How to Make Your Home “POP” on the MLS

New housing reports out this month indicate that 2012 might be the year that the housing market begins to turn around and the combination of low interest rates, improved unemployment rates and current low home prices should bring some relief. In addition, according to Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook survey, home sales are expected to increase between 2 and 5 percent year over year. However sellers trying to sell their home right now know that properties are not moving quickly and often those that do are selling for much less than anticipated.

There are a few ways that sellers can increase their chance of selling their home and for a decent price—but it might take a little work. Here are the top recommendations from on ways to make your home really stand out in the current real estate market:

Stage it – 
When it comes time to show your home, really take time beforehand to clean up the design elements and make the home as inviting as possible. We aren’t suggesting a full re-design, just a refresher. Consider how your furniture is setup and move a few things around if you can make it seem more comfortable and practical. If you tend to a favor one dominant design style, consider toning it down to something more “neutral” until the home sells. Add some last minute touches that can really add essence such as a fresh bouquet of flowers on the dining room table.

Curb Appeal – Most potential buyers will do an initial drive by before they take the time to schedule a showing and they will surely always judge a book by its cover. Make sure your home has true curb appeal by cleaning up the exterior of your home to make it inviting. Have a landscaper do a yard cleanup and make sure the grass is always freshly mowed. Don’t allow any overgrowth to clutter garden beds and make sure trees and bushes are well-pruned. Also, if there are any repairs that need to be done to the outside of the house (i.e. missing roof shingles, broken windows) now is the time to get them fixed.

De-clutter – Aside from the intensely neat and organized folks, most people will let some clutter build up in and around their home. Most common problem areas? Counter tops, closets and family rooms. Now is the time to get organized and to de-clutter. When a potential buyer enters your home you want it to be clean, airy and free of junk piles. This helps people feel welcome in your home and more able to envision it as their own- and not like they just stopped into a stranger’s house unannounced.

Share savings perks – There are many more financial aspects to consider with a home than just asking price and property taxes. If you want your home to stand out amongst other homes in your price range be sure to point out savings perks such as low utilities and affordable homeowners insurance premiums in the area. For example, if the house has a monitored security alarm, new homeowners can typically save up to 15 percent on their home insurance. These types of savings might just be enough to make your home more desirable than a less expensive home with higher costs of living.

Throw in a home warranty – If your major appliances aren’t brand new it can be a major bonus for a buyer if you offer a one-year home warranty. A home warranty covers the appliances and systems in your home that break down due to normal wear and tear. Typically you can purchase a home warranty on behalf of your buyer for $300-$600 and it gives them the peace of mind that if anything breaks within the first year, they won’t be stuck with costly repairs.

Don’t underestimate aromatherapy – Last but not least, keep in mind that one of our strongest senses is our sense of smell. If your home is musty or smells like Fido, you may be used to it and not even notice it anymore. However, someone considering your home for purchase may see this as a huge turn off. Keep your home really clean while it is on the market and use cleaning products that don’t leave a strong, headache-inducing odor. Instead, once odor-neutral, keep some light potpourri in a bowl or burn a clean scented candle to add some aromatherapy to the experience.




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