As an Atlanta resident and certified Home Staging Expert I’m proud to say I recently sold my house within 60 days and $5000 of my asking price. While this was admittedly not the easiest process given the uncertain market we’re currently faced with. It is certainly possible with the right packaging and elbow grease on the part of the seller. In fact, I’m 100% confident that home staging – the art of preparing a home for sale so it’s as appealing as possible to every potential buyer in the market. Is the one and only reason I was able to sell my house before the 20+ other homes in the neighborhood I was competing against. And while hiring a professional home stager is the best way to ensure your home is prepared to it’s absolute fullest potential,. There are many things you can do on your own to achieve big impact in the eyes of the buyer. In this article we will discuss Top 10 Tricks to Sell Faster and for More Money.

1. KITCHENS SELL HOUSES
Granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and travertine tile are beautiful additions to kitchens. Don’t think that sprucing up a kitchen has to be such a massive investment. A fresh coat of paint on the walls, updating of hardware and faucets and simple accessories on the counters can give the kitchen a major facelift. Before you replace the cabinets consider having them re-finished or re-painted. Add some updated hardware in a brushed nickel or bronze finish to give them a like-new look for a lot less money.
2. CURB APPEAL IS CRUCIAL
Your house should excite the buyer from the moment they arrive – hedges should be trimmed, grass mowed and pine islands manicured. Replace tarnished exterior sconces, doors and hardware. Place eye-catching potted plants on the steps leading to your door and put a fresh welcome mat out to greet guests as they arrive. With over 80% of people searching the internet before ever stepping foot in a house, that first exterior photo that pops up on the MLS is crucial to encouraging buyers to explore further.
3. PAINT, PAINT, PAINT
Busy wallpaper, nicked walls and ultra dark or bright colors should always be painted over. Nothing gives an easier, less expensive facelift than a fresh coat of paint in a nice neutral color. It can help curb odors at the same time. But don’t let the word neutral lead you to painting your entire house taupe. Variety of color in a natural palette will give your house a memorable warmth and charm. Use colors you see in nature such as beige, sage, soft yellow and gray-blue.
4. LIGHTEN AND BRIGHTEN
Lightening and brightening is the cheapest thing you can do with the biggest return on investment. Pull open your blinds and curtains and turn on every overhead light and lamp in the house before all showings. Still have those heavy window treatments you put up in the 70s or 80s? Pull them down and let the light pour in – you’re selling your windows and the view, not the dressings surrounding them.
5. AVOID LINING THE WALLS WITH FURNITURE
This is one of the most consistent mistakes I see when staging for clients. Not only do most rooms have 1-2 pieces that are simply not needed, everything that’s in the room has been pushed to the walls so there is a big, empty, unusable space in the middle! Pull sofas off walls, remove extra furniture that isn’t serving a necessary purpose and allow buyers to see the peripheral of the room. This will add instant visual square footage.
6. DE-PERSONALIZE
When searching for a home, the goal is to find the one you can best envision yourself living in. That being said, buyers need non-personal style and décor in order to feel “at home” as they are walking through. Pull down the personal photos, deer heads or plate collections and replace them with a beautiful framed mirror or landscape artwork. Flip through Pottery Barn and West Elm catalogs, then do your best to implement that style in your own home.
7. BUYERS NO LONGER WANT BATHROOMS, THEY WANT SPAS
Ensure your bathroom has a soothing color on the walls and place a stack of fluffy towels by the tub and a basket of soaps and lotions by the sink. Again, updates don’t have to cost top dollar – consider painting or re-finishing the vanity, hanging a new framed mirror and updating the faucets and light fixtures.
8. FRESH BEDDING = MAJOR BEDROOM MAKEOVER
In the bedrooms, and especially the master, the bed should be an inviting, beautiful focal point that beckons buyers to come in and take a load off. An updated bed-in-a-bag can be purchased for $40 – $100 at TJ Maxx, Linens-N-Things, Marshalls or Target. Purchase bedding that ties in with the feeling and color of your room in updated patterns such as jacquard or damask. Or play it safe with an elegant white duvet with a few throw pillows that bring in the color of your walls!
9. KNOW YOUR BUYER
Are you trying to sell a two bedroom townhome in Buckhead, or a five bedroom house on an acre in East Cobb? The location, size and layout of your home are good indicators of who will most likely be looking at and eventually purchasing your home. Once you’ve identified your buyer, cater to them with the style of furnishings, colors and overall lifestyle you present in the house.
10. DECIDE YOU’RE GOING TO SELL
While staging your home is necessary to ensure you get top dollar as quickly as possible, you should not simply stage your home, put it on the market and then sit back and wait. You can never be sure what action will actually secure a contract – so do it all. Print your flyers in color, not black and white, and keep the box full. Ensure every inch of your house sparkles for every showing and that there is a fresh scent when buyers walk in. Open your doors for an open house when you’re available on Saturdays and Sundays. Send out an email to friends and family in the area with photos and specs on the house letting them know you’re on the market. Decide you’re going to sell and then do everything in your power to do so.

Good Luck!

Written by:

Tasha Moody, HSE
President, Simply Staged
Atlanta Home Staging
www.TheSimplyStagedHome.com

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