The housing market is rough. It has been hard on sellers for several years and though things seem to be looking up the economy has hardly recovered enough to bridge the housing gap. It’s no secret that selling during the housing crisis isn’t advised by experts.
However, sometimes life mandates major changes….
Before I decided to put my house on the market I did a little research and found out that the average price of a house in Fort Lauderdale, FL is $205,000, and my house had to sell for a little under that to make up the mortgage and the cost of upgrades put into it. Though the market trends in Fort Lauderdale have been slowly inching up over the last year, I had no choice but to put my house on the market, which meant a small margin of profit down the road.
In order to make my house more appealing to potential buyers I consulted experts in staging. Just three months after staging the home for sale I had two offers on the house. If you are curious how, read the rest of this article to learn more.
Don’t Take It Personal
Pack away all pictures of yourself, your family, friends, anyone or anything that makes your house personal to you. The idea is to get buyers to picture the space as their own; if they see personal items, such as pictures or monogrammed bath towels, it becomes your space and not potentially theirs.
Pack away anything personal, including religious artifacts. While being religious is wonderful, the people who walk through the house may not share the same views and it serves as a distraction. The idea is to make the property look like a model house, not a lived in/used up space.
Outside of an unclean house, nothing turns a buyer off like clutter. Take the time to declutter your house and seriously consider what you really need to survive until the house is sold. Clean out closets and other storage spaces, remove items from the counter tops in the bathroom and kitchen, and invest in a toy chest for the kids’ toys. If it can’t be stored out of sight it needs to be stored out of the house. Approximately 90% of the content of the house should be removed.
The heat and humidity in Florida can wreak havoc on your personal items, so find a self-storage shed that has climate control. Take a look at Uncle Bob’s storage to find reasonable rates and information about renting a storage unit in the Fort Lauderdale area. I was able to save nearly $100 by shopping smart.
In order to keep the potential buyer’s palette of style cleared for viewing, rearrange furniture and change color schemes to make the rooms neutral. Odd or bright colors make it hard to envision one’s own belongings in the house. It’s also important to organize everything from cupboards and floor spaces to closets.
Make it Shine
Scrub and polish all surfaces until they shine. The view from my house was worth noting, and having buyers able to take notice of the beauty of Fort Lauderdale from the backyard was a big selling point.
It is also recommended that the house have favorable smells in them. I baked cookies to improve the impression buyers have when they walk in the door. The better mood they are in, the more favorably they will see the house, the more likely you are to get an offer. Plus, a plate of cookies for them to eat goes over well.
Remember Curb Appeal
Don’t spend so much time staging inside the house that you forget about the outside. The first impression potential buyers have of the house is made before they even walk through the door. Keep the yard mowed, the hedges trimmed, and the sidewalks and driveway edged. We had a couple of trees in our front yard that we also laid mulch around to enhance the curb appeal.
Though staging can seem intimidating, if you take it one room at a time the process becomes much more bearable. Don’t list it until the house is ready.