How to Stage Your Home to Sell Quickly

If you’re getting ready to put your home on the market, every little detail can make a huge difference in its marketability. Not only is it vitally important to make a great first impression on prospective buyers, but you also want those good feelings to linger after they walk out the door.

Although homeowners generally don’t need to concern themselves with the marketing aspects of selling their property, there is one sales principle which is well worth keeping in mind:

More often than not, people make buying decisions based on their emotions and subconscious feelings, rather than on concrete facts and rational thought. It’s only after they’ve made their emotion-based buying decision that they attempt to justify it with facts and logic. So “gut feelings,” intuition, and emotions can play a central role in how and why people choose to buy one home over another.

Easy Home Staging Tips

That’s why it can be beneficial to have the fragrance of freshly brewed coffee, cookies, cinnamon buns, or homemade bread wafting through the air when prospective home buyers visit. It can help put your visitors in a positive state of mind, and cause them to associate your home with those enticing aromas and good feelings.

Unfortunately, the opposite effect can also come into play during a house showing. For example, offensive odors in the air could raise questions about the cleanliness or desirability of your house. If pet smells, stale tobacco smoke, or dirty laundry odors are among the recollections that linger in the minds (and noses) of would-be buyers, you can be sure they’ll be less likely to make an offer. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to counteract unpleasant odors and keep your home smelling fresh and inviting for real estate showings.

Two other key things to consider when preparing your home for potential buyers are lighting and clutter.

When one or more rooms look cluttered, it creates two negative impressions in the minds of prospects:

  1. It makes the living space look small and confining, which detracts from the perceived value of your home.
  2. It also creates an impression of chaos and disorganization. Whether that’s a description of your family’s lifestyle or not, you definitely don’t want to convey that to prospective buyers.

Lighting Sets The Tone

Lighting can be a tricky thing to get just right, because there’s a thin line between soft lighting and gloomy lighting. Also, if the lights are too low, people might be wondering what flaws you’re trying to hide.

Harsh lighting can also have a negative effect on how people perceive your home, so if you notice visitors squinting or shading their eyes when they enter a room, it may be time to install a dimmer switch!

Get an Expert Opinion

In most cases, home sellers need input from a real estate agent, Realtor, or experienced home staging consultant to be able to show their home to its full potential. A professional can help you focus on specific areas in need of improvement, and can often provide cost-effective suggestions for making it more appealing to buyers.

If you’ve been living there for a number of years, it’s almost impossible to be objective about what needs to be changed, repainted, rearranged, or replaced. A seasoned real estate professional can look at things from the perspective of a potential buyer, and make recommendations that could help improve your curb appeal, present your home in its best light, and sell it faster and for the best possible price.

Household Mold

imagesMold is nasty stuff. Homes with water damage and visible mold are unhealthy for people and pets. The unsightly fungus can produce irritants, allergens, and potentially toxic substances. The presence of mold in a home can substantially lower both the visual appeal and value of the property.

The United States Center For Disease Control reports that for persons sensitive to mold, exposure to moldy and damp environments may cause a diverse array of health problems including coughing, wheezing, throat and nasal passage irritation, nasal stuffiness, eye or skin irritations, headaches, depression, and nervous system disorders.

Do You Have A Moldy Home?

Mold is all around us, both indoors and out; you can’t get away from it. Mold is carried into our homes from the outdoors through open windows and doorways, through the heating and air conditioning ductwork, and through vents such as an attic fan. Mold in the outdoor environment also enters the home by attaching itself to pets, shoes and clothing.

Mold thrives in moist locations such in a cabinet with a dripping pipe, in damp basements, from leaks in the roof, or in places where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on most any surface including fabric, upholstery, carpeting, paper products, wood products, bedding, and porous ceiling tiles.

Mold is much more than a repulsive patch of disgusting fungus; it’s a health hazard in the home that requires removal and standardized preventive measures to inhibit regrowth. However, before you attack the problem with caustic chemical sprays that can cause more problems than they cure, consider addressing the issue with organic measures that do not damage the environment.

Reduce Dampness And Humidity

Increase air circulation in moisture-prone areas such as the kitchen, laundry room, and bathrooms. When cooking, run the exhaust fan to remove steam from boiling pots of pasta and simmering stews.

Make sure that moisture from the dryer is properly vented outdoors. Clean the dryer filter and vent after each use. Drain and clean all drip pans under water heaters or washing machines on a regular basis.

If your home tends to be high in humidity, use portable dehumidifiers in closets and closed areas or consider adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system.

Always run the bathroom exhaust fan during and after showering to remove excess moisture in the air. If moisture pools on the bathroom shower stall, tub or tiles, wipe dry after use. Damp towels turn sour and moldy quickly. Always put wet towels in the laundry or hang to dry. Rinse and wring out bath sponges, hang to dry. To make your bathroom sparkle and shine, wipe all surfaces with a rag saturated with white vinegar. Vinegar removes hard water deposits and mold and helps prevent regrowth of the black fungus.

Have your heating and air-conditioning system checked semi-annually, cleaning ductwork, checking for dampness and leaks and replacing all filters.

Fix All Leaks Immediately

Repair dripping faucets, shower heads, and pipes as soon as a problem appears. Once the source of the water has been fixed, scrub the area with a solution of 1 part white vinegar, 1 part baking soda, the juice of a lemon, and three parts water. Dry thoroughly. If moisture has saturated a wooden cabinet bottom, dry with a portable fan after cleaning. If any moisture remains in the wood, mold will reappear.

Examine the attic careful to check for any leaks in the roof and make needed repairs.

Drain Water From Foundations

If water collects around your home’s foundation, contact your plumbing contractor about installing a drainage system to divert water away from the foundation and into a catchment pond or sewer drain.

For Sale By Owners Net Less in a Sale

Have you ever thought of selling your home on your own? If so, you may want to think again. It is not just the expense, time and legal issues you will have to worry about you also need to worry about getting a buyer.

According to the National Association of Realtors, ninety percent of all real estate transactions happen with the help of a real estate professional. Why? Besides the legal challenges of representing yourself in a sale, buyers just don’t trust the homeowner when it comes to selling a home. Real estate professionals have a legal and ethical obligation to disclose defects in the home. Buyers know that it is impossible to remain unbiased when selling your own home.

Often times buyers who attempt to buy from an unrepresented seller will only try to deduct the commission from the home price in the negotiation process. According to the National Association of Realtors, sellers who use a real estate professional actually net 16% more in the sale of their home.