First Impressions Matter!
Getting ready to sell your home in Greater Indianapolis Area? Before you start showing your property to buyers, take time to give your home some love - even the simplest home staging and sprucing can be the difference between a buyer that walks away and a buyer that's impressed. These staging tips can really make your home stand out from the crowd while also adding real dollars to it's value.
The outside of your home is just as important as the inside. Spend some time giving your home's exterior some love to create a sense of welcoming so that your buyers are impressed before they even leave the car!
Create curb appeal:
Before a buyer will set foot inside, they have to be impressed by the exterior of your home. So spend some time making your home welcoming and attractive. Powerwash your siding and driveway, mow and fertilize the lawn, weed or prune the garden, install fresh mulch in beds and plant some bright flowers. Wash your windows, replace old house numbers, or replace a tired or broken mailbox.
Make your front door and porch welcoming:
An extension of your curb appeal is your front door and porch. Start with the basics like power washing the siding, the porch floor & ceiling, put a fresh coat of paint or stain on the front door. Tidy up any furniture, buy a new welcome mat, add some potted flowers, and replace your doorknob or the storm door that doesn't properly close. Add a tasteful wreath to your door and leave your porch light on in the evenings, since buyers may drive by your property after work to see if they want to tour the house and especially if you have showings at night.
When buyers visit your home, and the REALTOR is opening the lockbox to unlock the house, the buyers are just standing taking in the condition of your front porch. The buyers notice the cobwebs, the rusty mailbox or door knocker, the front door that needs to be painted or re-stained. We have all heard the phase "don't judge a book by it's cover" yet most do and your front porch and front door are the "cover" for your house. In the few minutes buyers are deciding, before they even enter your house, if it's been well cared for and properly maintained. If your front door and porch send the wrong message the buyers will be more active in looking for signs if disrepair inside the house and much more critical of what they actually do see.
Spruce up outdoor areas:
Whether you have a large backyard or a cozy balcony, your outdoor areas should not only be attractive — they should be inviting. Help your buyers to envision a lifestyle by adding seating or dining areas such as chair and tables, a hammock, or even a fire pit. If you have pets make sure the yard and outside spaces are free of pet toys and pet waste. Also make sure gardens are cleaned up, the lawn has been mowed, and any fallen leaves or branches are tidied up.
Cleaning and Repairs
Nothing turns off a buyer like persistent maintenance problems, lingering repair projects, or a home that's just not clean! Don't lose out on a sale for an easily preventable reason!
Finish repair projects:
Nothing is more intimidating to a buyer than walking into an incomplete project! No missing floorboards, crooked shingles, cracked windows, or any other sign that anything needs to be replaced or repaired. Your home should appear in good maintenance from top to bottom.
Clear out the clutter:
Take some time to go through your closets, shelves, cabinets, and counters to clear out anything that's taking up space or making your rooms appear cramped, crowded, or dirty. Donate clothes, partially empty your closets and cabinets to make them appear larger, or even rent a storage unit for furniture that is too large, unsightly, or mismatched.
Deep clean EVERYTHING:
It might not be the most fun part, but it is an absolute necessity that your home sparkle. Get all those hard-to-reach places, scrub dingy tiles and grout, deep clean the showers and tubs. If you're not a fan of cleaning, hire a professional to help. The results will be worth the expense. If you have a pet, you may want to steam clean or replace your rugs and padding. Do NOT add some type of fragrance, such as soft-scented candles or potpourri, to mask pet odors. Buyer's and agents are smart and will presume you are trying to hide undesirable odors even if that's not the case.
Now that you've created curb appeal and tackled the basics, it's time to start looking for ways to impress your buyers and make your home stand apart from the crowd.
Depersonalize your decor:
Your home might have a certain style that you find tasteful - but not all home buyers have the same tastes in decor. Neutral and simple are always best. Repaint any bold, bright or disjointed colored walls with neutral colors. Remove any personal decor and replace with tasteful yet neutral art and centerpieces. You want to create the sense of a home that's lived in, but not yours, as the idea is to allow buyers to imagine their own personalizations in what will be their home.
Create balance with furniture:
Placement of furniture can change the whole feel of a room. Your furniture should not overcrowd the room or leave it feeling too open. Floating the furniture away from the walls can actually make rooms feel larger and create a cozy, conversational feel.
Engage a professional stager to embellish your furnishings or to furnish vacant rooms or properties:
Beyond making rooms feel larger or helping potential buyers envision furniture placement or a space could be used, home staging is a method of decorating that highlights your home’s features and assets to help buyers imagine themselves calling your place their new home!
According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2019 Staging Stats report, 40% of buyers’ agents believe that home staging has an effect on how a buyer views the home, with 83% saying that it makes it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their own. On the sellers’ agent side, 22% report that home staging increases the value of a home between 1% and 5%, and another 17% report that staging increases the value of a home between 6% and 10%. Beyond the potential increase in value, 53% of Listing Agents credit staging for either slightly decreasing or greatly decreasing the total amount of time a home is on the market.
As an example a seller of a $525,000 property had resisted staging the house till it had been on the market for around 70+/- days with zero offers. Then they agreed and Mitch had the property staged at a cost of around $2,000. Mitch also had new photos taken after the staging was complete AND on the same day we published the new photos in the MLS/BLC we also INCREASED the list price $5,000!
Within a 7 days we had 3 offers including an offer at full list price! Additionally one of those 3 buyers became a backup offer!