Saturday, June 16, 2007

Live in your home. Love your home. Then prepare your home for Sale!

It seems like we talk about all different aspects of the market, and yet we always come back to the same topics – most notably, what can a seller do to sell their home in the least amount of time and for the most money? I've written about this several times lately ( 6 Steps to a Successful Listing ). Today I want to address the topic from a different angle.

One of the greatest things about owning a house is turning that house into a home – your home. You get to give it a personality based on how you decorate it. Colors, textures, furniture, landscaping, hardware, accessories – two houses of the exact same floorplan right next door to each other may end up looking completely different!

Here are some examples from a listing I showed to my buyers recently. The sellers had a very distinctive style and used bold colors, prints, and patterns throughout the house. I'm guessing their furniture complimented their style, and it probably looked really good (to those who liked it!) However, now it just looks like a vacant house where almost every buyer is going to want to re-finish every room. That takes time, money, and energy – things most buyers are not going to want to give, especially in this market.

Animal Print Border.

Black and Gold Curtains.

Gold and Black Curtains.

Animal Print Bathroom.

Gold and Black Wallpaper in Bedroom.

Yes, these are all from the same house!

I'm a big advocate of this; it's your home – you live in it, and you spend the most time in it. Take pride in your home and make it a thing of beauty! But beware.. beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and different people might have very different tastes. When it comes time to sell, your goal should be to impress as many people as possible, rather than to really impress a smaller group who shares your tastes. Some people are lucky, in that their decorating style tends to appeal to the masses, while others might have a little more flare – bold colors, patterned wallpaper, or geometric or colored light fixtures – these might look fantastic to some people, but the masses will most likely check the "needs redecorating" box on their notes sheet.

- Chris Butterworth