Saturday, March 27, 2010

Home Seller Tips

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words – or is that Dollars?

Use photographs to expose equity killing clutter.

Have you heard the phrase, “clutter kills equity”? But how do you recognize the clutter in your own home? Try taking “before” pictures. A room will look cluttered in a picture, where it may not in person. Because photos never lie.

Step 1: Take the pictures yourself, or ask your agent to take them.

Take pictures from all points of entry to a room. Take additional pictures, focusing on architectural features like fireplaces, picture windows, or built-ins.

Step 2: Wait.

Wait a few days before reviewing the pictures. If possible, review the images away from your space. This will make it easier to be objective.

Step 3: Review the pictures.

Now, here’s the hard part – being objective. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer and pretend you are looking at photos of someone else’s home. Avoid making excuses, or thinking its “good enough”.

Remember, no one with a choice ever settles for a home that is “good enough”.

Know what buyers are looking for: move-in ready homes, great architectural features – like hardwood floors, large windows and fireplaces, and a little WOW factor or pizzazz doesn’t hurt either. Does your home show any, or all of these elements? Could it if you removed some of the clutter and/or furnishings?

Before getting started, test your objectivity with this “before” image. One of many homes where clutter was slowing down the sale. Ask yourself the following five questions:

  1. Where is your eye drawn – are you looking at the room or its contents?
  2. Does the fireplace standout?
  3. Do you notice the window?
  4. Can you tell how big this room really is?
  5. What feelings do you have when viewing this image?

Before: The eye is drawn to the “stuff” in this space. Too much furniture and knickknacks make it hard to focus on the fireplace – the central feature. The window is almost unnoticeable, and the room feels like it is closing in on itself.

Next, ask yourself these same five questions about the “after” picture below.After: The owner has edited down both furniture and accessories. Now, the walls, fireplace, floor and window – the elements for sale – are clearly visible. The room even appears larger, and after all, we are selling square footage.

The cost to stage this room – zero dollars. Selling in less than three weeks after lingering for over three months – priceless.

If you’re still having trouble being objective, or want a faster approach, consider hiring a professional home stager. By the end of a 2-4 hour consultation you will know exactly what’s needed to prepare your home for sale.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Quick Tips

Put a Lid on It

The other day I was viewing a listing on-line. It was a beautiful 2 million dollar Westchester County NY home. Each room was exactly what you would expect for the area and for the price – all but one.

This photograph centered on the toilet. Not just a toilet, I wouldn’t mind that, but this one had its lid up. The picture stuck out from the rest because it was inconsistent with the overall image being projected. And, as I learned from Sesame Street, this one photo did not belong with the others.

Keep your presentation consistent and classy. When photographing or showing a bathroom’s toilet, always put a lid on it.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Services Center

Inspired Decorating

AtWell Staged Home is invited to decorate a client’s new home after successfully selling his prior home.

The owner’s prior house lingered on the market for 9 months, but after staging, sells in just 2 months with multiple offers.

"I am so proud of my new home and receive many compliments. I miss my old house, but Susan has helped me decorate my new home as a place where friends, family and I love to spend time." – JM, Somers, NY
Working with the owner’s desires and budget, many projects were tackled. Two complete bathroom makeovers, hardwood floors, paint and some new furniture help this owner make a fresh start in a new community.

Prior home – inspiration piece – the owner’s favorite area rug.

New home – Hardwood floors are installed and a buttery paint color applied. A new couch, chair, and window treatments are all that are needed to coordinate with the owner’s favorite area rug, furnishings, and accessories.