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Dressing Your Home For Success

By: Jo-Ann Reilly

Selling a home is stressful in many ways. Knowing how to tackle the process can be helpful to sellers. When your home is about to go on the market, this is the time when you want your home to be show ready and to be very appealing to a buyer’s eye. We are in a seller’s market right now and homes are moving quickly. Dressing your home for success will generate you more money. Always remember “less is more” with staging your home. Fewer items in a room and on the floor draw more attention to the size of the space. In this way Buyers can envision their living space and colors in a way that makes it personal to them.

There are many helpful tips to minimize stress when dressing your home for a successful sale, this can generate a small “to do” list. Start with the exterior curb appeal and bring color to the front of the home with plants. You should also clean gutters, power wash siding, trim bushes, clean up any debris on the lawn, and reseal a worn or stained driveway. The first impression the buyer will see will determine if a buyer is interested in taking a tour of the interior. Be sure to welcome visitors with an inviting porch.

The next step is to walk through your home, room by room and evaluate each area. Strike a balance between clean and lived-in. Declutter your space and remove the excess toys and place in bins. Consider having a pre inspection completed prior to listing the home to be aware of any major issues. Fix any buckling carpets, remove items off the floor, address any pet odors, fix dripping faucets, clean chimneys, rechaulk bathroom tubs, replace any missing bulbs to increase light. Be sure steps and tight areas are cleared to avoid accidents. Don’t forget to place flowers on the table to add color in the home. Wipe kitchen counters down free of grease and clean appliances. Clean kitchen drawers out to help with the ease of opening up.

Most important is keeping the blinds and drapes open to bring in the natural light. Remove any furniture from the window/sliding door area. Typically, rooms appear to be larger and more appealing when there is an abundance of natural light. Staging furniture is also helpful. The living room should have enough room to walk around the couch area. When you’re designing around a fireplace, you can create a cozy vibe by using a love seat and two accent chairs in place of a single, larger sofa. Instead of using end tables around the sofa, you can use an accent table in between the chairs to hold items like lamps, coasters, or books.

Some staging ideas that add value are removing wall to wall carpet to show the hardwood floors. An open floor plan is a plus and allows a buyer to have a better vision of the space. Depersonalize photos and certifications that might cause the buyers get distracted. You want their full attention on your home. A fresh coat of paint goes a long way and gives the home a fresh, clean look. Choose sophisticated neutral colors. Now is not the time to experiment with that “fun”-looking lime green. That doesn’t mean you need to go all white, either. Rich midtone neutrals like mocha and “greige” create a sophisticated backdrop that makes everything look more pulled together.

Basement maintenance is just as important and buyers look to be sure that this space is dry and free of mold. Run a dehumidifier if necessary. Bring in the light and remove any damp carpet. Clean out dryer vents and have the furnace serviced. It is very helpful to have a tag on your furnace of the last time it was serviced.

Organizing closets is important and will also help with the moving process. This will allow you to start to declutter the unnecessary items and start the packing process along with making the home more presentable for buyers. For a resale value, you can never have enough closets.

According to a study conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), homes that are staged are selling fasterand at higher prices than those that are not staged. … According to the report, nearly two-thirds of sellers’ agents said that staging a home decreases the amount of time the home spends on the market.

Locating all your documents will give you a head start on the selling process. Having the deed, survey, any certificate of occupancies, appraisal, HOA documents, receipts for capital improvements, utility bills, manuals and warranties, home repair and maintenance records will streamline the selling process.

When choosing a Realtor, there are many important things to look for. Some of the most important things are, knowledge of your area, hire a seasoned agent with awards and designations, look at past reviews, history of past sales. Discuss a marketing plan and how the agent will follow up with showings. It is very helpful when agents have a network of resources for movers, title company, attorneys, etc.

What is important in selling your home today? Social media exposure, professional photo shoot, targeted online advertising, neighborhood reach, ability to sell remotely, property tours, just listed cards. Knowing the market and the area is key and it shows when marketing the home!

All of these things make a difference in the realtor you select. This is a big asset and you want to be sure you get the most money for your home. Believe in the agent and build a relationship with someone you can trust.

Please feel free to call me with any questions –  Jo-Ann Reilly CRS,SRES, ABR, PSA, Associate Real Estate Broker, Coldwell Banker,  (914)582-6467—Cell, &