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Get Top Dollar for Home when You Downsize

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Here's how to boost your home’s sale price and attract buyers in the digital age.

Will you soon downsize your home? You don’t need to plan on a lengthy renovation to sell your home and downsize. Smaller investments can help your windfall just as effectively. As most of us look at properties first from a laptop or smartphone, pictures are key. Even before the pandemic, 70% of house hunters toured the inside of a home online, according to a 2019 report from the National Association of Realtors.

To attract buyers and maximize your home’s sales price while you downsize, Kiplinger’s recent article entitled “7 Essential Steps to Getting Your House Ready to Sell” provides seven tips, including a new way to stage space in the digital age.

Release Your Sentiment. To sell your home, get over your emotional attachment, and think of your home as a product. Just because you love your home’s brightly painted accent wall or bold, patterned wallpaper doesn’t mean a buyer will find it attractive. Look at the space as a buyer would — with a critical eye — to spot what needs to be changed or upgraded.

Depersonalize. Homebuyers like to picture themselves living in the home with their furnishings, so store your family photos and remove pictures from the walls and mantels.

Declutter. Downsize your belongings will help your house demand a higher selling price. The less stuff in a room, the bigger it looks. You can hire a professional organizer who will even call the movers and donate your giveaways.

Stage Your Home. If you need to move out of the home while it’s on the market or wants more neutral, attractive furniture to show off the rooms, staging can help.

Consider Virtual Staging. A cheaper alternative to traditional staging is to add pieces of furniture to pictures of the rooms in your house. You or your realtor can use these photographs on websites that show home listings.

Make It Brighter. Anything you can do to lighten and freshen up your home will pay dividends. Paint the outside accents of your home to increase its curb appeal. Use a product like Orange GLO to make cabinets and wood floors shine. Change light bulbs in lamps and overhead lighting for ones with a higher wattage. You can also swap out heavy window coverings with something that lets in more light, such as sheers. Light-filled rooms will energize potential buyers.

Go for Nice But Not Too Nice. If significant renovations are needed, restrict it to simpler projects, like upgrading kitchen appliances or bathroom cabinets. Don’t knock down walls to reconfigure the room’s footprint. Your improvements should be consistent with the average home prices in your area. You don’t want the nicest house on the block. If your house is in a moderate price range, go with moderately priced cabinets and appliances. If you go high-end, you’re not going to make money back.

Following these tips can help your get the most bang for your buck when you downsize.

Reference: Kiplinger (Aug. 5, 2021) “7 Essential Steps to Getting Your House Ready to Sell”