As your Orlando, FL real estate agent I want to make sure those of you selling your Orland, FL home are aware of all the tips and tricks that will help make the sale go smoothly. One thing you definitely need to know about as a seller is what the real estate industry calls “staging.”
Think of staging as putting on finishing touches to make sure your home looks its best before it goes on display. Staging is more important than some people think. Sure, you might have finished all necessary repairs on your house that is located in an amazing neighborhood, but something small–such as the grass being too long in the front yard–could turn off potential buyers.
When potential buyers walk into your house, you want them to immediately be able to imagine themselves living there. Make that easy for them! Don’t make them have to work at it and try to guess at what the house would look like at its best. Staging involves small costs that can often turn into big gains. That said, here are some staging tips:
Fix the outside first
The front of your house is the first thing people see. If they drive by and don’t like it, they might not even come in. Make sure the lawn is mowed and weeds are pulled. Plant flowers. If that feels like too much work, at least buy a big flowering plant and set it by the front door. Make sure there is nothing sitting in the yard, even garbage cans, a rake, a garden hose, etc.
Put a fresh coat of paint on dirty walls, rip up stained carpeting, and remove that 1970s wallpaper. Buyers will see those things and immediately think “This place needs work. They don’t want to work! Again, a little money and effort on your end will be paid back when you make the sale.
Get rid of stuff
It’s hard to recognize how spacious a room is when the walls are lined with bookshelves and there’s an end table in every corner. Remove all unnecessary furniture and pare down to the basics. A living room, for example, might have a couch, two chairs, a nice area rug, and a television on the wall.
Clean, clean, clean
After you get rid of stuff, there will probably be some dust and cobwebs. Get rid of that too! Buyers want to know that they trust you. Even if you’re being honest about the home’s history and you’ve made all needed repairs, they don’t know that. Seeing that you’re the “type of person who keeps things clean” provides assurance that you keep on top of things and would keep a house in good repair.
Make it smell good
An old realtor trick is to bake cookies before an open house. This is a pleasant smell that almost everyone enjoys. Just don’t burn them! If you don’t have time to bake, consider lighting a candle. Try to pick a mild scent that will not offend sensitive noses. On a related note, if you smoke inside, stop it. Sure, it might be difficult to change your habit, but it’s only temporary and will equal more dollars when you sell.
Lighten things up
Ditch the dark, heavy drapery and open the mini-blinds–potential buyers like light. It makes rooms look larger and cleaner. If there isn’t adequate sun light in any given room, bring in a bright lamp with a white light bulb.
Remove anything controversial
Not everyone shares your beliefs and tastes, and if buyers feel uncomfortable in your home they’ll be less likely to buy it. Think of it this way: If something could be considered inappropriate in a work setting, take it out of the house. That includes magazines, books, or movies, and any decoration or artwork referring to politics, religion, alcohol/drug use, nudity, etc. You might not even notice that Bud Light bikini girl poster on the garage wall after all these years, but it could alienate a potential buyer.
Put some flowers on the dining room table
It’s a small and inexpensive move, but it makes a difference. People’s eyes are immediately drawn to flowers, which tend to boost people’s moods. It’s a nice final touch.
I hope that helps! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and of course I’m available to help you sell your Orlando, FL home if you need a realtor.