We are listing our home for sale (THIS WEEK!) and moving to a new one (still in the Springs) this summer, God-willing. My husband, Jeremy, is a local Realtor and has a list of projects for us to do to help our house sell for top dollar. Here’s an update on what we’ve done in the past week; read all of the updates here.
Part of the package that Jeremy offers to his clients is a professional home stager, and we had our own appointment with the stager last week. Now, it might seem sort of silly for a real estate agent to pay for a stager for his own house, since he knows what looks good and what doesn’t (at least as far as selling a house ;). But, I have to say, we both found that it was great to get a neutral perspective on our own home!
When you live in your house, you get used to things the way you like them and think that they look great – but they don’t always look that great to everyone else, especially when you are trying to market your home to a wide variety of people with different needs and desires. Now, if we could find a buyer who is exactly like us and has exactly all the same stuff, we could do nothing to our house and it would look good to them, but that scenario doesn’t have a high odds of happening.
So, we went through our house with the stager and she suggested lots of things to help the house both show well and photograph well. Jeremy puts a lot of emphasis on making homes look good online (which means having great pictures and video) since 90% of people see the house online before they decide to see it in person. So the staging is not just for actually showing the house, but equally for the pictures.
One of the big things we did as a result of the stager’s recommendations was to rearrange the living room. That not only made the flow of the house work better, it also opened up the dining room so that it’s now way bigger than we ever thought! She also had some good suggestions on arranging the storage boxes that we have in the basement in such a way that people can actually see how the basement flows.
(Typically, the stager gives a lot of recommendations to fix things that are broken and decluttering rooms and closets, but we “cheated” and got that mostly done ahead of time since we knew it needed to be done. There are still a couple of closets that need some attention, though!)
A lot of what she recommended was adding some visual interest by way of pops of color through accessories. We tend towards pretty neutral color schemes which is great as far as paint but doesn’t give a room much pizzazz. So, I bought a colorful pillow for our master bedroom; a colorful pot, fern, and decorative plate for the kitchen; a colorful rug for the door to the garage, some colorful accessories for the ottoman… Get the theme? Just add some color, Carrie! :)
I was perhaps a bit celebratory when she recommended adding hardware to the kitchen cabinets. It had been a bit of an ongoing discussion between Jeremy and I – he didn’t really think it needed it but when it became two against one, he was powerless to resist. :) Cabinet hardware is expensive which is part of we hadn’t done it, but we found this hardware at Home Depot and it cost us about $50 to do the whole kitchen (they are $1.68 per pull when you buy them in a six-pack). I don’t know why those particular ones are so much cheaper, but they worked for us and the kitchen looks more “finished” so I like the upgrade.
Even though we did need to purchase some items, the stager did a great job of using what we already had as much as possible, so I didn’t have to redecorate the house. We moved some pictures from the hallway to the living room, a canvas in the living room to the boy’s room, switch flowers/plants in the master bedroom and bathroom, and brought out some cookbooks that I already had.
We ended up doing most of what she recommended. There were a few items that were on my list to buy that I just couldn’t find anything that worked well, so I ended up skipping over those items because I didn’t want to spend money on something that was OK-but-not-great.
Pictures and video got done on Monday and Tuesday – we are just a day or two until the official status is For Sale! I’ll point you to the home showcase website when it’s live so you can see the pictures and video – list price is $216,900 and we are even offering to pay up to $4,000 in buyer closing costs!
PS – If you are thinking about selling your home even in next year or two, don’t think that it’s too early to talk to my husband, Jeremy, about the things you might want to do to sell your house for the maximum possible! He frequently talks to people that are a year or two out from selling, but want to know what types of things they can improve now to help when they sell (and then you still get awhile to enjoy it yourself, too!). You can call or text him at 719.231.9043, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit his website to find out more.