A lot of our work consists of helping homeowners prep to sell their homes in aspects other than home staging. Yes, we highly recommend that our clients use our staging services. But there are some other things we propose homeowners do time and time again before listing their homes.
How can clients get the best bang for their buck when preparing to sell? Full kitchen renovation...or just swap out fixtures? Fresh paint...or just spot touch-ups? Here is our expert advice on where clients should focus their time and energy (and $$!) in order to get their homes ready for sale.
Where to Spend
1. Updated interior paint.
Nothing impresses potential buyers like freshly painted walls in a light neutral color. Unfortunately, creative thinking is not a possible purchaser's forte: they truly suck at "visualizing" the potential of a room if it were simply painted a different color. Thus, if you have a steady hand, spend a weekend DIYing and slap on a fresh coat to any space that is particularly dinged, dirty, or dark. Or hire a pro. Either way, that new paint smell can trick the mind into thinking "new" everything. And buyers looooove new.
2. Fresh linens.
Bedroom looking a little drab? Don't buy an entire new furniture set: buy new bedding. We recommend the following recipe for a lux-looking bed: white sheet set + white quilt + fluffy white comforter with duvet + a few cozy accent pillows. Keep this bedding clean by throwing it on over existing bedding for showings only, and removing/storing it in a large plastic bag for day-to-day.
The same goes for towels: buy a set of clean white towels that are put out just for showings.
3. Fixture/hardware swaps.
Updated light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, and cabinet hardware can have a significant impact on a space. Replacing a boring builder-grade kitchen faucet for something a bit higher-end gives the whole room an updated look.
images courtesy of homedit.com
Same goes for the knobs and pulls on your kitchen cabinetry. A quick switch can make all the difference.
images courtesy of stylebyemilyhenderson.com, diybeautify.com, decorinspira.com, and shopstyle.com
Opt for simple, modern-looking hardware in your choice of brass, nickel, or oil-rubbed bronze depending on other metallic finishes in the space. Check out tons of inexpensive options at build.com and houzz.com.
Besides hardware and plumbing, an extremely simple and relatively inexpensive way to quickly freshen your space is to swap light fixtures. Unfortunately lighting can look dated pretty quickly. But an upgrade to a simple drum light or contemporary chandelier is sure to please potential buyers. Check out this blog post (it focuses on the kitchen, but the recommendations can be used elsewhere too!) about changing out your light fixtures, you'll be so glad you did.
Noooothing stops a potential buyer from considering a home for purchase like the previous owners dirt. I mean, ew. If you have a verrryyyy discerning eye (and perhaps minor OCD tendencies), have at it: we recommend a deep clean from top to bottom. Dust every door frame, wipe every window, steam every carpet. However, if you have a normal level of cleanliness, hire a professional team to give your home a once (maybe twice) over to really make it sparkle.
5. Curb appeal.
The outside of your home is it's first impression maker, and should be as clean and well-kept as the interior. Spend some time (or cash) power washing, weeding, pruning, and tidying to give your home an inviting and well-cared for look.
Where to Save
1. Major renovations.
Rarely will you see a return on investment for a full-fledged renovation. If you want to make a major change, right before selling is just not the time. Fix any minor issues, such as leaky faucets or chipped tile, but it will likely be a waste of your own time and money to completely re-do a bathroom or kitchen. Leave major changes to the next owner!
2. Buying NEW stuff.
Potential buyers tend to prefer the "less is more" look. If you can, refrain from acquiring new furniture and decorative accessories before selling your home. Attempt to declutter and depersonalize. If you have moved your belongings to a new home already, hire a *ahem* stager.
3. Trying to be trendy.
You want your home to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible (do I hear a "bidding war"?!). This translates to timeless, sophisticated, and neutral. As cool as the avocado fridge was in the 1970s and Tuscan-style was in the 2000s, stay away from decor that is so stylized it reads as trendy. Not everryyyyone is into over-the-top farmhouse decor. Just sayin'.
Do you have any other tips on where to save and where to spend when prepping to sell you home? If so, let us know!