I don’t just list a house to sell, I design it to sell so it gets top dollar and sells fast. People struggle with putting money into their home when they are on the way out the door but it is amazing how some small changes can make a BIG impact. This is why as a part of my selling process I "Design To Sell" all of my listings. Think of "Design To Sell" as a mini house facelift to get it ready for market.
I left my little bubble in Central Phoenix, shocking I know, to list a home in Mesa that was formerly used as a rental property. Only staging the space (more on this in another blog) wouldn’t have been enough to get top dollar, as it really needed some design updates to function for today’s buyers.
"Design To Sell" starts in the front yard. Curb appeal is a home’s first impression and potential homebuyers definitely judge a book by its cover. When able I make changes to the front so when people step out of their car they are excited to be there. Unfortunately this home was in a planned community with an HOA that didn’t allow many changes. I did make sure landscaping was on point and all little exterior maintenance items were taken care of. Things I would typically do to the front of other homes include painting the front door, adding shutters, refreshing the landscaping, adding potted plants, and if possible create a seating area. It’s all about creating a destination in the front that pulls people in.
Inside it is key to focus on people’s favorite spaces: kitchens and bathrooms.
In this kitchen I did a few things. To freshen up the cabinets I painted the lowers a mid-tone gray and the uppers white. I also made sure all the appliances matched for continuity. To finish off the space I added new countertops, backsplash, and cabinet hardware. It may not be a brand new kitchen but it does appeal much more to the style of kitchens buyers are looking for today.
The primary bathroom needed some simple updates to bring it more inline with today’s bathroom design trends. This included painting the vanity, installing new sink faucets, and swapping out the vanity light. Oh, let’s not forget about painting over the sponge painted walls with a soothing light gray. Not a lot of money was spent in this bathroom to make a big impact.
If the budget doesn’t allow you to change a design element, work with it or around it. The fireplace in the living room had really ugly beige tile that looked outdated when surrounded by all the beige walls. I simply pained the fireplace surround a darker accent color more similar to the tile, and the walls a light gray. When I added curtains and accessories, the existing tile just blended in with the updated surroundings.
With Design To Sell there are three design elements I focus on throughout the entire home: lighting, curtains, and paint.
Lighting is a really easy way to add updated style to a home. Having enough light is also important so buyers can really see each room and envision themselves living there. There are so many sources for great lighting and you can always find fixtures that align with today’s current trends for a reasonable price. My go to place is Amazon. Who doesn’t love two day shipping?
Curtains can add a ton of style to a space. They also soften sound, add texture and allow you to play with color in a low risk way. Hot tip, extend curtains to the ceiling when you can. It makes the windows seem bigger and can also help if your windows are different sizes/heights like they were with this Mesa project.
A fresh coat of paint does wonders for freshening up a space, and making it look crisp and clean. In this home we put a fresh coat of paint on every wall, and painted the cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms. Sticking with neutral colors will appeal to more buyers but it also makes rooms brighter and feel more spacious.
The last thing I make sure gets done during "Design To Sell" is basic maintenance and repair. This is the least fun part of the process and isn’t really related to design but it is important that all the little details are taken care of. You don’t want to give buyers a reason to de-value your home when basic maintenance is quick and generally inexpensive.
Ok so I just rambled on about "Design To Sell" and all its glory but you might be wondering with this current housing market here in Phoenix, and in most of other parts of the country, is "Design To Sell" even necessary? Sure, homes can sell themselves but they aren’t getting top dollar. People are willing to pay extra for an updated home. Also, people don’t want to buy a house; they want to buy a home. I think "Design To Sell" achieves this and why in this market I still do it for all of my listings.