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Staging Your Home for a Quicker Sale

by Colleen

I'm not sure which came first, HGTV or staging your home to sell.  Regardless, every survey I read, and my own experience over the past 25 years tells me that staging pays off and helps a home sell faster.  Staging is not synonymous with spending!  If you are trading in a car, it makes sense to have it cleaned up before you start negotiating.  The same thing goes for getting a house ready for market!

1. The front doorway should be the beginning of a great experience for buyers.  Clean the door, the sidelights, the lights, the doorknob, the trim - a little paint goes a long way. That buyer stands still at the front door and gets a good look at everything while their agent is getting the key out of the keybox. You should eliminate ALL deferred maintenance and repair issues they might notice here. A new welcome mat, some flowers in the foyer..set the stage!  See my previous post on 20 items to spruce up the exterior of your home for an awesome first impression.

2. Less is More.  Put away your personal stuff and give the buyer a chance to feel like they are standing in their home, not yours!

3.  A paint brush and a Mr Clean Eraser sponge are money in the bank. That eraser bar might save you the trouble of painting all your trim, but if you think it might still need touch up, it does!   For walls, warm neutral colors work best.   If you can't tell a "pink" beige from a "green" beige, get help!  Ask a paint professional what their most popular neutral colors are. Ask a professional stager.  Do not risk putting the wrong color on a wall...it's a waste of your time and your money!

4.  Arrange furniture for good flow...imagine herding a family of 5 through each room and adjust accordingly!  Consider angles - they can add a little interest and can make a room feel more open.

5.  Let there be Light!  Place lights in dark corners, arrange window treatments to allow for more natural light in each room.  Consider uplighting in corners.  Replace dated light fixtures, especially in the foyer, kitchen and bathrooms. Don't use CFL lighting because it takes them too long to get to their highest wattage, and by then the buyer is in the next room.  Use the brightest wattage bulb the fixture or lamp will allow.

6.  Take no prisoners in the kitchen!!  Declutter and clean until you drop!  Go look at a builder display home, then go home and put away the toaster, the food processor, the bread maker, and the can opener.  Set the table or the breakfast bar with a couple of place settings or a bottle of wine and a couple of glasses. 

7.  Don't forget the closets.  You are moving.  Start packing.  Start by packing up at least 1/3 of everything in every closet.  Spend some time on the linen closets too.  Fold those towels neatly and group colors together.  If you don't use it, pack it, sell it, or give it away!

8.  Go to the dungeon...commonly called the basement or the HVAC room.  Take your vacuum cleaner and attachments with you, turn on every light,  and get rid of cobwebs and dust.  Look up, look down, there is plenty to do! Your buyer will not drop to their knees at the sight of a clean hot water heater, but they will note that this house is well maintained and cared for.  If your systems have not been cleaned and checked recently, you might as well have them serviced.  You'll have peace of mind and no surprises when you are closing your sale. 

 

Experienced real estate agents have been preaching these tips forever.  I don't recall that we all gathered together and just brainstormed on "things to keep sellers busy".  Time and time again, the houses that have addressed these TTD's are the houses that sell faster and for more money!

It's Time for the Crystal Ball

by Colleen Lawler

Regardless of who wins the election in November, there are probably changes on the horizon for homeowners.  With such a huge deficit, Washington will be looking at everything we hold dear as a possible revenue producer.

First, mortgage interest deductibility.  Chances are we will see something that limits deductibility over a threshold yet to be determined.  The most likely scenario will lower the amount you can deduct over a level of income...perhaps $200,000-$250,000.

 

Mortgage interest for second homes.  At first glance, if you can afford a second home, why should you get to deduct the interest?  On a second look, the second home market has a huge impact on economies in some areas.  On third look, I wonder how many legislators have second homes...hmmmm?!

 

Equity Loan Interest.  Within certain guidelines, this interest is currently deductible...I think this will be one of the first deductions to go to the wayside, it's an easy target. 

 

No matter what, the times, they are changing.  Be sure to pay attention to all these discussions, be sure to vote.  Be sure to have a conversation with a tax advisor along the way!

Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2

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Colleen Lawler & The IrvineTeam
Coldwell Banker Gundaker
111 Chesterfield Towne Centre
Chesterfield MO 63005
Office: 636-391-2100
Toll Free: 800-791-3276
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