Tag Archives: Home Staging

Finishing Your Lower Level To Sell Your Home – Part 1

This subject is close to my heart because I just went through the process. I also have many clients that wonder about finishing off a lower level or doing a major renovation when pondering an upcoming sale of their home.

Let me first state that it all depends on WHEN you are selling your home. You do not want to complete a lower level or do a major renovation and turn around and sell your home within a year. The chances of you getting your money back are low. There are exceptions to finishing small areas, updating kitchens and such but I am talking a full big renovation or finishing.

Personally we are looking at perhaps selling our home in about five years so we started wondering if it made sense to finish our lower level. This would add a 5th bedroom, a 4th bathroom and three distinct living areas. I did a lot of research and got a lot of bids.

We were starting with only cement floors and the exterior walls insulated. We needed to frame up the rooms, add HVAC, Electrical etc. And purge

 

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Here is what I did….I took on the task of being our own general contractor. I am not a licensed contractor, I became the ‘manager’ of all the trades involved. By doing this I saved more than 50% of the contractor bid prices. THIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE AND I AM NOT SAYING CONTRACTORS AREN’T WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN GOLD. I just found myself with a lot of time on my hands during Covid and made use of it.

I got bids from all trades and made bargain purchases at outlet centers and big box stores.

So….let’s cut to the chase and show you some ‘after’ photos. I am going to start with the bedroom and bath. You have to wait for the next post to see the really cool stuff. 🙂

 

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I made decisions based on the fact I was selling in five years and that it was a lower level. I did not tile the shower, I purchased a prefab vanity and top, the blinds are not special order and so on. I was strict on my finishing budget so that I love it now for my enjoyment, but also kept in mind the return on investment for sale purposes.

Check in for Part 2 to see the finished living areas and we will determine if I can get my money back in five years.

 

Should I Paint My Kitchen Cabinets To Help Sell My Home?

Such a good question and one that I get at least once a week during a Home Staging Consultation. It really is something to take a hard look at. Questions to consider:

  1. How old are the cabinets?
  2. What is the price of my home?
  3. What is the current market?
  4. Is there a lot of competition in my area?
  5. What will be the cost to paint the cabinets?

I did a consultation for a starter level home in a suburb of Minneapolis. The cabinets were original and in pretty good shape but in a medium oak stain which is not what the buyers are looking for. Since this home was a starter level home we know that the buyer may not be coming in and gutting a complete kitchen right away.  They want a kitchen they can live with for a while until improvements can be made down the road.

 

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It is a hot market right  now and homes in that price range are going fast but you also want to get top dollar.

I had the homeowner get a bid to have the cabinets painted which came in very reasonable. I recommended the painting be done.

 

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Isn’t the difference amazing!! Because the cabinets were being painted they could also take down the decorative bar across the top of the sink that is very dated and add an updated pendant light. The home got a couple other small updates, was staged and the outcome??? The homeowner received an offer the first day with multiply offers coming in and selling for over the list price! Painting the cabinets paid off with a quick sale, did not leave any money on the table and in fact put a little extra in the homeowner’s pocket.

If you are selling your home be sure to get professional advice from a Certified Home Stager.

 

 

Do I Need to Stage My Home When It’s a Seller’s Market?

I know many people are asking that question and wondering if home staging is needed when inventory is low and homes are selling quickly. The answer may depend a bit but if you don’t stage, may you be leaving some money on the table?  Money on the Table

Let’s say you list your home ‘as is’ and you put the asking price a bit lower so you don’t have to do much of anything. You get an offer within a few weeks, maybe a few thousand below list but overall the percentage is still really good. Ok great!

But now let’s say you bring in a Home Stager, at the very minimum for a Home Staging Consultation, to give you a list of top things to do to get your home in top selling condition. She may suggest some fresh paint, or a couple new light fixtures, some repairs.

Now let’s say you are moving to your new home first and you are wondering if you should list the house empty or stage a couple key rooms with furniture. Will that matter?

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Let’s take a look at an older home I consulted on for a Realtor.  I did recommend some paint, a couple new light fixtures, new vinyl flooring in the kitchen and staging it with fresh modern furniture when they moved out. Here is the email I received from her shortly after is was listed:

 

  • Listed as coming soon 5/8
  • Active listing 5/22
  • 38 showings 5/22, 36 showings 5/23, 10 showings 5/24
  • Received 32 offers!
  • Inspection completed, now pending closing June 30

That’s 84 showings and 32 offers!!! PLUS it sold for $25,100 over list price! Which was over 10% of the list price. Unbelievable!

So yes the market is good. Would the house of sold anyway without staging? Absolutely.  Would the sellers have received 32 offers and sold for $25K over list without staging? We will never know for sure but I don’t think so. Don’t take a chance on leaving money on the table.