A few simple changes to your Atlanta home might just make the difference in how quickly you sell it for the price you're asking. Some of the most basic tips include removing distractions and creating harmony and balance.
When a person enters a room for the first time, he or she may either gain a pleasing sense of balance and order, or may feel something is askew. They probably won't dwell on it, and the reason they're put off may not be easy to put a finger on. In my many years as a top selling real estate agent in Atlanta I've actually seen buyers have a hard time looking beyond the distractions. As a seller it's in your best interest to do an inventory of your home with the following tips to ensure each room is well received.
Highlight a Focal Point
Most people respond well when their eyes are drawn to a focal point. If there is no discernable focal point, or if it is cluttered over, the result is confusion and underwhelm.
A focal point is an area specifically meant to draw attention and create interest in a room. It punctuates the room and makes it inviting. The focal point could be an architectural detail, a fireplace with a great mirror above it, a large beautiful painting, a lovely cabinet, and so on. Each room needs a focal point to help it feel balanced. Go throughout your home and see if you can clearly identify a focal point in each room. If a focal point is cluttered or non-existent, take some steps to improve it or create a new one.
If you have no key architectural features, highlight one of your larger pieces of furniture. You could feature an armoire and top it with a lovely plant, your bed can become the focal point with lovely bedding and cushions and an impactful picture hung above it. Your sofa may become a focal point when centered on a wall with artwork placed above it and other furniture pointing toward it.
If you choose a window as the focal point, angle your furniture towards it and dress the window. While there may be a stunning view during the day, at night it will need some interesting drapery to compensate.
A colorful picture can become the focal point if it is larger and more colorful than anything else is in the room. Otherwise, a collection of pictures spaced attractively in a grouping can have a similar effect.
Whatever you chose as your focal point, highlight it with lighting. Lamps may be placed on either side of it, spotlights might be pointed on it, a picture light may be hung above it, and so on.
Let the other features in the room play off your focal point. Delete unnecessary pieces and remove excess clutter, then add items to complement the focal point. A white fireplace mantel, for instance, may be balanced with white elsewhere in the room, perhaps by the room trim, pictures in white frames, or even by placing a white vase on a table.
Symmetry offers a sense of balance, but that doesn't mean you should set a room up with matching pieces that sit across from each other. Grouping items in threes or fives can actually provide better symmetry than twos or fours.
Symmetry is created through creative placement and spacing of furniture and décor items. Shifting items even by an inch or two here or there can bring an unbalanced room into balance. You'll need a well-trained eye, though, to catch these little nuances. Look at magazine photos to get ideas of good room arrangements, or have someone talented assist you.
Combine Styles Appropriately
When you can't quite put your finger on why a room isn't "working", it could be because of a mix of styles. For instance, if you have casual furniture but have elaborately embellished frames on the pictures you've hung, you've mixed contemporary styling with traditional. That's the problem. The confusing styles confuse the look.
Similarly, if you have added one of those little round accent tables and covered it with frilly fabric but there are no other frilly feminine-looking pieces in the room, it will look mismatched. A little table like that would work in a room that is shabby chic, but won't likely work alongside something like the more current espresso furniture and leather sofas that are popular today.
Try not to mix chrome with brass, pastels with earth tones, ornate with sleek, or place large furniture in a small room, and vice versa. When textures, colors, and styles work together, there is harmony.
That's not saying you have to re-do your décor or give up your favorite items. When preparing your home to show, if in doubt, move it out. Temporarily give your house breathing space so that buyers will have the sense of peace you want them to have when they walk through your doors.
Room arrangements should not only greet the eye with pleasure, but be arranged so that they allow great walking space and traffic flow. When preparing to show your home you'll need to realize buyers will be trailing through each room one after another. Make it simple for them. Space your furniture apart a little more than you might normally.
Keep it Cozy
Remove pieces all together that you won't need for a few weeks or months. Create space without making the rooms look vacant though. Removing items doesn't mean removing the coziness. Angling furniture or adding plump pillows, floral arrangements, a plant in a sunny location, or scented candles can add ambiance to a room.
Make the Room "Work"
After setting the stage in each room of your home, walk away and re-enter it with fresh eyes. It is often the first glance that detects things that are crooked, distracting or that don't belong. Make it your goal to make every room pleasing to the eye at first glance.
If a room isn't working, keep moving things around until you find the most pleasing look. For instance, it may be more pleasing to the eye to turn a desk around. Have it face into the room instead of up against a wall. Bring your child's bed out from the wall and centre it in the room. Replace or cover busy fabrics. Take down distracting or dated window coverings. Borrow pieces from other rooms if necessary.
Balancing shape and colour in each room is important. A buyer will be less distracted by your belongings and will be able to focus on your home's architecture instead. A peaceful-looking home will allow a buyer to picture his own belongings in it.
A final test to see if you've done your job well is to look at your room through the lens of a camera. Before the realtor takes his photos, snap a few digital photos yourself. Then view them to see if the picture looks harmonious and appealing.
Yes, it is important to go through an exercise like this if you want to make a good impression and sell your home quickly for the best price possible!