Friday, March 15, 2013

Selling? Throw a Party!

Are you confused by all the advice you read about how to prepare your home for the market? I have come up with a very simple concept that most everyone can follow. Prepare your home as if you were throwing a party.

Think about the steps you take when you entertain, and consider the buyers coming through your home as your party guests. Not into entertaining? Then, think back to a party where you were the guest and your host or hostess made you feel special.

So, how do you want to present your home to your “guests?” It should be clean, of course. Fresh towels should be put out in the bathrooms, and personal items placed out of sight. The everyday clutter like the stack of mail on the entry table, the collection of remote controls on the sofa, the pile of shoes that grows bigger every day, needs to be cleared away.

Have you ever arrived at a party and the hostess hung your coat in a closet, and you wondered how she had room for them? She anticipated you arriving with a coat and cleared out a space. That same kind of planning will make your buyers feel comfortable in your home.

What about music? You can’t possibly know what everyone likes, so try to play music that is soft and soothing, and will appeal to the greatest number of tastes.

Soft lighting created by table and floor lamps, or indirect lighting are good choices for enhancing the look of your home, and is preferable to the more harsh overhead lighting. There are flameless candles on the market now, which are perfect for creating a welcoming ambience.

The enticing smell of something baking always keeps your guests interested, and buyers are no different. Fresh cut flowers are a nice addition, adding a wonderful scent and a touch of elegance.

A successful party is one in which your guests enjoyed your home and hospitality so much they didn’t want to leave. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if buyers felt the same way?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Let the Light In!

As a home stager, sellers often ask me about windows. This is the answer I always give: in fifteen years in real estate, I have never heard someone say “the home was too bright.”

Here are some pretty good rules when it comes to the windows in your home:

  • Heavy drapes are dated, depressing and dust-collectors
  • Ruffled valances are too distracting and don’t appeal to everyone
  • Sheers are the best bet for letting in light
  • Panels are acceptable, as long as they are used to frame the window and not block the light
  • Blinds, shutters and shades should always be open for showings
  • Windows should be kept clean, inside and out
  • Broken seals and glass should be repaired (it will come up in the inspection!)
  • Furniture should be pulled away from windows
  • Make sure windows open and lock
Buyers will look out windows, so make sure that what they see is a nice view. Take a quick run through your home and check out the view from each window. That dead tree that can’t be seen from the road, but can from the window, needs to be taken out. You might need to relocate the trash cans, or any debris you have stored on the side of your home. If the weather is nice enough, go ahead and open some of the windows. It will help remove stale odors in the home. 

Natural light will make your home even more appealing, so remember to use your windows to the best advantage!