Just as a good friend stated that went through this process themselves, “If you are ugly, you don’t get any dates. It’s a beauty contest for houses”.
The better you look, the more dates you get … all eventually leading to the wedding alter (or so the theory goes).
The same goes for your house: The better it looks, the more interested buyers, the quicker your home ends up “spoken for” and at the settlement table.
- Walls: Fresh paint is a must if your walls are less than desirable in condition or color. And, don’t just choose plain white walls; select a warm (beige to gray) neutral color palette such that complements the existing finishes in the home any color scheme a buyer may want.
- Floors: New carpets replace tattered, worn and stained carpeting. Dated area rugs are removed to expose hardwood floors. If your hardwood floors aren’t worthy of being seen in the buff, but are scratched and faded, then you’d best have them refinished before letting the world seem them in their natural state.
- Bathrooms: Just like you wouldn’t go out without your jewelry, updating your home’s lighting fixtures and faucets to the current metal trends is a must so the buyers don’t squirrel their face up at having to replace them.
- Kitchens: Do your cabinets look too shabby for the big date? If they are not “dressed to impressed” and polishing is not enough and replacing is not an option, consider painting, but have it done right or it will only come back to haunt you as poorly done job in need of repair or replacement. No granite you say? Oh that won’t do, time to drop a few thousand dollars as surely no buyer wants to add that cost on after they purchase the home. It had best be done in advance for them.
You have to make an effort make your home attractive. Leave it unsightly and it will languish on the market with no one interested in the ugly duckling of the neighborhood. But it has good bones you say and the buyers can fix it to their liking. Not true in today’s market. The buyers say “it’s so dated, it has wallpaper, it needs paint, the carpet is old, the floors are scratched, and the fixtures are out of style. They don’t want to do all that work required to bring it up to their required standards. Buyers want to move in and show off their new home. So they tell their Realtor “show me the next house on my list.”
And let’s be frank, living in a staged home is an oxymoron in itself. It’s not real life. Clutter and all signs of normal day-to day-life are removed. No one wants to see your mess. Clean it up and present it properly and you show them the ideal that this is how they will live if they buy your house. Everything is perfectly tidy, put away and sparkling clean. They’ll live in this pure state of perfection.
What’s not to like or want? The bathroom and master bedroom should feel like a fine hotel that has been sterilized from the most recent occupant. No one wants to see your toothbrush out on a vanity. Please brush your teeth but don’t remind buyers you are using the sink they are looking at for the potential future home. How can they possibly consider a home where it looks as if the kitchen and bathrooms are in use by the inhabitants?
Thinking of selling? Prepare and stage your home for its potential buyers. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and in the real estate market that translates to beauty is in the eye of the buyers.
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