So remember our Modest Moose Rancher? It was up for sale and it got a major makeover for going on the market! Here are some tips for making your home a showcase that buyers will be begging to see.
Step 1: Get a great agent/photographer!
We were lucky enough to work with a absolutely fabulous agent, Andrea Levine, who shares our love for all things mid-century modern, clean and simple. With the right agent guiding you, they will tell you what needs to stay, and what needs to go. This can be an extremely time consuming process, and a storage unit will be absolutely necessary (unless you want to lose half your stuff, IE ice cream maker, winter clothes, picture frames, etc.) Once your house is de-cluttered and ready for the camera, having a fabulous photographer is just as important at showcasing all your hard work. Her husband, Kent Eanes, he is an absolutely amazing photographer and in my opinion the photos are the absolute most important thing when selling your house. Without the right photos in this digital age, no one will take a second look, let alone schedule a showing. So that is why this is my first step, as it is the most crucial in your sale. Now you may not need an agent, and may think you can take the best photos, but I assure you, if you are going the FSBO route, investing in a quality photographer is something you will not regret.
Step 2: Curb Appeal!
Our fabulous photographer, was able to showcase our front yard (the main photo on MLS) as a big sprawling space. He neglected to show it from the side of the house with the driveway that is right next to our neighbors. He highlighted the green space we have, and the mature trees that provide lots of shade. Listing in the right season is also an important factor. As those trees will not be nearly as pretty in a month or two when they all unload their lush green leaves into a swamp of brown mess to clean up! We also painted our eaves-trough the rich grey color in our shutters and repainted all of our windows, making them appear new without making that giant investment. A few bags of mulch also goes a looong way, for not very much money as you can see in my not as lovely iphone photo below).
Step 3: Show off your floors!
Your feet will miss your rugs, but the camera certainly wont. This rooms feels so much cleaner and richer with the floors being the spotlight.
We also got rid of our coat rack, shoe rack, the grandmother’s chair that made the space feel so much bigger and cleaner.
Step 4: Have a hiding spot..
We swapped the hutch and the toybox, that now is the “hide my stuff box.” We stash our mail holder, our random clutter, and even this morning a couple dirty cups as the dishwasher was loaded with a clean one I didn’t have time to put away. It’s not the best idea to put this stuff in closets as buyers will be investigating those.
Step 5: Remove Furniture
As I mentioned in the living room, we removed furniture from our dining room too, the 21″ deep buffet that was formally on the right wall, is now in storage. And boy does it feel like a whole new room! We also moved the bench in, to make it feel even bigger, we also pulled up the rug in this room.
Step 8: Minimize the furniture footprint.
Our kitchen had a huge island. While it was functional, it was tight to round the corners, so we moved that small dresser, formally against the left wall, to the island position. We brought in a thin metal shelf from outside, and filled it with my old card catalog, that magically fits cans of food like it was made for those!
Step 7: Bye bye random kitchen junk!
Okay, so my juicer, food processer, ice cream maker, blender and numerous serving spoons arent “junk” but they sure do clutter up the space! And instead I get to show case my beautiful enameled cookware, that I like looking at much better. You want to show off virtually every inch of work space you have as well, so this means clear off those counters!
Step 8: Clean that sink.
Bye bye dish rack, dish soap, dish rag, etc! You want your sink to be the focus, it’s an important accessory in the home. Make room under the cabinet for it.
Step 9: No furniture is better than the wrong furniture.
We’ve never had the right coffee table in this room. The one seen in the living room was stolen from the living room when we replaced an oversized non-baby friendly one. And then I tried to find one that fit our taste and got one that was a too tall side table, oops. Our agent told us to just get rid of it. While it feels weird to not have a coffee table, it feels much better than having the wrong furniture in the space.
Step 10: Make your outdoor spaces inviting.
We did this step for the R-Home photoshoot back in March (thankfully!). But making your outdoor spaces as inviting and liveable as possible, will really be the highlight of your home. Have a fun outdoor rug, some cute pillows and some fun pops of color, can go a long way in freshening up your outdoor space.
Step 11: Mow that lawn!
It seems obvious, but a freshly mowed lawn does wonders. Also, trim up hedges, and bushes.
Step 11: Minimize bath products
Only leave out the bare minimum. Let their imagination figure out how much stuff those surfaces can actually hold!
Step 12: Constantly do Laundry
You don’t need prospective buyers finding a stinky sock under the bed. So do a load every other day and keep it put away.
Step 13: Show off cute window treatments.
These custom roman shades were up, and Kent pulled them down. Making that window seem so much more interesting and adorable.
Step 14: Rearrange furniture.
Before, this room, looked like this.
The art didn’t move, but the furniture did. We turned the bed to the far wall, and put that dresser right next to the other dresser, instantly the room felt three times the size. Also crisp white bedding, improves the look.
Putting two dressers side by side, keeps your function, but expands the floor space.
Step 15: Replace the doors.
This is a pretty tedious step, and isn’t for everyone. It cost about $500 for doors and hardware, and took a lot of time to paint and hang the door. But the entire space felt new and bright. We had old wood doors that were popping, hard to shut, and a mix mashed eyesore, now we have these beauties and I want to take them with me!
Step 16: Organize the closets
Every closet got a makeover. They are now cluttered, with the space maximized. Half of my wardrobe is packed away, but it seems like we have so much extra space in those tiny closets, that it makes all the difference.
Step 17: List at the right price!
Try not to be emotional and think of all the work you put into your house and what you “deserve” to get. Look at the real market value. What are other homes selling for, what homes aren’t selling and why? Chances are they are probably listed too high. Even though you feel your blood sweat and tears may be worth so much more than you are getting, the market goes up and down, and you might not even make a profit at all. We are looking to sell quickly, so we are listing it at the fairest price possible to let buyers know we are serious and we aren’t leaving too much wiggle room. If you have time and don’t mind keeping your house absolutely perfect for weeks on end you can attempt to list at a higher price and it might pay off. But for us keeping the house in such immaculate condition, with a toddler and pets isn’t easy or fun. So we’re coming out with our best offer, in hopes of getting one in return.
Some small tips after a few showings: turn the lights on before a showing, replace lightbulbs. Lighting is everything!
Open your shed door! Make it inviting as it is another great asset.
Air fresheners! Make all of their senses happy.
So that’s our home on the market. And believe it or not within 48 hours of listing we had multiple offers and accepted a contract!
Do you have any tips for staging and selling that I missed? Please let me know!