March 25, 2013 § 4 Comments
I’ll be blunt. The first thing a prospective buyer will notice upon entering your home is … (drumroll please)… the smell. If any peculiar odor is detected, it can kill a deal in the first minute. Or at least knock thousands off the price. So if you have carpets and plan to keep them and if you have pets, here’s my Number 1 tip:
Hire a professional carpet and floor cleaner. It will make a huge difference. Not only will it rid your house of much of the odor, it will make one of the biggest selling features (your floors) look ready for buyers. Some other important tips:
Don’t burn fragrant candles or use air fresheners. A dead giveaway that you’re trying to mask some mysterious odors in the house. The best way to combat the smell is to clean from top to bottom and inside out, freshen the rooms with paint, and remove old carpets if possible.
Dehumidify your basement. Unless you have a completely dry basement with windows and doors that walk out into the yard, your basement will smell musty. Even if you’re not featuring a Man Cave, the basement needs to show itself to best advantage. Make sure it smells neutral.
Find a pet sitter for your animals. Whether it’s a litter box or a giant dog crate, the animal equipment detracts from the selling features of the house. And some people are actually allergic to cats. (Pet owners will not like this tip — but I’m just telling it like it is.) Move the animals to a friend’s house while you’re on the market — or at least for the Open House and the week following it.
Get rid of the dirty old furniture. This is a tough one for realtors as homeowners can take offense. But listen. Would you buy a house with a living room full of ragged recliners and tray tables? No. Remove the old furniture and let a home stager set up your living room to attract the most number of buyers. Your house will sell quicker if you stage it properly.
Tough love means a quick sale. You heard it here.
November 16, 2011 § Leave a comment
Is your living room a Man Cave? Many of us have reconfigured our rooms at home to reflect our lifestyles: dining rooms may be home offices; family rooms may have movie theater seating and 60″ televisions; and master bedrooms may have more exercise equipment than your local health club. All that is fine and probably a good use of space… until you decide to put your house on the market.
When called upon to stage this home, we couldn’t help notice the elephant in the room. The pool table and its well appointed overhead lighting had to go. We needed to return the living room to its original function with a conversation area that would welcome prospective buyers coming in the front door. (Note: some of you might love a pool table in your living room, but majority rules when it comes to staging!)
With the pool table gone and the rug rolled up to expose the beautiful hardwood floor, we moved the sofa from the other side of the room and brought in two slipper chairs, a cozy rug, and some accessories. The result? A more conventional living room and an easier sale.
If you plan to put your house on the market, start your prep by returning rooms to their original function. Move excess furniture and equipment to storage. You will get a quicker sale!
July 25, 2011 § 12 Comments
Red, yellow, and blue are primary colors that attract attention. Used alone or in combination, they will definitely grab your eye. So it’s no great surprise that this house with its pale yellow siding, royal blue door, and red foundation plantings made me slam on the brakes for a quick photo.
The first color you notice is the royal blue. That shade is what many would consider to be the definition of “blue” and with the white trim around the door, it pops. And that is precisely what a front door should do. There should be no mistaking the front door for the service entrance (I just love saying that… you know what I mean … usually the door into the garage).
The front door does not have to be a primary color, for sure, but it should stand out significantly enough from the rest of the house to be a welcoming entrance, and there should be a clearly defined path leading up to it. Front doors that, despite their color, are obscured from view behind a large bush just do not function well. I’ve been to some houses that were so confusing that I ended up walking around the house into the back yard looking for the way in… (this happens primarily when there is no sidewalk or stone pathway to follow — the subject of another post).
If you have two doors on the front of your house, be sure to let people know which door is preferable. Plantings, lights, and a visible doorbell or knocker will guide your guests to the preferred entrance and prevent your greeting partygoers in the mudroom. I suggest painting your main entry door the accent color and the other “service” doors the siding color. Then your guests will not be forced to choose between red doors, numbers 1, 2, or 3.
These are little points in the grand scheme of curb appeal, but I just thought I’d mention them anyway.