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Home Staging Tips & Tricks

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Appearances are everything when it comes to selling your home! Preparation and presentation are key when it comes to staging your home to sell quickly and for top-dollar! Staging helps to highlight your home’s strengths, downplay its weaknesses and appeal to the greatest possible pool of prospective buyers.

 

 

Below are a few of our best HOME STAGING tips to help you prepare your home to sell by making it look its best!

Say goodbye to dirt, grime, and clutter.

If you’re serious about selling your home, all clutter must go. Period. End of story. Clean off counters, declutter refrigerator doors, pack away knickknacks, and clear closets! This may require an off-site storage unit or a willing family member with some extra space, but we can promise that the inconvenience is well worth it! A clear and clean home equals more space in the eyes of potential buyers, so purge anything unnecessary or unsightly.

So-long stinky-ness!

Concentration on just the physical, visible selling points of a house can lead to the costly mistake of overlooking (ahem, smelling) the scent of a home.  The unseen, stinky funk of a property can not only hinder the selling process, but completely prevent it, as well. We wrote a whole blog post on this topic and you can read that {here}, but basically? When it comes to stink – get rid of it! Go for a clean, fresh, inviting, but not too strong scent!

Deep clean.

From clean baseboards, carpets, and gleaming windows to shining floors, dusted ceiling fans, and scrubbed grout, every surface should sparkle. This is the easiest (ok, maybe not easiest, but certainly the cheapest) way to help your home show well. You may want to hire pros to do some of the really tough stuff, especially if you have a large house. Don't skimp — this step is key!

If it’s broken, fix it!

You don’t want to scare away potential buyers with any necessary repairs big or small. So paint, patch, or fix! Tackle projects you’ve been putting off and do what needs to be done in order for prospective buyers to see the home as ready to move in and not a DIY project!

Let the light in!

Light and bright is what sells! Open curtains, pull up blinds, and wash those windows!

Rearrange and evaluate furniture. 

In the living room, symmetrical arrangements usually work well. Pull your furniture off the walls and use pairs (of sofas, chairs, lamps) to create an inviting conversation area. But beware of too many pieces!

Too much furniture can make a room look too small. Eliminate extra chairs or tables that aren’t used frequently.

Neutralize and De-personalize!

Don’t get potential buyers get distracted by loud décor, bold paint colors, or anything that might be polarizing, such as highly personal, political, or religious items.

The best paint colors for home staging are taupes, beiges, whites and greys. If you have wall paper, funky accent walls or bold color on the walls, it is a good idea to neutralize it with these suggested paint colors. It is not to say that your funky taste in paint is wrong, it is simply too taste-specific, and in today’s market, you cannot afford to alienate the masses. The same can go for accent furniture, throw pillows, rugs and drapes. Think neutral walls, drapes and furnishing with pops of color achieved through throw pillows, rugs and fresh flowers.

Create maximum curb appeal.

Be sure the curb appeal of your home is looking good & that from the minute potential buyers pull up to your house they are interested. Mow the grass, edge the lawn, pick weeds, & be sure your shrubs and flowers are healthy. Seasonal flowers at the front door are a plus. Replace old door hardware and either paint or buy a new front door if needed. Invest in a quality doormat for a welcoming entrance. Don’t forget the backyard either! You never know what is at the top of your buyers house “must haves list” is & it could be a pretty backyard!

Selling your Home During the Winter Months

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Last year we visited the subject of SELLING YOUR HOME DURING THE WINTER MONTHS, and now that we’re back in the midst of frigid temps, it only seems right to re-share that post with you! So, here it is:

 

 

What could be more stressful than selling a home?  Selling a home in the winter, of course! And while January might seem a little late (according to the calendar!) to be broaching this subject, us Iowans know that, realistically, we still have 3-4 more months of “winter-like” weather.  This means that there is still plenty of time to take action and get your home listed and sold before spring even decides to show up!  Here are our top tips for selling your home in the winter months!

 

Take control of the snow and ice situation.  Keeping snow and ice at bay and away from your walkways and entryways is important if you want prospective buyers to get into your home safely and with ease.  Just like mowing your lawn in the summer, shoveling and maintaining your home’s exterior in the wintertime, helps the house look well taken care of and loved. Bonus tip: Even if you’re not currently living in the home, make arrangements with a friend, neighbor, or business to do snow and ice removal.

 

Go for a warm and cozy feel.  It might mean adjusting your thermometer a bit, but warming your home before a showing will help prospective buyers be comfortable.  And while you’re going for that comfortable feel, cozy things up a bit with pillows and throws in the living spaces, and perhaps a large folded-over comforter on a bed.  Make prospective buyers see themselves living comfortably in the house.

 

Make the most of natural lighting and supplement with good interior lights.  Lighting is especially important during the winter months when our days are shorter and the sun doesn’t always shine.  Take advantage of any and all outside light by opening all window coverings and turning on all (yes, all!) the lights in the house.  Again, we’re going for coziness here!  Bonus tip: Ensure that all light fixtures are clean and bulbs are burning bright.

 

Keep the windows clean.  Daylight during the winter can draw attention to dirt and grime that otherwise might go unnoticed.  Keep a prospective buyer’s focus on the home, not its state of cleanliness, by washing the windows.  If this isn’t a project you feel comfortable tackling, hire it out!  Trust us, a good window cleaning is worth the investment.

 

Make your home pleasing to the nose, not just the eyes.  Capitalize on our strong sense of smells, and feelings that those elicit by making sure that your home has a pleasant aroma -- without going overboard.  It can be as simple as baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies or burning a candle a couple hours before a showing (just remember to turn off the oven and/or blow out the candle!).  We’ve blogged about the Stinky Side Of Real Estate before and encourage you to re-read that to re-freshen your memory AND home prior to your first showing or open house!

 

While there may be fewer buyers during the wintertime, generally, the ones that do exist are serious and have some sense of urgency.  Capitalize on this by making your home stand out from the others with just a little effort and preparation.  And, as always, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, let us help!  Contact us anytime!

 

Steve Hidder, Broker/Owner

Ankeny Real Estate Service

219 SW 3rd Street

Ankeny, IA 50023

(515)964-3662

www.ankenyrealestateservice.com

 

 

 

 

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