Would Your Property Benefit from a Home Make Under?
Would your occupied property benefit from a home make under? We’re all familiar with the term home makeover, meaning to literally make over someone’s home. Tear down the old and bring in the new.
But some properties would benefit more from a make under. Meaning less of everything not more. If you’ve got a home that needs to be sold or rented, it could need a “make under”. The less of you or your client’s possessions, the quicker your investment will sell. Home shoppers are always calculating how much more home they can get for their dollar. Whether its a rental property or home purchase, if it looks bigger and more spacious it’s perceived value goes up.
It’s really important to edit possessions ruthlessly so that buyers walk in the door and feel instantly comfortable. Features such as room size, light and flow should shine. Prospective buyers can see quickly how they can put their own stamp on your property.
Knowing what to edit and how is a knack. I compare it to dressing yourself in the morning. What you put on says a lot about who you are and affects how the world perceives you. Your home is no different. It’s an extension of you. Unconsciously or not, buyers make up their minds within about 15 seconds from walking in the front door. A buyer has to be able to bond or connect with the space to mentally move forward. Without that “I could live here” thought, nothing else happens.
The Three Stages of a Home Make Under
1. Getting ready to put a property on the market starts with de-cluttering personal possessions.
2. Once that stage is complete, paint, finishes and outdated fixtures should be updated.
3. Once those stages of property enhancement are complete, the last stage of a make-under is staging furniture and accessories to complete the vibe. This is where we want to make that future renter or buyer go wow. Mentally they commit and it’s “I have to live in this home. It’s me.”
- Keep it simple. Pick one or two main colors for your walls and floor. The fewer colors the more spacious your home will look. Buyers get distracted by multiple color combinations. If your buyer demographic is sophisticated, high end or in a trending neighborhood; you can get away with the right accent colors. Just be sure there’s flow and continuity of these colors throughout the home. Pick one or two and repeat sparingly.
- Research current trends for fixtures. This can be one of your smartest updates. Lighting, faucets and hardware can be inexpensively updated if you shop carefully. Look online or shop home goods sources like Habit for Humanity Re/Store or other recycling yards. Find a killer chandelier at a killer price and then copy that metal finish to add the finishing touches throughout your home. Hardware is the jewelry of a home. It can add the look of an custom personal touch to your make under.
- Keep wall and floor surface textures consistent when possible. The occasional brick or shiplap wall is the exception of course. But when possible, keep wall colors and flooring material consistent throughout the home. Wood flooring throughout except in bathrooms is acceptable. In the US, wall to wall carpet in bedrooms is considered the norm. Research what’s common in your neighborhood to make wise choices. If you’re in a downtown area where older homes or lofts prevail, then by all means continue hardwoods into bedrooms. Wood floors never go out of style, only stain color and width of plank do.
- Don’t underestimate how a crisp white trim can make a light neutral wall sing. Trim molding is another finishing touch that adds tons of perceived value. Typically it shines in older historic homes or ones pretending to be. If you want to increase the illusion of character, carefully selected trim is an inexpensive upgrade.
- Grouping similar items is the key to creating impact and visual harmony. Reducing visual clutter is the goal. The trick is to group your collections whilst leaving lots of open space around them. Works particularly well on bookcases, mantels and open cupboards.
- When you live in a home your rooms can have multiple functions. But once it becomes a “for sale” property, rooms need to show a specific use or buyers get confused. Home offices are a good example. Squeezing a desk into a bedroom with a bed may give the impression there’s no room for a dedicated office space. With so many buyers and renters working from home, making it clear where an office can be set up is key.
- Window treatments age a home faster than shag carpet. Heavy window treatments accompanied by swags or tiebacks block light and overpower a room. The trend is simple panels and rods mounted above the window or door. Use the rule of thirds and install the rod up from the top of the window by a third, two thirds or all the way to where the wall meets the ceiling. Although it’s not essential to “dress” the windows with new drapery or window treatments, taking down old dated styles is a must.
- Remove area rugs laying on top of wall to wall carpet. Not only are they a tripping hazard for prospective buyers but layering creates a busy visual background. Less is more when it comes to flooring. Rugs and carpets tend to collect pet hair, dander and other smells which may not be noticeable to the owner. But you can be sure a potential tenant or buyer will. Clean smells sell.
- One easy trick to make under a room is to keep it to 5. When in doubt, keep no more than 5 accessories such as plants, pillows, frames or lamps for example in a room at one time. Size of the room should factor in as well. You don’t want five lamps in a small bedroom or study! When adding a new piece, remove an existing one.
The primary philosophy behind a home “make under” is to create simplicity. By allowing space for your future buyer or tenant to mentally and visually move in, you’re upping the odds they’ll want to pull the trigger. Taking away distractions creates a clear path for them to move forward.
The majority of sellers simply don’t take the time to stage a home properly. When your home does, it stands out from the crowded marketplace.