According to the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service there are 4,839 single family homes currently on the market in Southern Idaho and Eastern Oregon. With that many homes on the market, the question becomes how do I make my home stand out from the crowd? There are as many answers to this question as there are realtors and home improvement shows! After reviewing numerous blogs, magazine articles, home staging books from the library, real estate websites and a few TV shows, all agree to the following well –known tactics:
Increase curb appeal – mow lawn, trim bushes, paint if necessary, plant flowers, clear sidewalks, remove weeds, rake leaves, shovel sidewalks and driveway, etc.
Remove clutter inside and out – eliminate unnecessary furniture, only display most recent magazines, put away toys, store some decorative household items and seasonal outdoor items, remember,“a place for everything and everything in its place”
Keep it clean – every surface and pane of glass should SPARKLE; dust furniture, polish door hardware and plumbing fixtures, vacuum frequently, steam clean carpets/refinish hardwood floors if necessary
Eliminate offensive odors – refrain from smoking indoors, remove trash, pets, pet bedding and other smelly items just prior to showing your home. Baking a pan of cookies or brewing a pot of coffee to leave for potential buyers to snack on is a tactic many recommend.
Make sure it works – everything in your home should function as it was meant to ie: lights turn on, gates and doors open and close easily, faucets control water pressure, ceiling fans spin, etc.
Here are some novel suggestions:
Make it homey – books open near a chair; trays with pitcher and glasses on patio table; a hobby project or jigsaw puzzle left “in process”
Focus on nature – provide a list of all trees, shrubs, vines, perennials and bulbs and where they are located in the yard – seasonal pictures in a photo album, electronic picture frame or a poster board would help potential buyers visualize the outdoor space throughout the year. Bring nature indoors using healthy potted plants, seasonal floral arrangements or artificial plants.
Create “thinking spaces” – add a comfortable chair and small table/desk to stair landings and corners in bedrooms/ living spaces to create quiet, intimate spots for reflection.
Vehicles – remove cars from garages and driveways to make these spaces seem larger. Motorcycles, scooters and bikes should be neatly stored or removed as well.
Memory Sheet – create a page that includes a photo of your home, address and realtor contact information for each visitor to take home. List on the page some of the things you like best about your home – watching birds in the backyard, walking to the park or local restaurants, morning coffee on the patio, etc. This page creates an emotional connection to your home rather than the typical fact sheet listing number of bedrooms.
Finally, consider your “perfect” buyer… are they a young family or a retired couple? Once you have determined this you can stage your home to reflect their lifestyle.