Selling Your Home

It’s amazing how things change and stay the same. The real estate market is more challenging than it has been in several years. But it’s not that homes aren’t selling; it’s that some homes aren’t selling.

Do you have a home for sale? If you are selling a home, how can you make your home stand out and be more appealing to potential buyers … and get it sold? These home selling tips are about caring for your home and about staging it for a quick sale.

First, of course, is simply caring for it and keeping it in excellent condition. Today’s buyers are only seriously considering buying a home for sale that are in the very best condition.

Let’s say that you and your REALTOR® have already discussed that and that you’ve done the work needed to keep your home on the consideration list. Now, the key word you need to understand is “staging.” Realtors always tell sellers to clean and de-clutter. Now you need to discuss “staging” your home effectively.

Staging is a process by which an agent and seller work together to present a home in its best light. No clutter. Fresh paint. Clean carpet. Welcoming aromas. Pleasant, inviting bright lighting. No personal items to keep a buyer from being able to visualize your home as “theirs.”

According to Home magazine, professionally-staged homes sell for up to 7% more and they sell twice as fast. Sounds great, eh? Can you stage your home and get the same results? Close. DIY just won’t be of the level that a professional can provide. Plus, the pro’s eye can see things that you might miss, or simply not consider. The burgundy walls in your great room? Perfect, right? Who doesn’t know you’re a huge Led Zeppelin fan, considering your Led Zeppelin room. And it’s fantastic that you care for six rescue dogs who have their own room. All of these things – and others that are unique
to you – are important to you, but may turn off potential home buyers. A professional stager can help you with an impartial viewpoint.

The key to staging is to make your home appeal to the greatest number of possible buyers. More possible buyers = more possible offers.

Professional stagers charge monthly rates or a one–time fee. An initial consultation will range from $200 – $500. Their recommendations usually include deep cleaning, clearing closets, removing excess furniture, repainting rooms a neutral
hue and making repairs.

Some of Carpenter Realtors’ best, who are staging experts, have put together some ideas to sell a home faster and for more money. All the old rules of thumb still apply. Make it sparkle, de-personalize, remove clutter, trim the lawn.

• Start by painting every wall a neutral color, but not white. Try Newport Beige, Irish Linen or White Umber. White or off-white trim is preferred by today’s home buyers.

• Tom Farris, Carpenter’s Northeast office manager, says his decorator wife, Lori, recommends that carpet should be fresh and neutral. Forest green won’t sell. If not carpet, how about an area rug to cover?Focus on first impressions. When your buyer walks in the door, the space should be clean, fragrant and inviting. Adding fresh flowers brings vibrancy and life to an otherwise sterile environment. Watch your curb appeal. Shutters and landscaping add interest.

• Then, simplify your rooms without making them cold and sterile. Remove all the furniture and add pieces sparingly back in, observing the traffic pattern. Use only one focal point and make the purpose of the room obvious. Kathy Dennis, Certified Staging Professional from our Carmel office, suggests accessorizing with 3 items of differing heights. This adds interest and dimension.

• Steven Cass, Pike, says “homes that smell don’t sell.” Febreeze and plug-ins go a long way. Use diffusers to add intermittent light and fresh aromas. Safer than candles, diffusers help you appeal to multiple senses, sending subliminal messages of freshness and cleanliness. Use light, fresh scents so it doesn’t smell like a cover up.

• Kitchens sell homes. Use rugs, and a cookbook on the counter to add interest. Teacups and tea towels make it warm and inviting.

• Got a spa bath? Adds a few plumb towels and a faux orchid to the counter top for a spa feel. Would a new shower curtain help? Clear bathroom counters and put toilet lids down. Fill the spa tub with water and add floating candles for interest. Fresh towels and a new bar of soap at the sinks add a nice touch.

• Reba Evans, Brownsburg, is famous for staging homes before an Open House and says her sellers consider it an extra service. She adds greenery and candles everywhere. Pillows are great for adding interest and color.

• Patty Sherrill has an open house kit that includes Windex, neutral kitchen towels, candles, two new bars of dove soap, colorful potted plants and Febreeze. Fresh-baked cookies and chilled bottled water help Patty Sherrill add sensory appeal to her open houses.

• Barb Schwartz, CEO of, recommends stagers go room by room and remove everything smaller than a basketball. If you can’t see the kitchen backsplash, that’s a sure sign the kitchen looks cluttered.

Ask us how staging can be another way to differentiate your home in a competitive market.


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