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Designed to Sell

Posted on Aug 13, 2008

If you’re planning to sell, you better sit down in front of your TV.

I’ve been selling real estate for over 8 years now, and I have encountered many different, shall we say, less than appealing homes. I have had sellers tell me “Oh, I’ll just give the buyer a carpet allowance, they probably won’t like the color I pick anyway.” That same reasoning has also applied to the removal of paint colors that are very specific to the seller’s taste. There are also the awkward conversations about pet odors, kitchen odors or lingering cigarette smoke.

Naturally, when you live in a home, you get used to how things are. You probably have a few projects that “you’ll get to” later- also known as ‘Round-to-it’s’. Those little coffee spots on the carpet add “character”. The huge display case of a collection that has been growing for the last decade is a source of pride and the hallway of family photos makes you feel warm and fuzzy. Ahhh, if only a buyer felt the same way about things.

Unfortunately, the buyer may not appreciate the lilac wall with the purple sponge painting technique. The wall of mirrors with the gold mottling might not be their taste. Brass and glass light fixtures beckon to decades of the past- yes, those lights might be “perfectly functional” and in “good condition”, but for a fairly small investment, you can go to Lowes or Home Depot to the close-out department in the lighting section and get a whole new look for your room for around $100.

What about the theory that you can “offer a carpet allowance”? Personally, I think that unless you REALLY can’t afford new carpet, you can’t afford NOT to put new carpet in. You don’t have to go overboard- just get a nice, neutral color in builder grade. I have shown a LOT of homes to buyers and let me tell you- I have never EVER had a buyer say “Like the brand new carpet, hate the color.” Really, I haven’t heard that. I definitely have heard “oooh, new carpet!” I have also heard the less charming, “ewwww, what’s that on the carpet?!”

FYI-white walls are cold and uninviting. The current trend for neutral wall colors is to either add a colored tint to white, or the somewhat bolder approach of using the wheat and grey tones for a touch more pizzaz. If you need ideas for the latest home color trends (including appealing neutrals) go check out a model home or two, or even a walk down the paint aisle at your neighborhood home improvement store.

This brings me back to your required TV viewing. An absolute “must see” if you plan to sell is Designed to Sell on HGTV (weeknights at 8pm) or check out the HGTV website and see *full episodes* of Designed to Sell. Try to pick a show the looks a bit like your home, pop some popcorn and watch an episode..or two… or three. The great thing about this show is that it is completed on a relatively small budget, in a short period of time, with truly amazing results.

Better than watching the show, hire one of the Pickett Street Property team members to list your home and we’ll provide a Professional Stager whose staging consultation is tailored specifically to your home and budget. If you’re serious about selling, you can’t afford to waste time and money on guesswork.

The corollary to that is: if you’re not prepared to get serious about selling, you will likely be on the market a seriously long time!

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