Selling a Home
Beyond the Décor
Writer / Tonja Talley – Photos provided by Indiana Realty Pros
Are you planning to sell a home this year? Spring can be an active time in the world of real estate, and planning is one of the key elements in its success. Recently three Center Grove realtors gave a few suggestions on how to prepare the inside of a home for sale.
“Many people have a hard time seeing beyond the décor of the house to the things that really count, such as the layout, the space, the lighting and the overall cleanliness,” said Crystal Caperton.
A broker with Hoosier Realtors, Crystal says her experience has shown that there are emotional pitfalls on both sides of the selling process. Many sellers struggle to detach themselves from the memories of their home, while buyers often struggle to visualize themselves living in a home that still has the look and taste of the previous owner.
To avoid these pitfalls, Lisa Johnson, realtor from F.C. Tucker Company, suggests a seller try to see their home objectively. What does a potential buyer see in the home? Do they see clutter and age, or do they see a clean, well-lit, inviting home? To see a home objectively, Lisa advises to take pictures of each room in the house from various angles. “Pictures quickly direct the eye to the focal point of the area,” she said. “It may not be pretty, but pictures will show you what a potential buyer will see.”
Lisa states repairs, such as leaky faucets or a rotten step, have to be fixed before a sale can take place. Updating and de-cluttering, on the other hand, just help to make a home more “showable.” In addition, sometimes, mean a bigger profit for the seller. How much is too much, though? “Certain updates, like painting a room in a neutral color or switching out old kitchen cabinet door knobs for ones with a more updated look, may bring more profit to a seller than say a whole new kitchen remodel. It depends on the market in which the house resides.”
Household aromas and clutter can deter a house from selling. The garlic in last night’s supper may have tasted good, but its lingering aroma may not be so appealing to a potential buyer the next day. According to Ron Rose, owner and broker of Indiana Realty Pros, buyers use all their senses in purchasing a home. “Sellers are wise when they go the extra mile to omit the household aromas caused by their everyday living.”
Buyers want space. De-cluttering can make spaciousness happen. The rearrangement or removal of some furniture from any given room can preview a room’s spaciousness. Other items to ponder de-cluttering may include cabinets, drawers and pantries. Since moving will be inevitable, Ron recommends packing unneeded seasonal items in boxes, eliminating the look of overcrowding. Ron points out, however, “potential buyers need to see the spaciousness of the garage and basement. If at all possible, I suggest placing boxed items or excess furniture in a storage facility.”
Getting a home market analysis from a realtor is the best way to find out what other homes in your neighborhood have sold for within the last year. The home will be priced out based on square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms and the size of the yard. Then this will be compared to the recent homes sold in the neighborhood. “This is a free service and is essential in the pricing out of a home,” Crystal said, “while seeing beyond its décor.”