Home Staging Increases Appeal!
Since we are on the topic of open houses, here are some common tricks of the trade, including home staging, that real estate agents use to make their listing homes more appealing.
Create a positive first impression by making the front of the house look neat and tidy as possible.
Fertilize and mow the lawn, clean the front windows, store away the hoses and yard equipment, ask the sellers to park their cars away across the street and give the bushes a fresh trim.
Clear away the clutter. Remove at least a third of the furniture and half of the contents in the closets and have it stored off the property (buyers will most likely peek in the closets and garages and will not be impressed if they are bursting at the seam). Furniture removal will make the house bigger and less cluttered.
Buyers have a love for counter space. Remove all the appliances, cereal boxes, and pots and pans from the counters and scrub away the food stains.
De-personalize the house. Buyers want to be able to imagine their family living in the new house, not think about the people that currently reside in it. Remove most photos, drawings from the fridge, piles of junk mail and personal kick-knacks, like trophies and wedding candles.
Pets should also be taken with the seller, if reasonable. You don’t want a client eager to get out of the house because of a cat allergy.
Pets will also make the seller sensitive to animal odors or stains.
Make the house shine, literally. Replace dim light bulbs with bright new ones and turn them on throughout the house.
The old “bake chocolate chip cookies or bread” routine may be transparent to the seller, but no one is going to complain that the house smells delectable and that there are treats to munch on after the tour. A good smelling house is key to selling. After all, who is going to fall in love with a house that smells like cigarette smoke or moldy food? Some other tips include setting out bowls of vanilla potpourri and having a roaring fire going in the living room.
If the competition in your neighborhood is fierce for selling, turn to the professionals. You may want to hire a professional house stager to rearrange your house and make it look as appealing as possible (it sounds over-the-top when you first hear it, but it works). Home staging often involves renting furniture and knick-knacks to make the home look as good as it can look inside. Maid services are also available for 25 dollars an hour or so and can have the house sparkling in a day.