The housing market is beginning to show signs of life again. According to the National Association of Realtors, December, 2012, figures for the South showed existing home sales were down by 3 percent. However, that's still 14.7 percent higher than December, 2011. Furthermore, limited inventory helped maintain the upswing in rising prices, and the continued low interest rates provide ongoing strong incentives for buyers.
There’s no doubt today’s financial climate requires additional effort to sell a home. For seniors who want or need to downsize, that could be troublesome.
However, there are tricks designed to reap additional interest from more prospective buyers when preparing a home before listing it. Professionals call it "staging."
The exterior is what makes the first impression on buyers. Realtors call this “curb appeal.” It’s critical that it looks well maintained and in good repair.
A few staging tips for the outside include planting blooming plants and/or flowers, strategically placing a large bowl of flowers at the front step, or putting a potted tree by the front door.
The inside should also mirror the impression of good maintenance. It must be clean, uncluttered, and smell fresh.
A trick to achieve an inviting odor throughout is to cover the bottom of a disposable tinfoil pie pan with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Bake it in the oven for at least 15 minutes and the house will be permeated with the scent of fresh bakery items.
Every buyer must be able to imagine him/herself living in the home. Make sure all counters, table tops, and desks are free from unnecessary items, especially general clutter and personal items. Aside from litter looking messy, constant reminders of the owner will be a distraction that hinders a buyer’s ability to see him/herself as residents of the house.
It cannot be emphasized enough that kitchens and bathrooms are critically important to buyers. Their cleanliness and brightness are essential selling points.
The realtor’s creed for bathrooms is, “Lights on, lids down.” For kitchens, it’s, “Clean counters, acceptable appliances.”
Colors in a home can be subliminally persuasive. Most buyers are not decorators. Therefore, they think they’ll be living in your color scheme. Personal tastes vary widely. Use muted earth tone colors in all rooms.
Using these additional tricks will pay off with more lookers and higher bids. They’re easy, inexpensive, and definitely worth it.