Believe it or not, even though the market is “bad” homes are still selling. Of course they are not selling at the rate they used to… but they are selling. So if you are trying to sell your house and find yourself asking the question “Why isn’t my home selling?” you may be surprised to know that the answer to that question is quite simple, but a bit multifaceted. The sale of a home in today’s market is dependent on several factors; PRICE, CONDITION, MARKET PRESENCE and HOW BUYERS VIEW YOUR HOME.
WORK ON YOUR ENTRANCE – Whether you are on a job interview, going on a first date or selling your home… first impressions matter. What buyers see on the outside starts to inform them on what to expect on the inside. So clean it up, touch up the paint, add plants and flowers… in general, make the buyer feel welcome.
CLEAR OUT CLUTTER – We think counter tops, cabinets, closets, garages, basements, and attics as storage spaces, but often they become clutter keepers. Purging out the old is not only therapeutic but allows a path for the new. Remember too much clutter distracts and obstructs buyers from seeing what you are selling. So clear it out.
LESS FURNITURE = MORE HOUSE – A room full of furniture can feel as cluttered as an accountants desk top during tax season. Removing all but what makes sense and is necessary will make the room fell bigger… plus it may free up a piece better used elsewhere.
FLOAT YOUR FURNITURE – Typical furniture arrangement makes me think of young boys at their first junior high dance… wallflowers! When you “float” furniture, bringing it off the walls in into the centerof the room, you’ll end up with rooms that result in three positive benefits. The rooms will feel open, interesting and appealing… all working to the seller’s advantage.
CROSS POLLINATE – Sellers get so used to seeing their furnishings, art and accessories used one way and never then see it any other way. Moving pieces that have always been used in Room “X” into Room “Y” can give new life and meaning to an old rooms. But don’t stop with furniture… color, texture and style elements that dominate one room can be moved into and amongst others to visually link the home and create flow and continuity.
GIVE OLD ROOMS NEW PURPOSE – As time moves on, the way people live and use their homes changes. Extra bedrooms become TV Dens which then become Home Offices. Basements go from being storage areas, to Rec Rooms to Media rooms. Setting up an old room with a new purpose helps buyers see more potential in a contemporary way.
LET THE LIGHT SHINE IN – Letting natural sunlight in always helps buyers SEE the home and its features. Draperies that are not open, or even when they are open still cover up a large portion of the window. Either way they can make a room feel closed-in and smaller. However, equally important is the fact that sellers may need to redirect a buyer’s attention from the view out the window. If that is the case, there are plenty of options today that downplay the outside but lets the light inside.
LAMP & LIGHT DONE RIGHT – Lighting in a home that is too dim, too harsh, or too cold can work against the sale of it. Warm and balanced lighting is what it is all about. Using a combination of as many of the different lighting types (overhead, accent lamps, and task) in each room will give a home the overall appealing glow buyers like. Oh, and don’t forget to light up the exterior… especially the entrance.
COLOR WITHIN THE LINES – Wallpaper is out and color (paint) is in… especially when selling a home. Wallpaper is typically a very personal design expression that overtime looks dated. While the popularity of color does trend, updating with paint it is an easy and inexpensive way to freshen up a home that is for sale. Don’t limit yourself to thinking of white as the only neutral color. Some shades of white can be the worst color to use to “neutralize”. There is a wide variety of beiges, tans, taupes, soft gold and greens that are not only “on trend” in a buyer’s eyes, but will also work well with your furnishings while you are selling.
BLACK IS THE NEW BLACK – Every year we hear how “Black is the new _______”. (Fill in the color of your choice.) The NEW _______ is typically a fleeting trend color. But black never goes out of style and most likely already in your home (maybe more then you ever noticed) in its finishes, fixtures and finishes. So use it to your advantage. Link the look of your home together with a variety of black accents, accessories and furnishings throughout that will ultimately create a home with visual appeal that buyers buy.
HANG ART ARTFULLY – A general rule of thumb… hang art so it easy to look INTO it and not up or down at it. Considering the average American’s height is 5’8” tall, hang art for that person’s eye level, so that they look slightly above center of the piece, works best. But, besides height, placement is also important. If a seller takes into consideration how a home buyer walks through and tours the home and what walls a buyer actually looks it, will help determine where to put art and where is it’s not as important.
COUNT TO 3 WITH ACCESSORIES – When it comes to balance don’t make the mistake and assume it is only created with equal symmetry. Balance can also be achieved using an odd number of items… typically 3. To help you accessorizing a table top, mantle or shelf start by selecting 3 items. One item should be lower/smaller, one medium sized and one taller/larger. Group them. If one, in relationship to any other, seems to big, or small, wide or skinny then swap it out for another.
OUTDOORS COMES IN – Bringing flowers and plants into a home is great advice. Adding them does 2 things to a home… they soften it and add life. So while bringing the outdoors in is a great tip, sometimes live plants are not available or practical. Don’t be afraid to invest in QUALITY silk plants and dried flowers, but remember a dusty silk or old faded dried arrangement can look as DEAD as any living plant that died. Finally, avoid seasonal plants and flowers… go for the green basics.