Getting ready to sell ? 10 Staging Tips To Wow Home Shoppers

CityLifeStyle Real Estate Home Staging Increased Property Value

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Getting ready to sell ?

Home Buying Lucie Brand Special to The Globe and Mail

10 Staging Tips To Wow Home Shoppers

Cana­di­an Real Estate Wealth Mag­a­zine.

Prepar­ing any prop­er­ty for sale can be a daunt­ing and often over­whelm­ing task, even for a sea­soned investor. Whether you are liv­ing in your cur­rent invest­ment prop­er­ty or if it has been ten­ant­ed for years there are some key stag­ing strate­gies that can help get your prop­er­ty open house read.

1. Start With A Change Of Mind

Too often investors/​home own­ers become either too emo­tion­al­ly attached or not attached at all. I have worked with investors who were ren­o­vat­ing a prop­er­ty and blew their bud­get on some obscene­ly expen­sive tile they had to have” and had noth­ing left for fur­nish­ing the place. On the oth­er hand I’ve worked with land­lords who did not see the val­ue in paint­ing a place that had gone through 3 ten­ants ! Look­ing at a prop­er­ty from a buyer’s per­spec­tive is key.

Take a tour with a real­tor or a stag­ing pro­fes­sion­al and get some out­side opin­ions on what areas you should focus your dol­lars on and what’s need­ed to get the max­i­mum offers.

2. Maximize Curb Appeal

The out­side should draw peo­ple inside. Neat­ly trimmed bush­es, mulched beds, weed­ed lawns all help make that cru­cial first impres­sion”. Fresh­ly paint­ed front doors with new mail­box­es and house num­bers are easy ways to cre­ate max­i­mum impact with­out break­ing the bank. Adding sea­son­al urns by the front door for some colour are anoth­er way to bright­en up con­crete steps or bor­ing brick.

3. Choose Neutral Colour Palette

Bold colours are great for liv­ing, but not for sell­ing. Light and Bright should be your mot­to ! Stick with a warm, neu­tral palette like tans, tau­pes and greys. Avoid dark colours, espe­cial­ly in small spaces (like pow­der rooms). Keep the ceil­ings white to keep walls look­ing tall. Rule of thumb, if the walls haven’t been paint­ed in over 2 years, now is the Time !

Return on invest­ment : 109 per cent*

4. Let There Be Light

Light­ing plays a vital role and is often over­looked when get­ting a prop­er­ty ready for sale. Dark hall­ways, rooms with lit­tle nat­ur­al light, base­ments and bath­rooms should be addressed. A min­i­mum of a 2-bulb over­head fix­ture with max­i­mum watt bulbs can trans­form a dingy area. There should be NO over­head recep­ta­cles with­out a light fix­ture ! Con­sid­er adding pen­dant fix­tures in din­ing rooms and eat­ing areas. Big box stores offer afford­able options in brushed nick­el or sil­ver fittings.

Adding ambi­ent light­ing is essen­tial espe­cial­ly in areas where there is no over­head out­lets. Adding table lamps and floor lamps will help bright­en up any room and help your prop­er­ty appear as light-filled” as possible.

Return on invest­ment : 303 per cent*

5. Flooring

This is the oth­er main area that always increas­es the val­ue of a home. It will ALWAYS cost you less to replace worn car­pet or add new floor­ing then to leave it to the new home owners.

Most pur­chasers are look­ing for rea­sons to dis­count their offers. Floor­ing is one of the first things buy­ers see when they walk in. If their first thought is I will need to replace these floors”, I guar­an­tee they are dis­count­ing their offers $5000-$10000 for con­dos and $7000 – $15000 for hous­es. Doing the work your­self will cost you a frac­tion of that amount.

Return on invest­ment : 107 per cent*

6. It’S All In The Details

Replace all burnt out bulbs, touch up any nicks and dents in high traf­fic areas, replace torn screens and fix leak­ing faucets. Once the fix ups are done it’s time to focus on the pret­ty stuff. Fresh linens in the bath­rooms, a bowl of fresh green apples on a kitchen island, fresh flow­ers on a din­ing table or in the entrance way.

Adding live or silk green­ery to bath­rooms and adding a new crisp bed­ding set to the Mas­ter all help cre­ate the impres­sion of a well-cared for home.

7. Clean, Clean, Clean

This may seem like com­mon sense, but unfor­tu­nate­ly it’s still the one area own­ers tend to try and short­cut. This is the time to hire a pro­fes­sion­al clean­ing com­pa­ny. Spe­cial atten­tion should be placed on appli­ances, inside and out­side of cup­boards, base­boards and win­dows. Bath­rooms should be scoured and if nec­es­sary use grout clean­er to get the tiles look­ing spotless !

8. Highlight Best Use Of The Space

Ten­ants may have liked to use the din­ing room as an office, but it should be shown with it’s intend­ed pur­pose. Giv­ing a room more than one func­tion (i.e. guest room and office) is a great way to effec­tive­ly show the space. In con­dos this becomes essen­tial when space is at a premium.

Using small glass desks with a stool you can tuck in can cre­ative­ly intro­duce a work space” where one wouldn’t think pos­si­ble. Adding a daybed to a den/​office cre­ates extra sleep­ing space. Deter­mine what adds the most val­ue to poten­tial buy­ers in your neigh­bour­hood and show­case the space accordingly.

9. Kitchens And Bathrooms Are The Place To Invest

If you have dat­ed cab­i­netry, cracked and worn lam­i­nate coun­ters, chipped or bro­ken tiles, con­sid­er invest­ing in repair­ing and upgrad­ing these rooms.

If your bud­get is lim­it­ed, chang­ing cab­i­netry hard­ware to brushed nick­el or sil­ver knobs and han­dles will give it an imme­di­ate appeal. Con­sid­er paint­ing cab­i­netry instead of replac­ing them.

Depend­ing on the price point of your prop­er­ty it is often worth­while to install stone coun­ters. This imme­di­ate­ly adds val­ue and is very durable for long term use. If stone is not in the bud­get, con­sid­er a stone– like” lam­i­nate counter. Recaulk­ing around sinks and bath­tubs is a sim­ple improve­ment that can great­ly improve the look of a bathroom.

Return on invest­ment : 172 per cent*

10. Vacant Properties Sit, Staged Properties Sell

Staged homes sell 23 times faster and up to 6 per cent more than unstaged ones**. Peo­ple per­ceive staged units that are well dec­o­rat­ed as worth more. Pro­fes­sion­al stagers know how to high­light the fea­tures of the unit and dis­tract from any not so desir­able” features.

If your bud­get is lim­it­ed con­sid­er focus­ing on the main liv­ing areas and at least one bed­room. If you can’t bor­row fur­ni­ture and art­work, rental com­pa­nies car­ry every­thing from fur­ni­ture to linens. Just keep in mind that the goal is to show peo­ple how to use the space effectively.

Return on invest­ment : 299 per cent*

Remem­ber that 79 per cent of buy­ers have already viewed your prop­er­ty on the MLS, make sure that your prop­er­ty stands out among the com­pe­ti­tion ! Stag­ing is your key to get­ting noticed and get­ting SOLD.

*Home­gain Sur­vey 2011

** Joy Valen­tine Cold­well Banker Sur­vey of 2772 homes

From Cana­di­an Real Estate Wealth Mag­a­zine, a month­ly pub­li­ca­tion focused on build­ing val­ue through prop­er­ty invest­ment, cov­er­ing top­ics such as val­ues and trends, mort­gages, invest­ment strate­gies, sur­veys of region­al mar­kets and gen­er­al tips for buy­ers and sellers.