Creating The “Wow” Factor Preparing Your Home For Spring Market – Part III

It’s a Saturday afternoon and I’m taking a Buyer on tour to look at potential homes. The front door is opened and there is an auditory gasp from the Buyer as their eyes take in the view. The tour continues room-by-room, floor-by-floor with various expressions of amazement. The home is quite simply gorgeous. This is the reaction Seller’s should aspire for when listing their home and what Realtor’s call the “Wow” factor.  What is this element that in today’s Lakewood market can sell a home in practically days and result in multiple offers? It is a home that is show ready and has a few elements that clearly sets it apart from the competition.

We are at our final stage of preparing the interior of your home for the upcoming spring market. Several of you have been working hard and clearing out the clutter, taking care of necessary maintenance issues and giving Mr. Clean a run for his money. These are the basics every Seller should address first. Now it’s time for the fun part, putting some pizzazz in your décor. The Wow Factor can be achieved at any price range, location and budget. It simply takes a few strategic improvements that will increase appeal to your ideal target Buyer.

Create a neutral pallet:

Choose sophisticated neutral colors. Now is not the time to experiment with funky, fun colors – save that for your next home. This also doesn’t mean that you have to go with sterile white, which makes a home look uninviting. Rich, mid-tone neutrals like mocha and "greige" create a sophisticated backdrop that makes everything look more pulled together. Choose a few accent colors for a pop in artwork, rugs, pottery, and accent pillows. Carrying a cohesive color scheme throughout the home will create a feeling of space, and is an inexpensive way to give an updated look to the entire home.

Create a flow in the floor plan:

Buyers are attracted to homes that have a good flow. Start at your front door and create ample walking space that naturally leads to each room. Move excess furniture in a storage unit if necessary. You can create circulation by replacing square or rectangular tables with round ones. In the living room, symmetrical arrangements usually work well. Pull your furniture away from the walls and use pairs (of sofas, chairs, lamps) to create an inviting conversation area. Most importantly, stage your rooms for their actual purpose. You may be using the spare bedroom as an office but a Buyer may want to see an extra bedroom for their family.

Show a lifestyle:

Psychology definitely comes into play when staging your home for sale. You want to create the appearance of an ideal lifestyle that will tantalize all of the senses. Place a luxurious robe, and towels with scented soaps in the bath. Make the Master into an oasis with crisp linens, and soothing neutral pallet. Set the dining room table like a group of friends are coming over for a great dinner party. Books on end tables, a few interesting picture frames and trendy décor items can convey a personality. Also consider the season – a warm, plush throw draped on furniture in colder months; a bowl of bright lemons in the Kitchen for summer, or a bench and boot matt by the door in wet weather.

Show off the kitchen & baths

These are the two most important rooms that can influence desirability. You also do not need to break the bank on a complete remodel. Just a few touches can give a dramatic effect. Some current material trends include Stone and recycled glass tile; brushed nickel fixtures; granite/solid surface counters. Studies show that new stainless kitchen appliances bring high returns from sellers, so get rid of old appliances that make the rest of the kitchen look dated. Having some storage in these areas is also essential. In the bath, update the commode, change sink out to a pedestal, which will give more space, update the tub and surround if budget allows.

If you lack a creative gene or just don’t quite know how to pull together a great look for your homes décor, don’t get stressed. There are several resources for inspiration available from a variety of venues ranging from Pinterest for do-it-yourselfers to professional Home Stagers. Most of us also have a friend with a great sense of style who is probably more than willing to help. Take a look at the abundance of home-style magazines to get a feel of today’s trends and unique ideas. Consider renting storage units, furniture or appliances if needed. Don’t go overboard, there’s a fine line between style and excess.

You can think of home staging as presenting your house in a way that appeals to the largest possible audience. This will help ensure a quick sale for the best possible price. The key to this whole thing is appealing to the largest audience — that's what it's all about.

Michelle Mehaffey-Taylor is a Lakewood resident and licensed Realtor with Keller Williams EZ Sales Team - Michelle@EZSalesTeam.com; MyLakewoodLiving.com.

Michelle Mehaffey Taylor

Michelle Mehaffey Taylor is a Lakewood resident and licensed Real Estate Agent with The EZ Sales Team at Keller Williams Realty - Michelle@EZSalesTeam.com; MyLakewoodLiving.com

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 6:07 PM, 03.03.2015