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The Seller’s Guide to Designing-to-Sell

Homes that have been staged sell for more and sell faster. I provide every listing with design guidance and staging; because design matters! And this is what today's buyers are demanding. If you want top dollar for your home, you need to know that buyers are expecting an updated look.

If your home didn't sell previously or you are thinking of selling within the next month or even the next year, these are 6 simple changes you can do now to make your home stand out, show well, sell fast AND get you to price you want.

1. Think Light & Bright - The brighter it looks the bigger it appears

Walls - If your walls date your property back to the early 2000’s or worse the 90’s or before, chances are you will be scaring off some buyers. Examples include sponge painted feature walls, dark brown, mustard or burgundy accent walls, wallpaper from the 90’s, or wallpaper borders and more. It's amazing how white, light grey or greige (grey'ish beige) can modernize a home.

Lights - Get new white-light LED bulbs, the brighter the better!

2. Updating Fixtures & Faucets - These can instantly change the style of a room

Lighting Fixtures - Switching out dated lights is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to update a interior's style. Make sure they all have the same finish - such as brushed nickel, black, bronze etc. This will give the house flow.

Faucets - Updating the kitchen faucet to feel more like a chef's kitchen will give you home a super high end feeling. If your bathroom faucets are really dated, I'd recommend updating those while your at it. Think about tying in the finish you chose for the light fixtures. For instance, if you updated all the lights including the bathrooms to chrome then find a chrome faucet to pull it all together.

3. Deep Clean & Touch-up - They are buying your house not your mess

Deep Clean - Get a magic eraser sponge and wipe down walls, doors, cabinets and baseboards. Also be sure to dust the blinds. These are the areas we forget on our weekly housekeeping duties and they are the first a buyer will notice.

Touch-up - Never underestimate the power of touch-up paint. When the walls and trim are all beat up it gives the impression that the house is very worn in. When you take an hour or two to do touch up painting and even caulking around tiled areas, it will make the house look cleaner and better maintained.

4. Keep it Simple & Spacious - Narrow down the furniture and decor

Cut down on the decor - It’s better to have the space feel slightly stark than it is to feel cluttered. Narrow down the paintings on the wall, and candles on the mantel etc. With small decor items on display, the rule of thumb is no more than 3 in a grouping.

Narrow Down the Furniture - You want the rooms to feel large and airy. If your furniture is overpowering the space, you may want to narrow it down to the essentials. If there is an extra side table and chair in the living room that is cutting down the flow of traffic, remove it from the room altogether.

5. Neutralize & Depersonalize - Let the buyers imagine themselves in your home

Neutralize - If you’re an avid hunter and have animal heads hung, or have a wall of samurai swords on display, or an expanse collection of action figurines and posters lining your walls- you are going to need to place those items away for safekeeping. Those are a bit taste specific and could turn some people off.

Depersonalize - Take down the family photos. Replace some of the larger frames with artwork. It's hard to imagine yourself living in a space where the owners are staring back at you.

6. Cozy & Colorful - Invite your buyers in to stay awhile

Cozy - Add pillows and throw blankets to couches and beds. You want each area of your home to feel cozy and inviting. Play up all the cool hang out areas of your house. Do you have a nice back patio, a front porch, or a fire pit area, maybe you have a movie room? These are special features that should also be shown off.

Colorful - Color catches the eye, especially in the real estate photos. Add colorful decor to each room from wall art, curtains, throw pillows and blankets to the table-top decor.

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