Saturday, May 13, 2017

Listing your Home... what you prep work needs to be done before Listing

One of the worst parts of my job is telling people to remove their beloved collections. To Sell your home quicker and for more money, it does involve you detaching from your home. I often put it like this - If I could get you $30,000 more if you packed up all your counter and wall stuff - would you? Remove anything that defines your home one way or another so that someone else may see themselves there and you will receive faster and higher offers!  It's true! It really is one of the most important things to do. The above photo represents a Home well prepared. This is what I am striving for in my Listings ... Often those homes that are not willing to pack it up sell not only for less money, but also take more time.  Buyers can't see past the owners things and most of all can't envision this home as their own. 

At first, I didn’t believe all those Home Stagers who say that before you put your house on the market, you should strip it of your personality. Yeah right, I thought. That advice is for people who have no taste, no style. They haven’t seen my home — or yours. Who wouldn’t appreciate our family photos, book collections, and other awesome items we have.

You see...our homes are filled with framed photographs of friends and family. There are family portraits, images from important events, and snapshots from vacations. While we may enjoy seeing these images on a daily basis, potential home buyers are not interested in seeing our memories in those frames. It’s important for them to see this space as their own. They need to be able to imagine their own photographs hanging on the walls, sitting on the shelves, and pinned to the refrigerator. They need to envision themselves living there... not you. They cannot take ownership mentally in YOUR home so it needs to be clear of your personal belongings so they see the home itself, and then can envision themselves in it. That's when their need to own your home goes up and so does your Sales Price!! 

Here’s the brutal truth: People looking to buy your home don’t care who you are, what sports your kids play, how you looked on your wedding day or where you went to college. They don’t care about the bass you caught on the Arkansas River, your painted velvet art collection, your ballroom dance trophies, your quilting project, or that photo of you standing on top of Mount McKinley looking like a street person. If they do get intrigued by the photo of you standing with Gene Simmons or Queen Elizabeth, they’re not focusing on your home, which is the point. Right?
Since you are going to be moving, this is a good time to get a head start on the packing process for your coming move. Pack away photographs and other pieces of memorabilia that adorn your walls. Your favorite Collections need to be packed as well for it is your favorites and rarely do I find a Buyer and Seller that 100% have the same interests and decorating ideas. Putting these items in boxes now will save you time when the actual move takes place. 

“In a hot market, those extras can fetch multiple offers,” 

Keep in mind that you’ll want to do this before photographs are taken for listing your home for sale. Those photographs will be online for buyers to browse, and they will be looking closely to make a decision whether they want to see your house. First impressions are everything, and you only get one chance to make a positive impression that makes them want to take a closer look at your house.

Can you see the Beautiful Granite Counter Top and Cabinetry in this photo or do you find your eye learning towards all the items placed on the Counter...  this is what we mean by depersonalizing a home and why.  We want buyers to see the home since that is what we are selling here. Also the space can appear smaller and cramped with many belongings on the Counters. 

Here is an example of what to consider in each room/area:
  • Front entry: Here’s where buyers get that important first impression, often within the first 60 seconds. Have sellers leave out only the most practical furnishings, such as a bench and side table. Wall art and photos should be scaled back to three or four, says Nanette Plescia, sales manager for national home builder Lennar.
  • Kitchen: This hub of the house typically gets extra scrutiny and recommends removing refrigerator door magnets, throwing out expired food, placing loose contents in containers, and leaving enough empty space so shelves can be viewed front to back. She also suggests sellers take the same approach with pantries, cabinets, drawers, and shelves.
  • Living spaces: Living, dining, and great rooms should reveal similarly slimmed-down contents rather than wall-to-wall furnishings and accessories. Remind home owners they’re selling their house, not their personal style, says Kathy Nielsen, executive vice president of the Real Estate Staging Association in Valley Springs, Calif.
  • Master bedrooms. This room should convey a sense of serenity, with all clothing and shoes put away and night tables cleared, except for a lamp or book. Also, advise sellers not to make secondary bedrooms a catch-all for storing unused items. This can be a particular problem for households where children no longer live at home, Nielsen says.
  • Closets. These should be dramatically emptied, by half or one-third, and shelves should be organized with uniform baskets, bins, and hangers. “Be sure there’s at least one-half inch in between hangers to convey roominess,” says Plescia. When it comes to closet floors it’s best to get rid of everything—even hampers—for the least cluttered look, says Nielsen.
  • Bathrooms. Besides telling sellers to clear counters and fixture surfaces, be sure they remove prescriptions for safety reasons. Loose items such as toothbrushes and hair styling tools should be stored neatly. Towels should be put away unless sellers have new ones that they can keep neatly folded for showings.
  • Attics, basements, garages. Much like spare bedrooms, these spaces often become a dumping ground for seasonal and rarely used items. Advise sellers only to store what they need in clear, labeled bins—best to do so by category such as holiday decorations to make retrieval easier. “Otherwise, buyers may conclude the house itself doesn’t have enough storage,” says Barry Izsak, a professional organizer in Austin, Texas.
  • Outdoors. Most sellers know the importance of front-yard curb appeal, but they shouldn’t neglect side and back yards. Outdoor living spaces should be minimally furnished to convey the function—a patio looks more inviting with a table, a few chairs, and barbecue. Scattered children’s toys make the scene look disorganized; suggest they be stored in a colorful bin.
When her house is for sale, her family knows the drill: “We never leave used towels in bathrooms, newspapers on the table, or laundry on the dryer,” she said. “We thin out closets, take all books off the nightstands, and pack away anything personal.”

If you’re fixing to sell, here are 10 more inexpensive ways that will help your house move faster:

1. Get the right mind-set. Once you list your home, detach yourself. It’s not about you anymore. Treat the house as a commodity. Make changes that will broaden its appeal.
2. Start at the curb. Look at what people see when they pull up. Trim hedges, prune trees, mow the lawn and plant flowers. If the mailbox is tired and address numbers are falling off, replace them. Walk around the house; get all debris off the property.
3. Paint — it’s money in a can. Outside, a coat of paint is one of the best face-lifts you can give your house for a relatively low price. If you don’t want to paint the whole house, paint the trim. Inside, paint walls a soft neutral like warm beige, sage or gold. Paint says fresh start and masks odors.
4. Focus on the entry. The front door makes a strong first impression. Make sure the door, hardware and porch decor look fabulous.
5. Start packing. Most homes would show much better with 50 percent less stuff. Since you’re already moving, give yourself a head start by packing away clothes, books and dishes you won’t need for the next few months. Thinning out bookcases and closets lets buyers better appreciate the space, and gives the illusion that the house offers more than adequate storage. If you can’t get the stuff into off-site storage, stack neat, labeled boxes in the garage. While you’re at it, clear surfaces. In kitchens, leave out just one appliance. Leave just a phone and a lamp on your desk. Think nice hotel.
6. Catch up on maintenance. Do those minor repairs you should have done already. Paying attention to details signals that you care about big stuff, too.
7. Consider new appliances. In LaPorta’s experience, sellers get back every dollar they spend on new appliances. “When people see new kitchen appliances, they often see a new kitchen. That rates high on people’s radar.”
8. Add house bling. Update anything metal. People see shiny new metal, and say “Oooh.” You can buy a new dining room light fixture for $200, and one for the porch for $40. Change doorknobs, faucets and curtain rods if they’re worn and dull. You may only need a can of spray paint. Styles don’t change; metals do. If you have dated polished brass fixtures, paint them an updated metallic that looks like oil-rubbed bronze, brushed nickel or iron.
9. Clean house. Clean is relative, but we often don’t notice our own dirt. So look hard, starting with the switch plate by the front door. Wipe it down along with all light switches, doors and baseboards. If you’re not the best housekeeper, hire a service. Every surface should sparkle.
10. Banish smells. Pet odors kill deals. When people walk in, they should either smell nothing or a really nice scent, like cinnamon, citrus for fresh baked cookies. Put out potpourri, or fresh flowers. Have carpets, if not replaced, professionally cleaned and deodorized.

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This post was written by:

Leslie from Northern California.
Yes.. I am a Bay Area transplant, long before everyone starting moving up here from the Bay Area and Southern California in 1977. I believe this helps me to understand what you may be looking for. And can help you adapt to our “Country Lifestyle”. Yes, I know the greatest hiking/ boating/ camping/ fishing spots and the best places to relax! If you are moving from another area, just ask me for one of my helpful Relocations Packages by clicking on the link

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