few potted flowers. Outdoor space reigns supreme in today’s market so give it a facelift.
6. Make your master bedroom non-gender specific. Invest in neutral bedding – grandma’s quilt isn’t going to cut it – look for a “bed in a bag” and keep it simple.
7. Invest in a home staging consultation. Home stagers are experts on preparing your home for the market. They understand and can implement necessary changes that will give your home that competitive edge it needs in today’s market.