Deciding that it's time to sell your home in the Massapequas requires a lot of thought, but once you make the decision, the next step begins, getting the home prepared before it goes on the market.
"Staging" your home is a term currently used to describe the process of making your home appeal to the largest possible audience, in order to ensure a quick sale for the best price.
Having the eye of a professional stager on your team is a great first step in making sure you realize the best selling results. Janet Wagner, a professional interior decorator and stager from Nassau Shores in Massapequa says the first, most important thing a homeowner can do to begin is to declutter.
Decluttering is something that owners can do themselves and it doesn't cost anything. It provides an opportunity to throw things away, or make donations to local charities and receive a tax credit as an added benefit.
As you declutter you can actually start packing. You can label boxes and fill them with things you really won't be using until you get to your new home. The boxes can then be neatly stored in an out of the way area such as a garage or shed.
Make sure the front walkway is completely clear and that your front door can swing to a 90 degree angle. A clutter free home enables a buyer to get a feeling that your house looks bigger. It also makes the home look cleaner and gives the buyer the impression that the home was well cared for.
A fresh coat of paint is another thing at the top of the list in the staging process. If you are handy with a paint brush, go for it. But it's important to make the right color choices. In smaller rooms, or rooms with lower ceilings, you don't want to go with too dark a color. Even dark brown paneling can be painted a light neutral color to add instant impact in giving a room an updated look. But don't forget to prime the paneling first to get optimal paint coverage.
Make a visit to your local paint department such as at Ace Hardware in Massapequa and browse through the color choices. Ask the sales associate what colors are currently popular. You can take home sample paint chips and buy small jars of color to try out first before you make the final decision. When in doubt, consulting a stager is always a guarantee you will make the right color choices. The cost of a staging consultation starts at about $100 an hour but it is the best money you can spend. If you spend $1,000 in painting and staging, it can easily facilitate an extra $5,000 to $10,000 in the offering price.
Furniture and accessory placement is also an integral part of the staging process. I just listed Trish and Tom Patafios' home up for sale on Park Lane in Massapequa Park. Three weeks before we put in on the market, I brought in Janet Wagner for a staging consult. Trish and Tom were very familiar with the staging concept thanks to HGTV and were excited about having her come in.
"We were astounded at how she was able to take things we already had in the house, and with proper placement, create a designer look," Trish said.
"We never thought our red chair in the den would go with the lime couch in the living room. Not only does it work, but now the living room looks hip and updated."
Using the redesign concept, you don't necessarily have to go out and buy new things but rather reconfigure what you already have. By removing excess furniture, you can open up a room, making it look larger and more aesthetically appealing.
You want to create good "'flow" where buyers can easily stroll from room to room without any obstruction. If you have an open mind, you may even want to incorporate some elements of feng shui, an ancient Chinese practice of positioning objects, and furniture, based on a belief in patterns of yin and yang and the flow of chi that can have positive effects including attracting prosperity into your life. When you walk into a space of any kind, your body receives thousands of unconscious signals, making you feel comfortable or uncomfortable.
You want the buyer to say "This place has a nice feel". Simple feng shui techniques include the positioning of mirrors where walls can block the flow in a room particularly if there is a wall directly in front of you upon entrance to your home. Many feng shui tips can be found online. Just use a search engine.
Cleaning and organizing may not be your favorite thing to do, but it sure pays off when you go to sell your home. Buyers will open your closets, make sure what they see is pleasing. Have all your towels neatly folded in your linen closet. Have bedroom closets neat with your hanging items arranged by category, then put them in color sequence from light to bright to dark. Having air fresheners in your closets is a great idea as well.
Think about getting your carpets cleaned. Make sure your baths are sparkling, and that the grout work is in perfect condition and free of stains and mildew. A quick tip is using Tilex on the grout but for tougher jobs, you may need a professional.
Remember to clean all your windows, inside and out, and open all the shades and curtains to allow the flow of natural light. Ample lighting is very important when buyers walk through your home. Clean up the hardwood floors if you have them, Swiffer Wetjet with wood floor cleaner is a great product to use to get the wood clean and smelling fresh. When dusting, be sure to include window sills, floor moldings, appliances, and electronics. In the kitchen, clean your oven, polish up your stainless, clear off counters and use granite cleaner for stone to make it shine, and organize your cabinets. Trust me; buyers will open your kitchen cabinets.
Remember to remove all the magnets and pictures off the refrigerator too; it just makes for a better picture when photos of the property go online.
So, we have covered some of the essentials to staging your home for sale, decluttering, and fresh paint, placement of furniture and accessories, and cleaning. Are you tired yet? Take heart, these steps have a big pay off. Look at it this way; staging is a temporary job that will reap you big profits when it comes time to sit down at the closing table. Staging also allows you to get to that closing table a lot faster too!
For information, questions and comments, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Cindy Succoso is a licensed real estate agent with Prudential Douglas Elliman RE.
About this column:
A look at the real estate market in Massapequa.