We’ve all heard the expression, ‘you can’t see the forest for the trees.’ This colloquialism also applies to people who are trying to sell their homes. While space filled with personal knickknacks that is set up specifically for the needs of you and your family may serve you well, it might also be working against getting top dollar for your home. Simple tweaks to your space may be standing between you and the sale of your home. So, what are you going to do about it?
The answer is simple: enlist the help of capable professionals dedicated to coming in with an eye for what will appeal to buyers. How to increase the value of a space on a budget is key to getting optimal value for your home. Professional Stager Luanne Kanerva from Katu Design and Ann Christie – Owner Declutter and Downsize work every day with clients to make sure that their home is putting its best face forward. We've talked to them about how small changes can make a huge difference and the many ways they help homeowners channel the powers of decluttering and staging, all in the name of getting the best price possible for your home.
Since we recently listed 2 Pine Ridge Drive and Luanne Kanerva had the task of staging the property. She brought her 20 years of experience to her work and turned the place around by focusing on showcasing exactly what most buyers want. In this article you can find photos of the property before it was decluttered and staged to see the real value of staging. The difference is huge, see for yourself.
Decluttering when selling is all about making the best first impression
In terms of creating the perfect presentation for potential buyers Ann says,
The ultimate goal is to have your space be warm and welcoming without being overcrowded.
Ann says the main reason someone should declutter their home is to ensure they make a solid first impression with potential buyers and in turn maximize the dollar value of the property.
You want potential buyers to be able to envision themselves living in your home and to understand the purpose of each room and/or space.
Start from the Top
Decluttering can be overwhelming. Many people don’t know where to start. Ann recommends tackling counter tops and surfaces first.
Make sure these areas are cleared of clutter leaving a few key items on them that add character without clutter.
When going through closet and storage space Ann recommends a thorough tidy of the space with organized items stored off the floor, not overcrowded, and to showcase that there is a lot of storage space for a new homeowner. Luanne says that at 2 Pine Ridge Drive:
The home had a media room in the basement with shelves all the way around. We were able to show this area off as a premium storage space. Something that everyone is looking for in a home.
Find a purpose for each area of the home
We could all use our homes more effectively, with each area having a clear-cut purpose. This is something that home stagers like Luanne work towards. The advantage of hiring an experienced stager is that they can recommend uses for any space and help homeowners problem solve. Luanne says:
In any home there are spaces that don’t have defined uses. When buyers are looking at a home you don’t want them to see rooms that aren’t used, you want to show that each area of the home provides a useful space. When the effective use of space is apparent, that’s the home that’s going to sell; that’s the one that’s going to get the most money.
That's why Luanne solved the problem of the master bedroom not having enough closet space by turning one room, which was previously unused or used as a kind-of nursery sideroom, into a walk-in closet:
Through renovation this particular space had built a beautiful master suite over the garage but it didn’t have a closet. Since to get to the master suite you needed to walk through the original bedroom, we created a spacious walk-in closet to get to the bedroom retreat. Instead of being ‘the room without a closet’ the walk-in closet we created in a room that previously had no use became a showpiece for the entire home.
A fresh coat of paint is the most effective home upgrade
Luanne says something as simple as a coat of paint is something that can make a huge impact on bringing a space together. As a stager, in addition to recommending tweaks to a home like painting, Luanne uses her expert eye to provide colour recommendations that will make the space shine. Recently, when working on a project at 2 Pine Ridge Drive the entire home was repainted.
The home was on the market and the house on a whole from the outside, with a beautiful landscaped lawn, wasn’t cohesive with the home’s interior.
Her solution – paint.
We modernized the whole house, which as a recommendation, in general you can’t go wrong with paint. It’s the cheapest, easiest, and most effective way to upgrade a space. People don’t necessarily notice fresh paint but they notice the house.
The furniture should suit the value of the room
Getting the right furniture in a room can create a big impact. Luanne says with respect to her work on Pine Ridge,
The furniture in the living room was big and it gave off more of a rec room vibe, and it didn’t line up with the value of the space. Instead the use of furniture to create both a living room and dining room showcased the size of the space.
Decluttering will also help you move when the time comes
Ann also reminds those preparing for a move that a solid declutter will help them when the time comes to pack up boxes and clear out. Since packing is generally the most time-consuming portion of a move, the more you sort, sell, donate, trash, or put in storage, the easier things are going to be as moving day approaches. Ann says,
By decluttering, the current homeowner has organized themselves and is already well prepared for the move to their new space. They know that the items they have in their current house are the items they would like to move to their new house.
To keep your home sale as stress-free as possible, we recommend reaching out to professionals. By hiring professionals to declutter and organize your home, you're solving two problems most sellers have - preparing the home for sale and organizing your own possesions and deciding what you're going to keep in your new home.
Read more: Downsizing? Let's call it Rightsizing
If you're thinking about putting your home on the market, don't waste any time, contact us and let us guide you through the process. We have a great network of stages, movers and declutterers to make your life easier and the sale of your home as quick and painless as possible.