How to cash in on hot real estate market

Baldwin County

FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — April Hunt is the owner of a beautiful, up to date home in Baldwin County, but as a realtor if she were to put her home on the market, she would make some changes first.

“We don’t want it to be vacant. We want it to feel homey and lived in but it needs to be thinned because we need to allow people to imagine their stuff in your house,” said Hunt.

Before she lists a property, Hunt tries to help the owner stage the house with the furniture they already have. If it’s tired looking, she doesn’t typically suggest buying new furniture because it may not suit their new home. The seller may want to consider hiring a professional stager.

To maximize space in her personal living room, she would remove one of her large couches and replace it with two chairs. Hunt says it’s important to detach yourself from your home and purge items. Pack away personal collections including treasured family collages.

“What happens whenever you’re selling your home is people walk into a home and they’re immediately like, ooh, do I know these people? Oh, I think I know them and they’re drawn to look at your gallery wall and then all of a sudden it feels like I’m invading someone else’s house instead of, can I imagine myself living here.”

She advises trading in personal pictures for a simple piece of art. Keep walkways and countertops clear. No clutter. That goes for closets too.

Baskets will be your best friends for storing your daily personal items and keeping those out of sight from potential buyers.

Hunt says appeal to the masses with neutral freshly painted walls. Think model home mentality.

“The bottom line is we want the buyer who comes to look at your house to say, hey, I think I might like to add some color, but what we don’t want to do is look at a bright color that doesn’t match their style at all and start to take money away in their mind. That’s what happens a lot.”

If you have drapes, keep those neutral as well.

Hunt also says it’s important to tackle all handyman projects. What might look like a small detail to a seller could signal in the mind of a buyer bigger trouble ahead.

“When they are walking through your house, they’re not a visitor. They’re not your friend. They’re going through your home with a critical eye.”

If you have a pet, try removing them from the property and make all signs of a pet disappear.

“Smell is super important. If you think about a first impression of a home, the second you walk through the door, you take a deep breath and that is your first impression of the home.”

Hunt says there’s no greater smell than clean. Don’t try to hide odors with spray or candles. Potential buyers wonder what you are hiding.

Clean is king outside as well. She says you can boost your home’s curb appeal even on a budget and recommends working with a local realtor to avoid overpricing your home.

“If you do all of these things, the way that our market is right now, those are the homes that are generating over list price offers and very short days on the market. So it’s really worth it.”

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