Selling Your Home in a Competitive Market

Creating curb appeal is an essential ingredient to attracting potential buyers to a house for sale. Similar to the concept of “dressing for success,” when you make a strong first impression, your chances for producing positive results are greatly enhanced.

Looking good from the outside is the first step to capturing people’s interest, but that’s only the first of several hurdles that you have to clear. The last thing you want to do as a home seller is disappoint prospective buyers when they start looking around inside. That’s why it’s important to start strong and finish strong! While that may be easier said than done, it’s a principle of success you can’t afford to ignore.

Once you put your house on the market, there are two factors that could potentially work against you: the elements of time and competition.

  • Time is of the essence: Time can either be your friend or your adversary, depending on how long your house has been on the market. When house hunters see the words “just listed,” it creates a feeling of excitement and urgency. For many eager home buyers, those two words mean there’s a fresh opportunity to discover the house of their dreams… or at least a reasonable facsimile! It’s especially enticing to frustrated buyers who have already looked at a lot of homes, without having found the right one yet. When a new house is listed and put on the market, couples will be thinking and saying “Maybe this house will be the one!” Your challenge as a home seller is to do everything possible and cost-effective to live up to their expectations! An important factor to keep in mind is that the longer a house is on the market, the less appealing it generally is to prospective buyers. Once a house has been languishing on the market for more than a couple months or so, it also puts the sellers at a negotiating disadvantage.
  • Competition is a fact of life: Buying a house is weighty decision. No one takes it lightly, and few buyers are going to make an offer on a house if they haven’t looked at several others, too. Well-organized house hunters will have wish lists, “must have” requirements, and detailed notes and recollections about how each house stacks up. So it’s important to work with your real estate agent to present your home in its best possible light. When your home compares favorably to other similar properties on market, your chances of getting it sold within a reasonable period of time are greatly improved.

Maintaining an appealing exterior will help give you an inside track in the competitive real estate market, but making sure your property is in good shape from top to bottom will often be the deciding factor in how soon you get to the finish line!

Can You Make a Room Look Bigger?

If you are selling your home or just looking to redecorate, one thing you may want to do is make the rooms look bigger. Here are some tips on how to make the rooms in your home appear larger:

Use an oversize mirror to enhance the effect of light. Mirrors reflect both natural and artificial light making a room bigger and brighter.

Glass-topped tables and see-through furniture can create an illusion that enhances the room with a more open flow.

Clear the clutter. There’s nothing that makes a small space feel even more cramped than having too much stuff. Rooms with everything in place have a certain flow to them. A room without clutter has a more streamline look and a larger appearance.

Light colored walls will also make your rooms appear bigger. Colors such as cream, beige, light grayish-blue and lavender will reflect and multiply the light giving the room an airy feel.

Use dual-purpose furniture. Furniture that doubles as storage increases the function of each space.  Pieces like an entryway bench with storage space or a flip-top ottoman are great ways to combine furniture and function.

Use vertical space to create storage and maximize those out-of-the-way areas in your home.

Utilize those out-of-the-way nooks like the area under a flight of stairs.

 

Preparing Your Home for Selling

When selling your home, you want it to appeal to a wide variety of people, not showcase your personality or preferences. While you might love deep red walls in your dining room, it might be too bold for a potential buyer. Your goal is to sell your home and having the right buyer appeal is key. There are a few things to think of when staging your home.

Paint color is a must unless you already use neutral colors in your home. When looking for paint colors think of beige, olives, yellows, tans and greys. Outdated wallpaper patterns are a big no-no. Not only will an outdated look not be appealing to a buyer but the thought of having to take it down after buying the home can be a negative to a buyer. Taking down the wallpaper, fixing any imperfections in the walls with spackle and sanding, and applying a new coat of paint will go a long way. Choosing a paint with a low sheen will help hide any imperfections that may still remain.

De-cluttering your home will give it a clean, organized look that will appeal to a buyer. Minimal items should remain in your home and going through your space to take out anything you don’t need and sending it to storage is ideal. Think about your furniture as well, since often too much furniture can cause spaces to look small. In addition, by pulling furniture away from the walls and placing them in conversational groups, you add space to a room.

Having the right decorative items can help to create an inviting space. Rather than having items lined up, trying grouping different items together, like on the coffee table. Hang pictures and art work in groups as well, avoiding a traditional straight line on the wall. Make sure that you have things such as decorative towels and soaps in the bathroom to help set the scene. And adding the right lighting can help set a welcoming mood. Make sure you have a variety of lighting in each space, from table lamps, to accent lighting, and whole room lighting.

Basically, when staging your home, you want to make it a place that someone would want to live. Little touches here and there can really make a difference. With a little investment you might just find you are getting the offers you were hoping for.