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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Real Estate 101 with Craig and Gina Wiley

Staging Tips

Having curb appeal and preparing your home for buyers is one of the most important steps in the selling process. Below are some staging tips that won't break your bank!

  • First impressions are EVERYTHING! Keeping your lawn watered in warmer months to maintain a healthy green color, planting flowers along a walkway or around a lamp or sign post, and/or placing attractive flowerpots on the porch are all good ideas. Make sure your trash cans are out of sight and there are no toys left outside.

  • The front door is the place that could be examined the longest, here's why.... the buyer is usually standing with the REALTOR as he / she is unlocking front door. In reality this takes only a minute or two...but while the agent is fumbling around with the lock box and key, the buyer has nothing better to do than to look around. Make sure your doorway is clean, fresh and inviting. Look in the corners of your doorway for unexpected cob-webs or dirt and clean it! Shine your door-nob, door-knocker, and door-bell if applicable. Hang a seasonal wreath to brighten up the entrance way. These may seem like insignificant things...but they do catch the eye of the buyer waiting to get inside your home.

Ok..so they made it past your beautiful entrance and what do they see? Here are some things to think about as you prepare your home to sell.

  1. De-personalize. We've all heard this term, but what does it mean. It means, pack up all your family pictures and put away your heritage artifacts. You don't want buyers to ask themselves what kind of family lives in this house....you want them to imagine themselves in your house.

  2. Satisfy their sense of smell! There is nothing that is going to turn potential buyers off more than a "smelly" house! Get rid of any odors. Use air fresheners, candles, bake cookies before showings. Do whatever it takes to make your home smell nice and don't forget closets, bathrooms and the basement. If you have a pet it would be wise to remove it and things like cat litter, dog crates ...etc during showings.

  3. De-clutter. When selling your home, less is more! Pack away all of the things that you don't need. Clean off the kitchen counter-top, put away all the appliances. Show off the counter-space and closet space. If you think you have too much furniture in a room...you probably do. Put some in storage. Remember the way you live in a house may be very different from the way you showcase your house to sell.

  4. Make minor updates. Replacing light fixtures, switch plates and outlet covers is an inexpensive way to freshen up your home. Also minor things like new hand towels in the bathrooms and fresh flowers throughout your home sets a pleasant environment. If you you recently bought new carpets of if your normal practice is taking off your shoes before coming inside...by all means leave a note asking the buyers to do the same. Believe it or not...it has been our experience that buyers respect the owners wishes and are very impressed that the owners care enough to leave a note with this request. It shows that the property was well taken care of.

  5. Things you may forget but are important. Make sure that your front door key works easily. There is nothing more frustrating to a showing agent and their clients than not being able to open the door. This is particularly important because most times sellers will get a key made to put into the lock box. If the key is not cut perfectly it will cause trouble when trying to open the door. Perhaps you will want to hold onto the new key and put the original key into the lock box assuring a smooth entry into your home. Another thing that is important is to create a clear path to your electrical box, heater and air conditioning units. Make sure they are wiped clean and cob-web free. Red flags will go up to potential buyers if the systems in your home look as though they haven't been serviced or cleaned in a long time.

  6. Get feedback from someone that will tell you the truth! Find a friend or relative to walk through your home and give you honest feedback. Then make changes that are necessary. Remember that living in a home is a lot different than showcasing your home to sell.

With all of our listing agreements we offer a free home staging consultation that will provide you will great tips and ideas on staging your home to sell fast. Staging a home doesn't have to break your bank account. You can stage a home on any budget and in some cases you can pay the costs of staging at settlement!

Contact us directly to learn more about this.

Coldwell Banker Preferred
390 Waterloo Blvd., suite 101
Exton, PA 19341
Office 610-363-606
Direct 484-881-6066


"Teamwork makes the dream work!"

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