As a professional home stager, I’ve staged many homes here in Jacksonville, Florida. If there were ten things I could tell you to help you sell your home , they would be :
1. Make sure the exterior of your home is attractive. Buyers know within 15 seconds of seeing your house if it’s a place they’d consider a home. Is your front exterior welcoming? Is the paint color attractive? Does the front door have a complementary color and is the door hardware in new or like-new condition? Are your landscaping beds mulched? Do you have attractive flowers outside to add color? Has the clutter been removed from walkways or driveways? Are your shrubs and lawn in good condition and well-manicured? First impressions count!
2. Paint colors in your home will be one of the first things buyers notice as they enter. Will your paint colors appeal to a wide range of buyers? Is there a harmonious flow of color throughout your home? It’s best if the exterior paint colors transition nicely into the interior .
3. Clean and declutter your home. If you have a lot of clutter, donate want you don’t need to a thrift shop and rent a storage unit for anything that you wish to keep. It will be well worth the money spent. A cluttered home reduces the spaciousness of a home. I always tell my clients to remove 50% of what is in their closets and have nothing on the closet floors.
4. When decorating bookshelves, tables,mantles, or walls, think less but bigger. Remove all personal pictures so buyers aren’t looking at your Aunt Emma instead of your fabulous floor plan. Group accessories in odd#’s and mix in glass, wood, ceramic, metal, and rattan for an appealing look.
5. Have your home staged before your listing pictures are taken. According to Active Rain, a real estate blog and marketing site, 94% of people research their home purchase on-line before contacting a realtor and 75% buy a home they originally found on the Internet – it’s like an Internet dating game. Buyers know what they want and if they see beautiful pictures of what they're imagining their next home to be, they’ll be sure to view that home.
6. If you have to move before you sell your home, schedule two moves and leave some of your furnishings in the home you are selling. It’s really not that much more expensive to do. According to Home Staging Resource, only 10% of buyers can visualize their furnishings in a vacant home.
7. Hire a professional home stager to prepare your home for sale. Most home sellers cannot view their homes objectively. A home stager knows how to create the atmosphere needed to form an emotional connection with a buyer. They know the demographics of your neighborhood and who might likely purchase your home. If you’d prefer to stage it yourself, they can also provide you with a staging report informing you about what changes need to be made.
8. Make sure your home is not outdated. If your paint colors, wall coverings, appliances, flooring, cabinetry and appliances don’t reflect life in the 21st century, update them. That means get rid of that harvest gold refrigerator from the 70’s or that mauve carpeting from the 80’s!
9. Have a home inspection done to identify any major structural, electrical, or plumbing, etc. problems that might exist so there are no surprises. I’ve seen a few deals go “down the drain” due to surprises resulting from the buyers’ home inspections. Have any major problems addressed by a professional contractor if necessary.
10. Hire a proactive realtor who will a.) correctly price your home based upon a competitive market analysis of your neighborhood; b.) market your home aggressively to attract buyers to view it; c) keep you informed of the feedback that is being received from buyers viewing your home.