You’ve spent a long time preparing to sell your home… and now it’s time to get your house in order! You’re likely feeling excited and nervous about selling - the appearance of your new home, rather than your old one, may be foremost on your mind. Making superficial changes to your old home, however, will maximize its selling price and the Thompson Team can help you do it.
Typically called ‘home staging’, and usually spanning 1-4 weeks, this process makes your home into a more general “dream home” – and it often involves removing your personal touches. It’s important to prepare emotionally for this change and for the parade of prospective owners visualizing their families in your old space. It’s our job to consider your house in terms of its selling potential, and to coordinate its staging, accordingly. We’ve included an overview of our home staging process to help you understand what will happen.
Above all else, home staging captures the imagination of each potential buyer: what does he/she want to see? Consider striking a balance between presenting the space as a liveable, inviting home, and as a ‘blank canvas’ devoid of the poignant and distracting stuff of your life so that they can project their own lives into the space (aka depersonalizing). The staging process involves making changes to maintain and emphasize the personality of the house, with minimal objects and furniture. Our first step involves removing all clutter and junk; you want to emphasize cleanliness and open space, which will make your house seem bigger. Big pieces of furniture, for example, can make a room feel smaller.
To make quick money and ease the psychological burden of moving, you can sell old furniture and items, or make a difference by donating items to charity (The Furniture Bank, for example, provides furniture to elderly individuals living on small, fixed incomes). If you have a storage room, consider moving everything worth keeping into a storage locker. The addition of a few items or pieces of furniture can suggest a writing nook or breakfast room.
Once you’ve cleared out the space, we’ll bring in our cleaning team to clean everything thoroughly, from the ceilings to the bathtubs. Buyers notice everything, and since a clean space appears a well-maintained one, it will discourage buyers from visualizing repairs. On that note: do make repairs! From leaky faucets to ramshackle sheds, smaller repairs make an enormous difference, adding to the ‘almost-new’ feel you’d like to create.
Working with the Space
Keep returning to the ‘blank canvas’ idea: white or neutral paint helps make a home seem clean and spacious, and mirrors add to the illusion of space. We strongly recommend investing in plants – they’re cheap, easy to maintain and make any space seem more lively, even the bathroom! For potted plants, consider investing in uniform containers (Home Depot has cheap ones), and once you start showing the house, we recommend placing vases of fresh flowers on coffee tables and windowsills. If you have any paintings in storage, hang them up: as long as they’re reasonably tasteful, they’ll make the place feel like a home without adding clutter.
Focus on your windows: natural light and a pleasant view will transform any space. Take off any storm windows, and in the warmer months, keep windows open to avoid stuffiness and present an airy feel. If you’re showing your house in the summertime, turn up the air conditioning: you want it to seem like a comfortable place to live. New, attractive curtains for the windows will help the house seem more finished.
The curb appeal (term realtors use for the first impression of the exterior of your house) is enormously important, as potential buyers are making their decision even as they’re pulling into your driveway. Consider repainting your door and touch up any white trim. Spruce up the landscaping if you can; even if you’re not able to invest in new landscaping, potted plants work wonders on your porch, along the steps, or lining your freshly painted windowsills. Consider getting a new mailbox, and even a fresh new street number makes a difference. If you have a lawn, make sure it’s been mowed and weeded at least once a week. If you have ivy, leave it – as long as it’s green and alive, ivy will generally provide a warm yet prestigious feel.
We’re Here to Help
As your relocation expenses tally, spending money on your old home is likely an unsightly prospect – but we’re trained to help. We’ll help fit any budget, and we know the precise point at which home staging retouches have diminishing returns in terms of the value-adding impression. Also, when it comes to things outside of our purview, like outdoor landscaping, we’ll advise budget-friendly ways to spruce up your home.
Most importantly: your home will look different and perhaps empty to you, and we understand the emotional strain this may cause. In the week before your home goes on the market, we’ll likely recommend you go on vacation and let us handle it! You can trust the Thompson Team to capture the imagination of your potential buyers and secure the value your home deserves.