Staging Your Home to Sell

Use these helpful stating tips to prepare your home. Make sure everything is ready for the photographer and listing day!

Kitchen:
• Remove all appliances and clutter off counters. Counters should be completely clear.Kitchen Staging to Sell Your Home
• Clean all appliances. If they really look out of date, research the cost for new ones as you may get the money back. Check scratch and dent stores too.
• Clean, clean, clean. Buyers will perceive the condition of the home by how clean it is.
• Once everything is clean, begin to set up the ambiance and décor. Place some kind of feature on your counter. It could be an orchid plant or a big bowl of oranges or lemons. Have the table set with plates, napkins, wine glasses, and a centerpiece.

Living Room:
• Remove all items from shelving and surface areas. If you have ten things on a shelf make it three, so people can visualize their things there.
• Remove all personal items. Hang generic art or fill the holes and paint to leave a blank slate.
• If the room needs to be painted, paint it, it’s cheap and you will get a better price for your house. Always choose a neural color.
• This goes for every room, do a thorough cleaning, all corners, tops, etc.
• Clean the carpet or have it cleaned. If it is older, consider putting in new carpet. This makes a huge difference in appearance and you will most likely get your money back.
• Examine the way the furniture is arranged. Does it show the room’s best features (fireplace)? Does the room look spacious or small and uncomfortable?
• If you have decor themes stick with just one theme in the home. It should have a unified look throughout the house. Neutral is always better. Style specific homes will appeal to a smaller group of buyers.
• Once everything is sparkly clean, place fresh flowers or seasonal décor in the living room.

Bathrooms:
• Get rid of all products in the shower and on top of the counters. Have each family member live out of a travel toiletries bag while your house is on the market.
• Clean out or organize the medicine cabinets, buyers will look to see how much storage is available.
• Does the bathroom need to be repainted? Again, it’s cheap and you will get your money back.
• There should be no water stains or dripping faucets.
• Clean the bathroom like your mother-in-law is coming over, it should be spotless!
• Invest in a new set of towels for just when you are showing the house. Put the others away.
• Place one focal point on the counter such as a single flower.

Bedrooms:
• Clear all dresser tops and nightstands. There should be no personal items.
• Too much furniture? Consider storing large dressers or desks if they make the room look small.
• All closets need to be gone through with the same eye – am I taking this to the new house? Pack what you would like to donate and put everything else back neatly so they don’t fall out when opened. It is better to have an emptier closet so the buyers can see all the room there is to offer.
• If needed, invest in new linens for the bed. Make it feel like a hotel room.
• Again, does the room need to be repainted, carpet cleaned?
• Have a window cleaner come or clean them yourself.
• Place one or two decorative items on the dressers and put the rest in storage or donate.
• Make sure every room is arranged to demonstrate what the space is to be used for. If a bedroom was being used as a storage room turn it back into a bedroom.

Exterior:
• Buyers will often drive by the home before calling their agent, so make sure it looks great!
• Don’t forget about the outside of your home. You want to make a good first impression!
• Make sure the front door and lock work. You don’t want the key to not work properly and a buyer to not be able to see the home.
• Clean up the yard. Keep it freshly mowed, clean out the dead, and add flowers for pops of color if needed.
• If you have a patio, set the outdoor table or use a nice flower pot for the centerpiece.
• Don’t forget about the backyard. Buyers love imagining how they will enjoy the backyard.
• If you have a good relationship with your neighbors, you may want to ask them to clean up their yards too. Buyers will judge the neighborhood by the appearance of the homes.

Misc:
• Add an air freshener to the entry of the home or spray a little (not too much) air freshener just before a showing. This will help buyers perceive the home as clean and move in ready.

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What Does the Market Look Like for a Seller?

You’ve heard me say this for months but it bears repeating, the housing market is on fire and I need homes to sell! I have lots of buyers out looking for a home but there are so few available it’s challenging to find the perfect property.

What does it look like for a seller these days?

  1. Metro Denver home prices are up a whopping 12% in the past year.
  2. The inventory of homes on the market in metro Denver is the lowest since records have been kept, down another 31% in just the past year.
  3. The number of homes under contract is up 22% over this time last year.
  4. The average Days on Market for a home is down an amazing 24% in the past year.

Add it all up and you get the best seller’s market we have ever experienced. Sellers are reacting by hiking prices, testing the limits of the market, and pushing the envelope. And you can too. Call me if you want to discuss what your home is worth in this new seller’s market and how best to take advantage of it!

Denver – Fastest Selling City in the Nation!

Sellers – October News

Realtor.com reported that Denver was the fastest selling city in the nation again in August, for the 5th month in a row! Our median age of housing inventory in August was just 39 days, whereas the national median was 103 days. So why do we keep hearing that the market for selling a home is so bad? Partly, it’s because the media has a built-in incentive to produce and promote drama – catastrophic headlines sell more papers. Which is why it was so refreshing to see the Denver Post report correctly on the tight market for move-in ready homes. The other reason is that there’s a big difference between the market in its entirety and you just trying to sell your home.  Here’s why:

There are currently about 17,000 houses and condos on the market in Metro Denver. About ½ of them are distressed – either shortsales or bank-owned properties.  Most distressed properties have problems; that’s why they’re called distressed. Clearly, most home buyers don’t want to buy a beat up and dated bank-owned property or go through the frustration of trying to get a shortsale under contract. Would you? Though the problems and hassles with distressed homes are usually fixable, most buyers aren’t looking to buy a project or wait forever to close on it. They’re looking to buy and move into their next home and get on with their lives.

So, of the 17,000 single family homes and condos currently on the market, only about 8,000 are non-distressed sales. And, of these properties only a fraction are fixed up, move-in ready, and marketed to their best effect. The result is a lack of quality properties on the market! And these quality listings are the very properties that the vast majority of home buyers want. There just aren’t enough of them out there! That’s why the Denver Post is right when they say that home buyers are surprised to see there’s not much on the market right now that that makes sense for them.  David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders puts it this way, “Inventory levels are the best gauge of where your market is headed.” The inventory of quality homes is low, low, low.

So if you’re thinking about selling give me a call and let’s discuss your options. You might find that there are not many non-distressed, quality properties on the market in your neighborhood and buyers just might be scrambling to find one likes yours.