Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Do you REALLY want to sell your home?

If you really want to sell your home then you are going to have to make some changes. Changes to your lifestyle (no more leaving dishes in the sink or an unmade bed), changes to the way you view your home (it'smessy  bed now a commodity on the open market), and the biggest challenge of all is not taking it personally when someone doesn't love your home.

Change can create stressful feelings in most of us. By nature we are creatures of habit. The habits we form help us create order out of our sometimes chaotic world!

Moving is change, there is no getting around it. Whether you have decided to move voluntarily or your move is due to a life transistion or job transfer, it's still change.

But what happens if you commit to the change? What if you decide that the outcome is going to be a positive one? Don't you think committing to your decision, taking action and then believing in the best outcome beats doubt and worry?

By making the decision to move forward you take control.

Selling your home is a commitment. tidy   bedIt's not a long term one (hopefully) but if you want a good outcome you need to make a commitment to the process.

Too often sellers feel that moving in itself is  enough of a a burden. They may resent the idea of having to do more to get their house sold. Whether it's repairs, painting, staging their home or packing ahead of time, it can be overwhelming to think of all they have to do to get their home sold.

You know what? Ask for help. It's out there. Take it a step at a time but get started today. Do one thing. And then feel good about getting that done.
  • Call your local agent and make an appointment to get an idea of market value.
  • Contact a reputable handyman or contractor to take care of any repairs
  • Ask your agent or google "home staging" in your town and find a home stager to help you organize and present your home in it's best light.
  • Start packing
  • Set a date to reward yourself for all your hard work. Each time you accomplish one step give yourself a little treat!

Think of the times you committed to something and followed through. Now remember a time when you didn't decide or didn't make a plan. What happened?

Once you decide, and act and believe in the outcome, results follow.

You can sell your home. Commit to the change and watch what happens!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Does Your Home Need a "Make Under"?

Happened to be home when Oprah was on this afternoon. The topic was Makeunders. Women who needed less not more. But this also applies to homes. Nate Berkus did a room Makeunder and it inspired me! Every home that goes on sale needs a "make under". The less of you, the quicker your home will sell. The bigger and more spacious your home looks the higher it's perceived value. 
This means it's really important to edit your stuff so what's really important greets you (and your buyers) when you walk in the door. You want your homes' features to shine, you want buyers to say aaaah!

The trouble is we tend to keep adding stuff to our homes and don't stop to edit.
I compare it to getting dressed. You've got a great look going but then you keep adding accessories to your outfit. A scarf or two. All of a sudden your great look gets lost. No one will be able to focus on that perfect necklace or pair of shoes because there's too much to look at. The best outfits are the ones with a simple color palette. A nice pair of jeans, a contrasting top and jacket and some great accent jewelry and shoes.

Your home is no different. It's an extension of who you are but it shouldn't be the catchall for everything you've ever wanted to bring home. Layering is wonderful but you have to know when to stop before your look gets lost.

Start with one room. Treat it like an extension of yourself. How would you dress it?

10 Easy Tips to "Make Under" Your Home
1. Keep in simple, Pick one or two main colors for your walls and floor. The fewer colors the more spacious your home will look.

2. Pick a third and fourth (if desired) accent color . Use these colors sparingly.

3. Keep your surfaces consistent.  Walls should be the same material if possible and painted or finished in the same color on all walls. Floors also. Keep flooring consistent throughout the house.

4. Group your family photos on one wall and use similar frames and mats to keep a unified look. Edit your photos first and keep only the ones you love.
Clean simple room
5.  Group your plants also. Your plants will thrive and it reduces watering time. Toss out any that are unhealthy or dying.

6. If a room has more than one use make sure there's a dedicated space for each use. Screens or dividers can help separate living from office or exercise space.

7. Keep your window treatments clean and simple. Heavy window treatments that cut down on light can overpower a room. Invest in some light colored curtain panels instead hung on a simple pole. These look great over inexpensive 2" blinds.

8. Remove area rugs on carpet.  Visually they cut up the floor space and make the room feel smaller.

9. Edit your collections. Keep only pieces you love on display. Again grouping them will create impact and reduce visual busy-ness.

10. Keep it to 5. When in doubt, keep no more than 5 toys or 5 plants or 5 pillows or 5 frames or 5 lamps for example in a room at one time. If you want to add a new piece, take out an old one.

Remember keep it simple. Whether you are getting ready to sell your home or just want to live lighter, a professional home staging consultation can help you with your "makeunder".

Photo is not a sample of Hampton Redesign staging but was chosen to represent how a simplified color palette can "Make Under a room.