Spring is selling season and a good time to clean things out. Here are some spring cleaning tips that will get a house ready for the market. I’ve also included some tips for staging a home and tips for moving a property quickly, although in this market, moving properties isn’t a problem.
1) Declutter: This is not as big an issue with a quick flip property as with someone’s home. But you would be surprised how much stuff a property can collect during the rehab process. A big trash run is the most important first step in staging. If you have extra supplies, such as carpet, paint or flooring make sure they are clearly marked and stored in the garage, this is a nice bonus for the buyer but we don’t want it looking messy.
2) Make it sparkle: Think hotel clean. Make sure everything is dusted, vacuumed, windows and baseboards are washed. Remember people will be looking everywhere, inside closets, cupboards, and under sinks.
3) Visit model homes for trends: When getting ready to stage a property it’s good to know what colors and décor are trendy. Use color in the furniture and decorations. The paint and carpet should always remain neutral but warm.
4) Make a great first impression: No matter how good the inside of a property is a buyer will have already judged it by the outside. Curb appeal is important; you can use inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers to make a difference. Entryways are also important, make them inviting by using a small bench or table with flowering plant.
5) Proper lighting: Good lighting makes everything look better. Natural light is best. However you never know what time of the day the property will be shown. Make sure you have lighting in the right places and that the bulbs all work. Also, have them on a timer so no matter what; the property will be correctly lit.
Staging the Property
1) Keep each room true to its purpose: If you advertise in the MLS a formal dining room make sure it’s staged that way: a dining area that is set as if company is coming over. Help the potential buyer feel that it’s a home. Also, if you have a room that is a den (it doesn’t have a closet) then stage it as such, not a bedroom.
2) Make sure the furniture is appropriately sized for the room: Large, oversized furniture can make rooms look smaller than they are. The converse is also true, small furniture in large rooms looks disproportionate.
3) Bring the outside in: If the outside is lush and green keep shades open, windows clean and bring in the outside.
4) Make sure everything smells good: Use candles, fresh flowers, bake cookies, grind a lemon in the garbage disposal and put baking soda down all the drains.
5) Make the bedrooms inviting: Hotel inspired bedrooms make things feel luxurious. It can be done with nice bedding and lots of pillows.
1) Make sure it’s priced correctly: One of the biggest mistakes sellers make is incorrectly pricing the property. Don’t become emotional about the price of your home. A professional should know the neighborhood and comps. Your agent needs to know what your expectations are. Do you want to sell quickly or are you willing to wait for a target number? If you price the property below fair market value, the likelihood is that the property will get a lot of attention quickly. This could start a bidding war.
2) Provide incentives: Once again, your agent will provide the best insight to what works in your area, but for example, for a starter home, providing an allowance to purchase appliances, such as a refrigerator and washer/dryer seal a deal.
Diana D. Hill