Your home is one of your most valuable assets. Getting it ready to put on the market takes time and work from both you and your real estate agent. An Ulster County MLS Top Producing agent can guide you in all the steps to ensure that you put your best foot forward when staging your home. Money spent staging your home translates to a quicker sale and a higher selling price.
There are many levels of staging from simple painting and new curtains to a full-blown interior decorating makeover. The decision regarding how to stage your home should largely be driven by the type of buyers that you expect to be shopping for a home like yours. Hiring an agent who is familiar with the Ulster County real estate markets is your best bet for getting the information you need on statistics and demographics for your neighborhood, as well as getting insight into what buyers are looking for.
Stage For The Buyer, Not Yourself
When thinking about the type of staging you want for your home, you need to consider the most important factor, the buyer. Everyone has their own style, when it comes to staging or decorating, you have to keep this in mind. Although you may "love" a specific style or color, a potential buyer may not. Keeping it simple, and straight forward is always the best way to go.
The first rule of thumb, is to clean, clean, and clean! Keeping in mind that everyone has their own taste and style, buyers look at all aspects of a home, and weigh everything differently, but on average, buyers pay close attention to the kitchen and bathrooms.
Stage The Kitchen To Wow Buyers
For many prospective home buyers, the kitchen is considered the focal point of the home, as people spend a lot of time in their kitchens, so a nicely staged kitchen will help them see themselves in the home. Kitchens also have a lot to do with resale value, so the buyers will want to be impressed with this area of the home.
Kitchens are notorious for being full of clutter. Show off as much space as possible, clean the countertops and clear them off, organize appliances and utensils, hide boxes or bags, replace burnt out light bulbs, handles or knobs. Clean like the sale of your home depended on it ... because it does!
Pay extra attention to the sink, counters, stove, etc. Keep everything neat and organized. Remove pictures, notes, the kids drawings, etc. from the refrigerator.
Consider making minor updates / repairs. If you’re not handy, consider hiring a handyman to come in and adjust that cabinet door that doesn’t close properly, or to tighten that kitchen sink faucet, or to update handles, knobs, or other fixtures.
Freshen up the paint. Try and stay as neutral as possible. If the kitchen is connected to the family / living room, use the same color paint -- or one shade lighter or darker. This will make the eye flow from one room to the next, making the entire place seem more spacious.
Have an eat-in kitchen? If the room is tight to move around in, take a look at your current furniture. Does the table and/or chairs take up too much room? Accentuate your eat-in kitchen by setting a small table. Don't leave it up to the buyers to envision the eat-in kitchen — show it to them!
Staging Bathrooms For Function
The plan-of-attack for bathrooms, is simply to clean and update. Bathrooms should be sparkling clean and well-lit (but not overly bright). If you want to score extra points with home buyers, make simple, but tasteful updates that will make your bathroom clean, bright and luxurious.
Before getting too involved in any big projects, start by de-cluttering, organizing, and clean, clean, clean. We understand that you live in the home and use these rooms, but try to keep everything as neat and organized as possible. If needed, you can pick up a small condiment bag at your local drug store to pack up hair brushes, razors, makeup, etc. Hide or neatly organize used towels, bathrobes, clothes, etc.
Clean around the tub, shower, drains, tiles, etc. Remove hard-water deposits on shower enclosures with a solution of white vinegar and water. Add 1 cup liquid fabric softener to 1 quart warm water, and use to loosen and clean soap scum from shower doors.
Take a good look at the fixtures (lights, handles, spigots, etc.). If anything looks cracked, missing, or outdated, replace them with sleek and modern fixtures. Stay away from brass fixtures — they bring the 1980's to mind. You can find some great deals at your local home improvement store. If you’re not comfortable changing these fixtures yourself, it’s definitely worth hiring a handyman.
If you have the budget and you really want to increase your home's appeal, consider installing a pedestal sink. They are very popular with buyers right now, and they make the bathroom seem larger by freeing up space!
Add warmth and color to the bathroom by putting some plush towels on the towel rack. Color-coordinate them with the bathroom's color scheme (matching them to the rug, flower arrangement, etc.). Fresh flower arrangements do a lot for a bathroom, both in appearance and aroma.
Neutral and Nice
There is something to be said about a neutral staging style. If you shoot for neutral but nice, buyers can bring their own imagination and personality to the scene. Some buyers may feel overwhelmed by an aggressive staging style. A simple table with a vase of wild flowers, white ceramic canisters in the kitchen and decorative towels in the bathroom can all be neutral elements that make a home look well cared for and appealing.
Lighting the room with lamps, rather than strong overhead lighting, will create a peaceful ambience. Arrange an art or travel book on the table in front of the sofa, and pile a few birch logs next to the fire place. All of these small details will make a buyer want to spend extra time in your home. They may already be lighting a fire in their mind and imagining themselves kicking back on the couch.