One of my favorite quotes is from Barb Schwartz. “The way you live in your home and the way you sell your home are two different things.” This statement is so true!
When you live in your home, it caters to your life style, your style preferences, your tastes and the way you live your life. However, when you are selling your home, it is no longer “your home.” It is now a product on the market and it has competition.
Most of us are pretty proud of our homes and the way we’ve decorated them. We’ve put our blood, sweat and tears into our homes. And if you’ve kept your home neutral while you’ve been living in it, you may be on the right track for selling your home quickly and profitably. But if you’ve added your unique, one of a kind touches throughout the house (like most of us have), you may need to take a step back and neutralize it a bit. Purple walls may make you smile every time you see them but may turn off prospective buyers.
The One Best Thing You Can Do To Help Sell Your House Faster
The best thing a seller can do is emotionally detach from their home. Easier said than done, for sure. However, keep in mind the items in your home are the items that hold your memories. All your favorite furniture pieces, rugs and photos will move with you into your next home. If you pack up your personal items and neutralize your home before you put it on the market, you drastically increase the chance for a quicker, more profitable sale because your home will appeal to a broader range of buyers.
The Next Most Important Steps
Just like a diet and exercise program, staging your house for a faster sale is super simple but not always easy and certainly not quick! Here are a few steps to get you started:
De-clutter: Pack away all of your favorite nick-knacks and collections, including dolls, tea-pots, gun collections, war memorabilia, etc.
De-personalize: Not only do you need to pack away all your personal photos, you need to tone down your strong style choices. By strong style choices, I mean bold colors or patterns or themes repeated throughout the house. I’ve been in purple houses, Mexican motif houses, floral houses, bird houses, the Marilyn Monroe house, you name it. Pack away anything with strong style, especially when you’ve used it in more than one room or area.
Neutralize: Paint is the best way to neutralize. Good neutral color choices are softer shades of gray, beige, green and sometimes a bluish/gray. Keep colors light. Neutralizing can also mean removing bold rugs or imposing art.
Elevate the appeal: This is a tricky step because it’s a bit vague or open to interpretation. One idea is to upgrade the bedding (with neutral colors, of course), put out fresh bath mats and towels and add new throw pillows to furniture.
If You Just Can’t Do It All By Yourself
Some people can move through this process easily because they’ve already detached themselves from the home. They’re ready to move their belongings to their next home. Plus they’ve watched enough HGTV to know what to do. But for others, these activities are not clear and can be overwhelming. If you find yourself struggling, call in a stager for a Home Consultation and Staging Plan.
A professional stager will walk through your home with objectivity and see it through the eyes of the buyer. They can offer you a step-by-step action plan of what you need to do to get the house ready for the market. (Stay tuned for an upcoming article on how to find the right stager for you!)
Remember, “Home is where the heart is.” It’s not the four walls, floors and ceilings that you currently inhabit. By detaching from your home emotionally, recognizing your home is now a “product” on the market and making essential tweaks, you’ll sell your house quickly and more profitably.
Enjoy the journey!
Tracy Kay Griffin is a member of Express Homebuyers Design Team. She was the Series Designer for HGTV’s “Get It Sold,” a Guest Designer for HGTV’s “My First Place” and the Lead Stager for Washington DC’s premier staging company, Red House Staging & Interiors.