Never in a million years would I have thought I would ever be staging homes during a pandemic. But here I am, almost three months into it. I can tell you it has been a very interesting three months, and houses are still selling in our thriving City.
This week's blog post addresses this crazy topic, and is courtesy of guest blog writer Shirley Martin, with Tidy Life Today.
The coronavirus pandemic has put home sellers in a tough spot. How can you show your home off to potential buyers if you’re supposed to practice social distancing? With open houses and in-person showings off the table, you will have to get a little creative. Fortunately, the real estate market has adopted certain tech tools that enable sellers and buyers to complete a home sale with minimal contact. Keep reading to learn more about navigating this new and unfamiliar home-selling process!
Prep Your Home for the Market
Although buyers may not be touring your home in person, they will still want to see pictures and videos of your space. To get your home ready, TurnKeyHomeLoan recommends giving it a good top-to-bottom deep clean and tackling some major decluttering. Clutter will make your rooms appear cramped, unclean, and uninviting, especially in your real estate photos. You don’t want anything to distract your buyers from seeing your home’s best features!
Once your home is sparkling clean, consider making a few impactful upgrades to really hook those buyers. If you want to keep it simple, a fresh coat of paint will have a huge effect on the overall feel of your home—go with a neutral shade to please everyone. You could also touch up the exterior paint, especially if it’s peeling, cracking, or otherwise looking unkempt. When you’re finally happy with the state of your home, stage some elegant vignettes around your home to help your potential buyers imagine living in your space. For best results, try to incorporate the color blue. Blue works great with many different color schemes and stands out in photos, so invest in some blue accents to help your listing pop!
Skip the Open House
Even if open houses are still permitted in your area, it’s best to play it safe and skip this social gathering. Research suggests that open houses aren’t that effective anyway and tend to benefit the real estate agent more than the seller. Instead, focus on your virtual presence! Take stunning listing photos, create a 3D walkthrough, and offer video tours to interested buyers.
Showing off your home's features is even easier online because you can shoot your photos and videos from the angles that make your rooms look their best. To create the most engaging and attractive listing photos, Home Advisor recommends working with high-quality camera equipment and shooting during the day to take advantage of the natural light. When making videos walkthroughs of your home, try to follow a natural path through your home so your online viewers can get a more accurate feel for the flow and layout of your house.
Clean Every Day
One plus side of the coronavirus lockdown is that you won’t have to deal with buyers coming by to view your home on short notice. However, you will still need to keep the place clean! Your real estate agent might be giving live video-chat tours to potential buyers while your home sits on the market, and you want it to look its best every time.
Get in the habit of cleaning up after yourself as you go about your day. Pick up laundry, put dirty dishes straight into the dishwasher, and wipe down countertops when you're done cooking—these simple actions will reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do before a virtual tour. If your kids are home from school, distribute your workload by giving them some daily chores. Try to keep your storage areas clean as well. Potential buyers might ask your agent to film inside cupboards, drawers, and closets so they can check out your home’s storage solutions, so make sure these spaces look neat and organized.
Selling a home is always a stressful experience, but the coronavirus pandemic has made things much more complicated. Take steps to prepare for your sale so you can sail through the process with minimal issues. Declutter, clean, and stage your home, work with your real estate agent to create great online listings, and keep up with the daily cleaning so you’re always ready for virtual showings!
I meet a lot of people when I'm staging homes who are in the process of downsizing. Most of the Sellers I meet are choosing to downsize because of a desire to live simpler, wanting a low-maintenance lifestyle. Even though a lot of people choose to downsize at some point in their life, there are still some helpful tips to help with the transition. This week our favorite guest blog contributor, Alice Robertson with tidyhome.com shares what NOT to do when you are downsizing. While downsizing ultimately can ease your lifestyle, the process of moving can be pretty darn stressful and complicated. The last thing you want to do is complicate things even more by going about it all the wrong way. Here’s how to avoid some common mistakes homeowners make when they’re preparing for a downsize.
Consider All Your Needs
When it comes to downsizing, one of the biggest hiccups for some homeowners is not taking all their
needs into account. It’s easy to get caught up in finding size and value and forget some basics. With that in mind, make some notes of your non-negotiables.
For example, if you have a busy family or canine companion, a fenced yard might be on your list of must-haves. If you expect to add onto your family in the way of a baby, or by taking in an older family member, a flex room might make your list. Along those same lines, if aging in place is on your wishlist, consider looking for a home that is well-suited to senior-friendly modifications.
Broaden Your Search
In addition to thinking in terms of current and future needs, older adults might wish to contemplate a different kind of downsize, especially if they have any mobility or health concerns. If you don’t have family close by and you want to enjoy as much independence as possible, an assisted living community could make an ideal transition.
Assisted living communities are designed to promote as much self-sufficiency as you wish, paired with the support you need. Staff can help you with things like dressing and bathing, as well as provide some great amenities like transportation services and group events. You can begin your search online, then tour communities that make the cut. In terms of cost, keep in mind that the median monthly rent in Colorado Springs is about $1,235, which might be a deciding factor for you when looking into assisted living.
Less Space, Less Stuff
No matter what your other search criteria is, by the very nature of downsizing you can expect to have less room for your belongings when you move. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t part ways with enough things prior to the move. In order to make things go smooth as silk, it’s important to do some decluttering with your smaller space in mind.
Sorting your stuff can be really hard! Many people get hung up on things due to a sense of obligation or concern that something will come in handy “someday.” To help with the process, The Mostly Simple Life recommends keeping one big question in mind as you declutter your belongings: “Would I buy this again today?” If the answer is no, it’s time to part ways.
Another space-related concern many homeowners overlook specifically pertains to furniture. Sure, you intend to enjoy lounging on a couch in your new place, but will your big, overstuffed sectional fit into the new, smaller living room? You might want to give up some bigger pieces and invest in some new, smaller furnishings to comfortably outfit your downsized home. To help you sort things out, there are free apps you can use to organize your layout in the new space.
Allow Ample Time
Moving is time-consuming, and many homeowners don’t allow enough time to get everything done. If you have a lot of decluttering to do, you’ll need to pad your timeline to allow for that process, as well as enough time for packing. Unless you’re planning a DIY move, you’ll need to contact movers a couple of months prior to your moving date as well. To ensure you stay on track, use a week-by-week moving checklist from My Moving Reviews.
Downsizing can be a fabulous transition when handled properly. Take all your needs into account, remember you won’t have as much room, and allow enough time to accomplish your to-do list before you move in. And after you’re settled into your new home, make it look the best it can be by hiring an interior decorating company. Toscano Interiors takes your wellness into account and works to boost the mind, body, and spirit through their interior decorating efforts.
Author, Candance Toscano
"You can design the life of your dreams and acquire that luxurious, fulfilled and empowered lifestyle you know you have always wanted."
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Clearwater, FL 33756
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