Take These 3 Steps This Holiday Season to Prepare for a New Year’s Home Sale

Deciding to sell your home is a big step, but almost all home owners will still have a few things to do before actually activating their listing. Remember, buyers assume that a clean, organized, updated home has been well-maintained — and they make the opposite assumption about dirty, cluttered, or dated homes. Once you’ve made the decision to sell, don’t leave any money on the table. Give yourself an edge on a successful sale and a “show ready” home by getting an early start with these three tips this holiday season:

  1. Start paring down the master closet. “This house has way too much storage!” said NO BUYER EVER. It probably goes without saying that an empty closet shows better with buyers than one packed full of clothes and miscellany. That being said, emptying all the closets is not practical for most homeowners so concentrate your efforts on THE most important closet in a home buyer’s decision-making process: the master bedroom closet. Organize, eliminate, and get stuff off the floor. For more detailed info on how to organize your closet for staging, check out our book, Just Right! Easy DIY Home Staging for Bedrooms & Closets, now available in the iBooks store.
  2. Begin de-personalizing. Buyers need to be able to walk into your home and easily envision their family living there — not reminded that they are a guest in someone else’s home. Start packing family photos, collections, sports memorabilia, and anything related to your hobbies or religion. This may feel especially difficult during the holiday season, but if you plan on listing at the first of the year, set yourself up for a faster sale by starting the de-personalization process NOW.
  3. Take care of any maintenance, repairs, or updates. Leaky faucets, that one light switch that doesn’t work, the places on the wall that need touch-up paint…the list goes on and on for most homeowners. NOW is the time to start updating or fixing all those things you’ve been putting off. One trick we use with our clients is blue painter’s tape — just stick a small piece on every spot in your house that needs maintenance or updating. The tape pieces are a constant visual “to-do” list that you can work on in the months leading up to your listing.

When it comes to preparing your home for sale, it’s extremely hard for most sellers to be objective about their own home. Hiring a professional home stager to do a guided Walk and Talk Consultation or even just having an honest, heart-to-heart discussion with your real estate agent a month or more BEFORE you list your home will give you more time to make the changes needed to get you a faster sale and a higher profit. Ready to get started? Call Three Bears Home Staging in Katy, TX at (832) 377-0785 to set up a consultation.

Title photo credit:  “Dishwashing gloves and sponge” by www.yourbestdigs.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Three Bears Home Staging Wins “Best Of Customer Service 2017” on Houzz®

boh-all-web-badges-2017Three Bears Home Staging of Katy, Texas has won “Best Of Customer Service 2017” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The 4-year old staging firm was chosen for the third year in a row by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling, and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2016. A “Best Of Houzz 2017” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of  their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

Three Bears Home Staging founder and principal, Vannessa Rhoades, states, “Houzz connects millions of homeowners with the best home professional for their project, and we are honored that our work has been recognized among the other talented staging and redesign professionals.”

“We’re so pleased to award Best of Houzz 2017 to this incredible group of talented and customer-focused professionals, including Three Bears Home Staging,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “Each of these businesses was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”

Three Bears Home Staging was founded in 2013 and provides home staging services for homeowners and real estate professionals. The firm specializes in Walk & Talk Staging Consultations for home sellers, providing detailed, objective advice for the fastest, most profitable sale.

For more information visit threebearshomestaging.com and be sure to check out the other “Best of Houzz” award winners at Houzz.com.

3 Ways to Make Buyers Run Screaming from Your Home

blog-3-ways-to-make-buyers-run-screamingWhen staging your home for sale, it’s important to create an atmosphere that promotes peace, tranquility, and respite from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. You want buyers to linger and visualize the lifestyle they could lead if they lived in a home like yours. Yet even in the most beautifully styled house, buyers will run screaming if it’s too hot, smells like an ashtray, or has 4 or 5 cats traipsing about. Learn these three surefire triggers that will have potential buyers heading for the hills:

  • Strong smells. We all become “nose-blind” to some degree when it comes to the smells in our own homes. Cigarette smoke, pet odors, food, and mildew are the most common offenders I find in clients’ homes. Eliminate odors completely to avoid distracting buyers. You want a buyer thinking “How soon can I move in?” not “How soon can I get out of here and wash this smell out of my hair and clothes?!”
    • Curious about using air fresheners? Not always a good idea. Read our article on Scents That Sell.
    • Tip: Textiles can hold smells. If you have lingering odors, try laundering, cleaning, or removing possible culprits (carpets, rugs, curtains, pillows, pet beds).
  • Uncomfortable temperature. Take the outside weather into account, and make sure the temperature inside your house is comfortable for buyers — around 72 degrees F. If you typically keep your home warmer or cooler than most people find comfortable — either for cost savings or your own personal comfort — be sure to adjust the temperature prior to any showings. Buyers will walk out of a home that’s stiflingly warm or freezing cold, sight unseen.
  • Unruly pets. A “for sale” home should convey an atmosphere of relaxation from the moment a potential buyer steps in the door. Barking dogs, overly friendly cats, or squawking parrots do not promote relaxation. Nervous animals create nervous buyers. Whenever possible, completely remove animals from the home during showings. If it’s not possible, be sure animals are safely secured in an area that will be minimally distracting to potential buyers. While you’re at it, hide or eliminate as much evidence of pets as possible (e.g, litter boxes, food dishes, pet beds, cages) prior to showings.

It’s nearly impossible to be objective about smells, temperature, or your fur babies. Ask a professional home stager, your Realtor, or a friend you trust to be brutally honest with you, LISTEN to what they have to say, and make adjustments. Don’t risk losing a sale because of something that’s simple to correct!

Need some feedback on your Katy, TX home for sale? We’d love to help you with a Walk and Talk Consultation! Contact Three Bears Home Staging here to set up an appointment!

Photo credit: Karl-Ludwig Poggemann via Flikr