The partners at Rêve Realtors are some of the most knowledgeable and experienced real estate agents in the greater New Orleans area. And since they’ve sold so many homes over the years, they know which tricks and tips will help sell your home now. From tried-and-true tactics to must-have updates and appealing design choices, their advice will help get your property ready for listing in a competitive market and highlight its best features so that you get the highest return on your investment.
First Impressions & A Home’s Exterior
Ryan Wentworth, Rêve Realtors partner says, “The first thing a buyer sees when they look at a listing online, drive by, or visit for a showing - is the curb appeal. Simple, clean landscaping or some fresh color in an existing bed can make the house look more inviting. This goes for freshly cut grass as well.” He also points out that if the house has a front porch, be sure to look at it with a critical eye. “A pressure washing of the exterior and fresh coat of paint on the front door and porch can go a long way! Maybe even an eye-catching color.”
Tracey Moore, Rêve Realtors partner adds, “Cleaning windows (on the outside and inside) are a must. And make sure your gutters are clear - especially in the fall.” She once showed a home while it was raining, and the potential buyers could see that the gutters were too full to do their job. It’s an easy thing to overlook, but it’s a good example of why details matter.
Tracey points out that the loose or broken things you’ve gotten used to seeing and don’t even notice anymore – are what a potential buyer notices right away. “Make sure a front gate is working smoothly, tighten loose door knobs, replace light bulbs, and fix any screens that are torn.”
Get Rid of Clutter, Clean & Depersonalize
According to Joey Walker, Rêve Realtors partner, buyers are looking for move-in ready homes with functional layouts and fresh paint. “You can get great return on your money with fresh paint and a deep cleaning. Make sure you house is free from unpleasant odors, too (think pets).”
Tracey encourages clients to re-caulk a tub or sink that needs it, which prevents leaks and makes everything look cleaner. It also helps to scrub the tile grout if it’s discolored or dirty. Refinishing a tub makes it look like new! In other words, your house can’t be too clean or too fresh.
In addition to cleaning, Ryan stresses the importance of de-cluttering and depersonalizing. If a house is stuffed with personal belongings, it appears smaller to buyers and distracts them from the focal points of the house. “If the walls are filled with family photos and diplomas, people think of it as someone else's home rather than potentially THEIR home.” Box up those picture frames and personal mementos and stash them in the attic or a storage space. Also, be sure to let buyers see clean, open counters instead of every small appliance you own, and remove magnets, photos and papers from the refrigerator.
Design Choices & Updates
When it comes to design choices and updating a home to make it more current, Joey notes, “Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. You can easily update appliances, light fixtures, and counter tops to give these rooms a fresh new look.”
Tracey offers this additional advice: “If you have wood cabinets that feel dated, give them a fresh coat of paint and add new hardware for a contemporary look. Also, good lighting is key. If a room is dark, add can lights or under cabinet lighting.”
Tracey also notes that high on the list of what buyers are looking for now is a master suite – which usually includes a walk-in closet and a nice-sized, en suite bathroom with double sinks, updated countertops and fixtures.
In terms of color and finishes, all Reve Realtors partners agree that sellers should stick to neutral colors and white. Joey cautions against being too trendy with finishes: “You may love a wood wall today, but will it look dated next year?” Instead, he recommends adding pops of color with pillows, flowers, or painting an accent wall in a small space like a powder room. Tracey agrees, adding, “If you want to get creative, add fun wallpaper to a laundry room. Or go for brushed gold hardware and fixtures, as opposed to more mainstream stainless or polished nickel. It’s a great way to set off gray, blue or white cabinetry.”
Staging & Marketing
Clint LaCour,Rêve Realtors partner, is a big believer in staging homes professionally, because it’s the best way to help potential buyers see themselves and their furnishings in a space. Says Clint, “It’s especially helpful for homes that are empty – such as new construction, a renovated property, or if a seller has to move out prior to selling -- because staging helps a buyer visualize how each room can be used.” Clint likes to go for a clean, minimal look that’s appealing. “This gives potential buyers visual cues but also helps them really notice and remember the space and the home, rather than the furniture.”
For high-end homes, the right marketing is essential, and according to Clint, that can include staging for photography, 3D virtual tours, videos with aerial drone imagery, and twilight photos that allow buyers to see what the home looks like at night. Clint notes that these enhancements, plus a detailed blog post about the home, help tell a story and allow potential buyers to experience what it would be like to live in the space. In addition, all Rêve Realtors have the ability to promote listings in social media and create individual home web sites that can be shared with friends and family.
When it's time to sell, get the value you deserve with the help of a professional Rêve Realtor agent. Please contact us anytime!