Today’s real estate market is not only fast-paced but also highly competitive. If you’re considering or are in the process of putting your house up for sale, now’s as good a time as any to learn how to play your cards right.
Realtor.com currently has over 3,000 listings for Albuquerque, NM. If that’s where your house is located and assuming the price point differences aren’t too great, that means you have to compete with 3,000 other homeowners who are also trying to close a sale. Your first objective is therefore to make your property as appealing as possible to prospective buyers.
Why Staging Matters
If you’ve worked with a real estate agent in the past or have caught one of the many real estate reality shows on TV, then you already have at least a passing knowledge of home staging. In home staging, the goal is to set up and present your home in such a way that makes it appealing to as many potential buyers as possible. You essentially showcase your property’s best assets and try to downplay its weaknesses.
Home staging shows buyers what their lives could be like in your home. But does it work? Research says yes: a properly staged home gets snapped up two to three times as fast as an un-staged home and can go for as much as 20% more.
So how should you go about preparing your home for sale?
Where to Focus Your Efforts
Staging can take a long time if you put each and every area of your home through a fine-tooth comb. But if you’re trying to get your home sale-ready, it’s always more efficient to focus on big-picture home improvements. As I’ve often told clients, this means concentrating your efforts on the areas that will contribute the most to your home’s price tag.
Exteriors: First impressions matter in the real estate market, which is why your home’s exterior has such a big impact on buyers. Exterior prep work may include:
- Cleaning, repairing, or replacing siding.
- Adding attractive-looking plants to porch containers and window boxes
- Adding outdoor and garden lighting.
- Cleaning gutters and downspouts.
- Replacing missing roof shingles.
- Adding accent or window trim.
Entryway: Your front door is a major focal point of your home and is one of the first things a buyer will notice. Make sure it looks attractive by:
- Installing a new entry door or repainting the existing one.
- Cleaning or updating the knob and other entry door hardware.
- Adding molding or door trim.
Foyer and living room: The foyer and living room are where potential buyers are first ushered into once they walk through your doors. To wow visitors at first glance, keep this area bright, organized and free of unnecessary clutter.
Kitchen: I would strongly advise you to have your kitchen remodeled if you have the time and budget because the investment pays off so well upon resale. Returns of more than 100% of the remodeling costs are not uncommon. Must-haves for buyers usually include stainless steel appliances, stone countertops, all-wood cabinets, and hardwood or stone floors.
Bathrooms: Like kitchens, bathrooms are powerful buyer bait. Again, my advice is for you to invest in bathroom upgrades before you sell. Which upgrades? Think walk-in showers, new lighting, added storage and a new vanity. If possible, consider adding a second bath or half bath.
Master suite: A complete master suite—which includes bedroom, bathroom, and sitting area—is always a big selling point. Desirable features include neutral colors, walk-in closets, and a double vanity.
When making remodeling decisions, remember to keep your décor versatile so that you can attract more buyers. Remember to make it about the house, not about you or your family. Finally, do a practice walk-through with a friend or relative before your open house.
Getting your property off the market will take some work, but if you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be able to sell your house in no time.
Ellie Montgomery is a home improvement consultant for Dream Style Remodeling. She has worked with remodelers for more than a decade and constantly seeks opportunities to broaden her knowledge and experience in the field. Elie also enjoys writing and puts these two passions to good use by blogging about home renovation tips, trends and DIY.