Get your Atlanta Home Ready to Sell FAST – Home Staging Basics

Photo credit: http://wickerandstitch.blogspot.com

When you start thinking about putting your Atlanta home up for sale there are many considerations, from where you’re moving, to who’s listing your property, to who’s handling your mortgage. Before you take the next big step and actually list your home it’s important to get it ready to sell, especially as the Atlanta real estate market begins to change.

The Mortgage Guys have listed 10 basic tips for getting your home in tip-top shape for sale. Here’s how to create a “move-in ready” home that will sell faster and for more money:

  1. DECLUTTER!
    Remove furniture – makes the house look bigger! Whatever you can live without send to a local storage unit with a month to month rental. A de-cluttered home says there’s plenty of storage space available. Remove knick-knacks – especially personal items, photos, religious items. Buyers want to see themselves in a house, so making your home more generic will help them achieve that feeling. And clean out your closets, bathroom drawers and kitchen cabinets because every buyer considers available storage space.
  2. OUT WITH THE OLD!
    If your furnishings are old, outdated and worn, it might be worth the trouble and expense to replace them with new or gently used furnishings in light, neutral colors and updated styles. Consider visiting a local consignment shop for replacement items from sofas to bedding, accessories to art. This may include updating appliances in your kitchen to stainless steel, which are much in demand.
  3. CREATE PURPOSE!
    Rooms look bigger if you bring furniture in from the walls and create conversation groupings of chairs and sofas, giving furnishings a purpose. And while you’re at it, make sure that every room has a purpose and adds overall value to the home and is easy for the buyer to recognize the purpose of the space.
  4. FIX IT!
    Make cosmetic repairs to woodwork, trim, walls and doors. Ensure carpets are clean and wood floors are finished and without scuffs, scratches and dents. Finish unfinished projects and put tools and ladders out in the garage or shed.
  5. PAINT!
    Enlarge the look of rooms by painting adjoining rooms with the same color, creating one larger space. Choose lighter more neutral colors appropriate to each space- bold colors have been known to reduce sales price offers. However, some rooms, like bedrooms can benefit from deeper tones that make the space feel warm, romantic or intimate.
  6. LIGHT IT UP!
    Check to ensure all fixtures have the maximum wattage bulbs in them so that when the Realtor shows your home, they can truly show off the warmth and functionality of the house. Be sure that you have task lighting in the kitchen, ambient lighting in the bedroom, and some accent lighting throughout.
  7. ODD IS IN!
    Interior designers recommend accessorizing with odd numbers, especially three. Arrange your odd counts asymmetrically (in a triangle rather than a row). Choose groupings of varied heights and widths, but select items to group based on a common theme (color, texture…).
  8. FRESHEN UP!
    Bring in freshly cut flowers, stems or greenery from your garden and make them a focal point in your kitchen, dining room, even the bathrooms.
  9. CLEAN IS GREEN!
    A clean home will demand a higher price. Hire a professional cleaning service if you need the help, but be sure to get floors, windows, counters and other surfaces spotless before showing your home. Pet areas need extra attention to prevent unfriendly odors from scaring potential buyers away from your property. Neutralize odors (including the litter box), and add homey scents by baking cookies just before potential buyers come through. The best bet is to make your dough ahead, shape into balls, and freeze. Then just pop a dozen in the oven an hour or so before the appointment.
  10. DON’T NEGLECT THE CURB APPEAL!
    Outside your home requires attention as well. Clean debris from plant beds, mow the lawn and trim bushes and shrubs. Plant brightly colored annuals along walkways or in pots near the entrance. Nothing says “move in ready” like freshly mulched beds. Fertilize the lawn to green it up, same with plants. If you have a porch, add a rocker or two with plush pillows and a book or magazine. You only get once chance at that first impression!

The extra time you spend preparing your home for sale in the Atlanta real estate market can certainly help your house stand-out from other available properties. Staged homes sell faster and for more than their counterparts, so get moving!


George Beylouny is a licensed loan originator and the Branch Manager for Silverton Mortgage Vinings.  He can be reached at 678-428-6514, George@mgatl.com or  www.mortgageguysatlanta.com