Are you planning on selling your home but don’t know how to ensure it sells as quickly as possible at the highest price? Have no fear, my friends. We have tons of tips and tricks to help you prep your space for the real estate market on the cheap. Take notes!
Before we get into the nittiest and the grittiest of what to do and what not to do, I’m going to throw some eye-opening statistics your way. If you were on the fence about the benefits of home staging and prepping your home before putting it on the market, these will definitely convince you:
- Price increases of up to 13% have been linked to good staging and preparation*.
- The number of days spent on the market can be cut by up to 40% for the same reasons.
- On average, unstaged homes stay on the market over 150 days longer than staged homes.
- One study showed an average of 163.7 days for unstaged compared to 8.9 days for staged.
- 91% of realtors and builders agree that good staging will result in a higher price point and/or faster sale.
- 64% of buyers would NOT make an offer if a property looks too dark or cluttered.
*All data and statistics are taken directly from resources provided by AnnieMac Home Mortgage Worx and Real Estate Staging Expert.
The chance to make more money in less time? Yes, please! But how?!
There is a very long list of crucial aspects involved with getting your home ready for sale, so I’m going to try to break it down for you in the best way I know how: using an acronym. Let’s do the M.A.T.H.!
Keep it simple. Don’t go crazy with throwing stuff away and make it look like the lobby of a corporate building, but don’t overdo it with the decor either. You want people to see the actual space, not your furniture and weird little trinkets. Those are for you. You want the space to look as open and bright as possible, so get rid of the clutter and focus on highlighting the features of the property.
This one is obvious, but make it look nice! You know that feeling you get when you see some really amazing interior decor on HGTV and you’re like, “oh god yes.” No? Just me? Whatever. You want people to come in and go, “oh god yes.” Make them feel something! Home design and staging are art forms, whether people realize it or not. Art is not confined by frames or screens — it is everywhere. Make the place look like a work of art. Pay attention to symmetry, complementary patterns and shapes, and mixing modern styles with vintage vibes. Most importantly: open the blinds. I don’t care what anyone says — any property in the world will look better with the sun shining in through the windows.
Also pretty self-explanatory, but make sure the house is CLEAN! Dust is a turn-off, and spring cleaning season is upon us! Whip out that vacuum and scrub that tub. The dirtier the place is, the harder it will be for your buyers to picture it clean. Make sure the air vents aren’t caked in dust and dirt, the sink isn’t full of dishes, and the beds are made. Cleanliness isn’t just about appearance either — smells are crucial. Take the trash out, wash your dog, put on some deodorant, do your laundry, and clean out your fridge. Candles are your best friend!
You want your buyers to come in to your home and already imagine themselves living there; warm, welcoming, cozy. Make it so that they can picture themselves cuddled up reading a book on the couch, drinking coffee under a blanket on the patio, raising their kids and growing old with their loved ones in that space. Make it feel like home.
Avoid the three D’s of doom: dark, damp, dingy. If you’re worried or unsure about something, your buyers probably will be too.
Be aware of rotting wood, stains on the ceilings or on the carpets, and make sure that everything is as pristine and welcoming as it can be.
On that topic, never underestimate the power of curb appeal. Take the time to mow the lawn, trim the trees, sweep the collection of dried leaves off of the front step and get rid of any cobwebs. Make sure the house number is nice and visible – there’s nothing worse than going to tour a property and not being able to figure out where you’re going. Make it clean and bright like you live in an animated kids’ show where rust doesn’t exist and the sun is a giant smiley face.
None of this has to break your bank, either. If you can’t afford traditional home staging, take the virtual route – we use a company called Box Brownie who is affordable, fast and produces a great final product. Technology is incredible and virtual staging can blend furniture into the space so perfectly, you would never know the difference.
If you can’t redo your whole bathroom, focus on making sure the grout is clean and recaulk anything that’s cracking. If you have an older kitchen, maybe invest in one new appliance to make it look a little more modern. It’s a miracle what a new refrigerator can do to a room. If you can’t do that, whip out your inner DIY master and get creative. You can do something as simple as changing the knobs on your cabinets and it will make a world of difference.
In way fewer words, just make the place feel as “mi casa es su casa” as possible. If you’re looking for a friendly hand, your pals at JG Real Estate have two certified home stagers on staff to assist you with getting your home market-ready. Our very own Ariel Morgenstein and Allura Hipper have keen eyes and awesome ideas to help make your property pop.
Really, the most important thing of all of this is to trust your instincts. Don’t feel like you have to do a full renovation. Don’t even feel like you have to do ANY renovation. As long as you follow the rules of M.A.T.H., you get a gold star.
Good luck, and happy selling!