A few weeks ago we shared some insights into why home staging is an important part of the selling process. Below you will find some of our tips for staging and photographing your home for sale.
DIY Home Staging Tips:
With a little time, effort and imagination, you can stage your home to showcase its best features, sell it faster and get top dollar.
Clean up, pare down, and toss out: By simply getting rid of excess furniture and clutter, you can make any room look larger and more inviting.
Make it professional, not personal: Remove family photos, mementos and other personal items from the space. This not only eliminates clutter, it helps potential homebuyers envision their lives in the space.
Repurpose rooms: Do you have a “junk” room? You can transform a liability into an asset by turning an underused space into a reading nook, a craft room, a yoga studio or a home gym. Just clean it up, add a coat of paint, some furniture and the right accessories.
Lighten up: Light, airy rooms look bigger and more welcoming. You can create a pleasing effect by using the right wattage bulbs and multiple light sources. The right window treatments can also have a big impact. Choose fabrics that are light and gauzy, rather than dark and heavy.
Try a little color: Paint is the cheapest, easiest way to update your home. Stick with warm, natural hues, but try darker colors for accent walls and to highlight special features. You can give old furniture new life with a coat of shiny black paint—and freshen up the front door with a bold, cheerful color.
Add some decorative touches: Art, accessories, plants and flowers breathe life into a home. Make rooms more inviting with accessories that are carefully grouped, especially in threes. Pay attention to scale, texture and color. Bring the outdoors in with plants and flowers.
When it comes to looking for a home most people start on the internet. The photos in your property listing can make a powerful first impression. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, professional photos can increase home views up to 61%. Make sure your home is “ready for its close-up” by following these simple guidelines before the photographer shows up.
For exterior photography:
· Make sure no cars are parked in front of your house or in your driveway.
· Sidewalks and streets should be cropped out
· There should be up-close and angled shots, as well as long shorts that emphasize space.
· Clear away or trim vegetation blocking the front door or path to the door.
· Make sure lawns are mowed, hedges clipped, etc.
· Remove evidence of pets.
· Put away children’s toys.
· If you are selling a condo or townhome, such amenities as tennis courts, a gym, a garden patio or clubhouse should be photographed.
For interior photography:
· Make sure your house is spotless, windows are clean and rooms are decluttered.
· Repair all visible damage, e.g., bad water stains, gouges, chipped paing.
· Drapes and blinds should be open and lights on.
· Remove trash cans, close toilet seats.
· Use floral arrangements in kitchens and dining rooms.
· Make sure that interesting details and attractive features—e.g., wood floors, a carved mantel, marble countertops and ornamental tile backslashes, etc. – are photographed.
Selling your home can be stressful for many reasons. Not only are you trying to get the best financial return on your investment, but you might also be working on a tight deadline. There’s also the pressure to keep your home clean and organized at all times for prospective buyers. One thing you can be sure of when selling your home is that there will be strangers entering your space, so it’s important for you and your agent to take certain safety precautions.
- Go through your medicine cabinets and remove all prescription medications.
- Remove or lock up precious belongings and personal information. You will want to store your jewelry, family heirlooms, and personal/financial information in a secure location to keep them from getting displaced or stolen.
- Remove family photos. We recommend removing your family photos during the staging process so potential buyers can see themselves living in the home. It’s also a good way to protect your privacy.
- Check your windows and doors for secure closings before and after showings. If someone is looking to get back into your home following a showing or an open house, they will look for weak locks or they might unlock a window or door.
- Consider extra security measures such as an alarm system or other monitoring tools like cameras.
- Don’t show your own home! If someone you don’t know walks up to your home asking for a showing, don’t let them in. You want to have an agent present to show your home at all times. Agents should have screening precautions to keep you and them safe from potential danger.
Talk to your agent about the following safety precautions:
- Do a walk-through with your agent to make sure you have identified everything that needs to be removed or secured, such as medications, belongings, and photos.
- Go over your agent’s screening process:
- Phone screening prior to showing the home
- Process for identifying and qualifying buyers for showings
- Their personal safety during showings and open houses
- Lock boxes to secure your keys for showings should be up to date. Electronic lockboxes actually track who has had access to your home.
- Work with your agent on an open house checklist:
- Do they collect contact information of everyone entering the home?
- Do they work with a partner to ensure their personal safety?
- Go through your home’s entrances and exits and share important household information so your agent can advise how to secure your property while it’s on the market.
Your safety, as well as that of your agent and your home, is of paramount importance when selling a property. For more information, visit:
You’ll never have a second chance at a first impression, so let’s make it count! When it comes to upping your home’s curb appeal, there are plenty of small changes you can make that have a big impact. And best of all, you don’t need to call in the pros or spend a fortune to get beautiful results. Below are some helpful and affordable tips.
A Well-Maintained Yard
Mowing: The first step to a well-manicured lawn is to mow it regularly. The experts recommending mowing high because mowing it too short can damage the grass and allow weeds to set root.
Weeds: To prevent weeds like crabgrass use a pre-emergent herbicide in early spring. These herbicides manage the weeds by stopping the seeds from sprouting in your lawn. Broadleaf weeds like dandelions can be stopped by applying granular weed control products.
Feeding: Lawns consume mostly nitrogen, so look for mixes of fast and slow release fertilizers; they will feed your lawn over time while keeping it lush and green.
Watering: Nighttime watering can result in long spans of moisture on the blades, potentially exposing your grass to disease. Consider watering your lawn in the morning – the sun helps dry out the blades throughout the day.
Flowers: You can quickly and affordably dress up your yard with colorful pre-made flower pots and containers. When placing your flower pots and containers remember that asymmetrical arrangements and staggering plants will provided the liveliest setting.
Dress up the Front Door and Porch
Paint: A fresh coat of paint in a pop color can give your home a well-deserved facelift. If you are hesitant to add a bright color to your front door, check out our article Energize Your Home This Winter With Bright Hues.
Replace Old Hardware: Clean off any dirty spots around the door knob, and use a metal polish on the fixtures. Change out house numbers for an updated feel, put up a wall-mounted mailbox, or add an overhead light fixture. Keep in mind that well thought through elements, instead of mix-and-match pieces, will add the most curb appeal.
Create Perfect Symmetry: Symmetry is one of the simplest design techniques to master and is the most pleasing to the eye. Maintain symmetry by flanking your front door with two sidelights (just make sure that your hardware matches); find two urn planters or a unique visual detail to put on either side of your door.
Waiting for spring to think about selling your house?
You might want to think twice… Check out this video to discover 10 reasons to sell your house this holiday season!
2018 selling season is upon us! If you have clients getting ready to put their home on the market, the list of to-dos can seem endless. You may wonder if it’s all worth it, but the fact is, a well-cared-for house shows better. Plus, small issues like flaking paint or a dripping faucet can make buyers wonder what bigger problems await them down the road. Don’t let easily-fixed issues derail your selling process.
Here is a list of 8 things you can do right now to ensure a great first impression:
Keep up yard maintenance
It can be tempting to ignore the lawn and walkways, especially if the client has already vacated the property, but this is the first thing a potential buyer will see. Grass, weeds, and overgrown shrubs can create a sloppy, unkempt appearance before the buyer even looks at the inside of the home. Keep things neat and tidy for a good impression up front.
Clean the gutters
Overflowing gutters can lead to cracked walls and damage to the foundation, in addition to just looking messy. The last thing you want a potential buyer to see is water pooling around the outside of the house, or worse – in the basement. Routinely check for leaves, pine needles and other debris that can lead to unsightly – and dangerous – leaks.
Service the heating/cooling system
If the HVAC system hasn’t been used in a while, it can smell funky when you first turn it on, make frightening sounds, or just straight-up not work – none of which leave a great impression. Before showing a home, have the heating/cooling system serviced, clean the ductwork and filters, and make sure everything is in good working order.
In addition, if there is a working fireplace, take care of that at the same time. Clean the chimney to remove any dirt or debris, and block off the flue to avoid and unwanted houseguests (squirrels and bats just love to come in uninvited!).
Replace all the lightbulbs
This is one of those things that is so super simple to do but often overlooked. Imagine taking a client for a showing after dark, flipping on the switch in the master bedroom … and nothing. For a very minimal investment, all light bulbs in the house could be replaced and any embarrassing incidents avoided.
Wash the windows
Dirty windows and screens can be quite unappealing and leave a bad impression on anyone looking at your house. Cleaning all the windows, sills, and treatments will not only make the house look neat and tidy but will allow in the best possible natural light.
Fix up any interior cosmetic imperfections
Chipped paint, dents in the drywall, and scratches in hardwood are easily fixed but can make a poor impression. A buyer doesn’t want to see a lot of little problems that they’ll have to fix down the road. It is not only an inconvenience for them, but makes them wonder about what larger issues may lie hidden in the house.
Deep clean and declutter
The difference between showing a home that has been cleaned and staged and one that has not is night and day. Clean the floors, polish the furniture, put clean linens on the beds – and, most of all, make sure the kitchen and the bathrooms are immaculate. These two areas, more than anything else, are scrutinized by buyers, and they will judge. After all, would you want to bathe in a moldy tub?
Appearance is everything when it comes to selling a home, and with just a little time and effort, you can make sure you get the most out of every single listing.
One of homeowners concerns when selling their home are the tours. Here’s a snapshot of what you’ll need to do when we let you know that buyers are popping by!
Interested in learning more about the selling process?
Learn how we can help you at our website.
Or talk with us today about your real estate needs.
Metro Denver Office
What should you do if your home or the home you want to buy has cracks? Well, keep in mind that not all cracks are created equal. Some are caused by structural movement and others are just facade in nature.
You should contact a repeatable structural engineer to give you an expert opinion. Don't trust the observation of the physical inspector.
In general, hairline cracks—which are extremely common—are from shrinkage. One way to be sure, though, is to note the crack’s size and revisit the crack each season to determine whether it has gotten bigger.
Some other tips include knowing the types of cracks that exist—and the type of foundation on which your house is built. Homes in located in warmer, drier climates often have a foundation made up of a layer of concrete that is poured down directly on the soil. This is called “slab on grade.” Another type of home foundation is a perimeter concrete beam that supports the outer frame of the house, and the mid-section of the house is supported by piers in a crawl space. This is referred to as "pier and grade beam." There is also the foundation that uses piers that are drilled down about 20 feet, with the house resting atop them.
Soil expansion and contraction is the cause of most foundation issues, including in the Denver area. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that 25 percent of U.S. homes have been damaged by expanding soil.
Inside The Home
Drywall: Take a look at the walls inside the house. Cracks in drywall that are jagged and at a 45-degree angle could be a sign that the foundation is shifting.
Doors & Windows: Shut doors and windows, looking for any that stick—not because of paint or humidity—or where there are gaps. This could be another indication there has been foundation movement.
Floors: If your foundation is slab-on-grade, check the floor. A straight edge can help you gauge the seriousness of any cracks you might see. If it’s pretty level, it’s probably not serious. But if one side is higher or lower than the other, the crack could be an indicator that the foundation of your home has dropped.
Crawl Space: Take a look at your crawl space, if the home has one. If there is exposed dirt, check for moisture. If the dirt is moist, that could be a sign of water intrusion. Also, a musty smell could mean there is excessive moisture. But even if the dirt is dry, if there are cracks in the dirt, this could mean that it was once moist and has now dried—and this could mean that the ground has lots its ability to carry a heavy load.
Outside The Home
Below The Roof: It sounds counter-intuitive, but if you want to check for foundation damage, take a look up rather than down. In a two-story home, for instance, damage would be worse on the second floor if there were foundation issues. You want to be on the lookout for cracks above any doors or windows, separation of frieze board (the board below the overhand on homes), and stairstep cracks on brick.
Horizontal vs. Vertical Cracks
Watch for horizontal cracks; these can be especially bad because they can indicate too much water behind your foundation. This could mean too much water pressure because of poor drainage. Vertical cracks could mean there is a serious settling problem, and can mean that soil expansion is pushing up the foundation.
The bottom line is that if you notice cracks, keep an eye on them—and call in a professional if you notice changes from season to season.
Need recommendations for an inspector?
Contact us for referrals or your real estate questions.
Windermere Metro Denver Real Estate
Planning to sell your home? Fantastic!! The Denver metro market is HOT! Here are seven tips to help:
#1 Prepare for your own purchase: Where you will live next? A new home or rental? Save time and money by not moving multiple times.
#2 Get your home ready for showings: Prepare your home to become “a house” again. Fix minor breaks, update the landscaping and etc.
#3 Start looking for a real estate agent: Get referrals and research them online. Check out their stats, recent solds and reviews.
#4 Price your property right: Avoid overpricing! It can hurt your return. Ask your agent for a market comparison.
#5 Market the home appropriately: Your real estate agent will list your home…. On dozens of sites, including Metrolist (our MLS).
#6 Make the house available: Be ready to leave the house for showings. They can happen at all daylight hours.
#7 Plan your negotiation: Know what you will & won’t give to close the sale. Compromise on minor items to help your home close.
Our team can help you prepare to sell!
Check out our blog for more tips or contact us for advice:
Windermere Metro Denver Real Estate
A sellers' secret: yes, you really do need new carpet.
If you want to sell your house for a better price, then replace your old, worn out carpet. Sure you could clean instead of replace it. However take it from a broker, when your house is staged and looking pristine, the tracks created over years of foot traffic will stick out like a sore thumb. It's a greater benefit for you to show your house in its best light than to provide buyers an allowance to replace it themselves.
7 tips for carpet buyers
(courtesy of the Denver Post)
- Conquer your resistance. The benefits definitely outweigh the inconvenience of replacing your carpet. Besides nobody wants to move in onto your old carpet.
- Don't rush your selection. Do not wing it by quickly picking a color. Bring several swatches home to see which color or style looks best.
- Stay neutral. Play safe. Pick a light, neutral color that goes with your walls.
- Expect to pay for furniture moving. On top of the cost of carpet, pad and installation, furniture moving will cost you extra.
- There's no need for top of the line. Brand new lower-end carpet looks almost as fabulous as high-end carpet.
- Get what's in stock. Look for the less expensive lines (sometimes called builder grade). They are immediately available, which makes the project easier.
- Brace yourself for the brief upheaval. But remember that it's all worth it.
The fewer points a buyer can make against the price of your house, the more likely you'll get the best return on your investment!
Check out our blog for more tips or contact us for advice:
Windermere Metro Denver Real Estate