It’s time! Spring is here! You’ve decided to sell your house and your Real Estate agent is ready to go live with your listing. Next thing you know, potential buyers will be setting up showing appointments and looking over your house from top to bottom. That is all there is to it, right? Nope! Selling a house can be a stressful and tumultuous time, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little advice and guidance from your friendly Tampa Bay agent, this process can actually be enjoyable and relatively painless.
I have found that turning a “For Sale” into “Sold” is much more of a process than a simple foregone conclusion. I often have to help buyers envision themselves in a home since not every person that walks through the door has the ability to see past what is currently there in order to picture their future home. Buyers should feel what the seller felt when they decided that home was THE ONE and while many people spend years cultivating a comfortable atmosphere for themselves, often times, that atmosphere is to specific to them. It can really be more of a distraction than a selling point, which is why I’m here with a few tips that can help you put your home’s best foot forward.
1. One of the first and best ways to present your home is staging. A house isn’t that antique fine china collection or the meticulously placed furniture that creates that perfect feeling of feng shui, it is the space that surrounds those things. No matter how agreeable a client’s taste in home décor may be, I almost always advise them to make a few changes. A home is a product people want and that product should always be presented in the best way possible to make it more desirable. With a few simple steps, you can reduce distractions and help potential buyers focus on what appeals to them about your home. This is often one of the cheapest forms of advice that I can give since it can involve something as simple as tidying up, removing excessive pictures or furniture, and replacing loud colors with neutral colors on interior walls. These steps not only help a seller get a jumpstart on packing, but they can also give the impression of increased square footage by reducing visual obstructions throughout the home. We want anyone who steps into the home to feel free and open not bombarded and confined.
2. Another relatively cost effective way to make a home stand out is to tackle that landscaping that may not have been the biggest priority in the past. Cleaning up property lines and trimming back overgrown bushes and trees will again make the house feel larger and enable the buyer to really take in the property when they first arrive. That is not to say that landscaping is not needed. I often find myself suggesting that a client add a few colorful (and cheap!) plants to really bring out the curb appeal of the home. The key is finding a good balance of what complements but does not distract from the house.
3. This third step is one that can most definitely increase a home’s value, but also takes a little more monetary investment. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listed a home with a pink or blue 1960’s era bathroom and the feedback from buyers is ‘Well, I liked the house overall, but I don’t have the extra cash/desire/time to update the bathroom…’ And so, they move on to buy the house WITH updated everything. Updating kitchens and bathrooms is one of the best ways to increase not only appeal, but also overall value. As long as a seller doesn’t go crazy with renovation costs (don’t put $50,000 into the kitchen and keep it neutral, PLEASE!), kitchen and bath updates will almost certainly be a good return on investment once the house sells as they will be taken into consideration when the appraiser is appraising the home during the contract period. And that is what we hope our homes are after all, investments.
To sum it all up, selling a home is a big moment in life. It can often be overwhelming. However, if the process is tackled with a well made plan consisting of a few simple steps, that “SOLD” sign will go up quicker and you can walk away happy and satisfied.