When listing your home for sale, sometimes it is difficult to separate real life from reality TV. How many of us enjoy watching episodes of House Hunters and Fixer Upper? The lure of professionally decorated homes you see on HGTV and the reality of a lived-in home are two completely different things; yet most buyers expect to see beautifully decorated homes when they tour homes for sale.
Most buyers find it difficult to see past every day, lived-in home environments. The paint color is all wrong, the formal dining room has been converted to a children’s playroom, or the home decor of owner’s furniture is “blah” and outdated. These all have an emotional impact on a buyer and many times, a great home is missed because the buyer got caught up in the “cosmetics” instead of the homes great potential.
To help buyer’s overcome this reality shock, it is important to know this Number 1 Rule: Cosmetics are the easiest thing to change in a home.
Pictured below is a photo of a kitchen prior to our Home Staging Services. The kitchen was very dated, cluttered and dark. The homeowner had a budget of $500 to update her kitchen.
With a limited budget of $500, we focused on making the kitchen feel brighter and bigger by painting the cabinets with a Clay based paint. For added durability, a protective clear coat was applied over the paint. Walls were painted a soft gray. A light was added above the sink. Everything else was elbow grease and getting rid of the clutter. As you can see below, these simple changes added instant value.
When selling your home, it is important to have an honest assessment of these cosmetic factors. Cosmetics include: paint, furniture, flooring, clutter, cleanliness, window coverings, light fixtures, appliances, etc.
As for Homebuyers, don’t get side tracked in how a home is decorated. Look at the architectural details of the home. Room size, traffic flow, room location, kitchen functionality, garage size/space, and the location of the home itself, are things that cannot be changed. Eliminate the “stuff” that will be going away when the owner moves. Resist the temptation of judging a room based on the paint color, as most buyers repaint their homes anyway.
Potential Homebuyers should tour the neighborhood to get a sense of their potential lifestyle. Introduce yourself to the neighbors. Get a true sense of what your life would be like in your new home.
As for Sellers, having a strategy in place to sell your home for the highest dollar amount is essential BEFORE you list your home. Avoid the frustration of price reductions and wasted time on the market without a sale. Not having a Strategic Plan could cost you time and money.