Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Lost in a world of fantasy. That is exactly where you want a potential buyer for your home to be. You want them to fantasize about living in the space you are trying to sell. Preparing for prospective buyers is the key to success.
"You want to showcase the home," says Ron Morgan, owner of Ron Morgan Properties in Puerto Vallarta and Bucerķas, Mexico. "It's the simple things that make a property picture perfect." A really clean house is easy to achieve. It should be spotless with no clutter and organized. The last thing a buyer wants to see is moldy bath tiles, burnt food on a stove top, a disastrous closet or dirty underwear hanging out of a hamper.
"You just wouldn't believe some of the things I have seen," says Ron, who worked as an interior designer for over 30 years before 'retiring' in PV, "People can have just too much crap laying around their house and while they can live with it, buyers won't be enticed to do the same." Of course, the buyers understand that they can change what is inside, but it's easier if you don't supply distractions.
Ron says the purpose of home interiors is to enhance the property and you need to be able to show off the spaces. You cannot see the potential if there is too much stuff. He suggests packing up all the knick knacks, overabundance of art and removing excess furniture. This will give the rooms an open feel. You may want to rearrange furniture, too.
Everything should be in working order. Make minor repairs to flooring, walls, ceilings and roofs. Ron says paint is fairly cheap and a fresh coat will brighten up any room. Even using a coat of white paint or wash can tone down colors that are too vibrant for some taste and give the space an airier feel.
No one likes a dark house. Take the time to be sure all light fixtures and lamps are functional and without exception, lamp shades need to be in great condition, not hanging sideways or broken. Every light should be on when the house is being shown, and be sure to raise the shades and open the drapes or curtains.
The next step is setting the stage for showings. Staging is what you do after you've cleaned, de-cluttered, painted and made minor repairs. This is the chance to make your home the place buyers want to buy.
Follow your nose. There's nothing worse than a smelly home. Light some scented candles, use an electronic air freshener and do something as simple as boiling cloves and cinnamon sticks in water right before people arrive.
Enhance the kitchen counter or table with a bowl of fresh fruit and be sure that the towels are fresh everywhere in the house. Setting the kitchen and dining room tables will add accents and create a welcome feel.
The outside of the house is just as important as the inside. Lawns, gardens, landscaping and potted plants need to be trimmed and looking good, because that's the first thing people see when they pull up to the door. Remember to raid your garden and cut fresh flowers and/or greens for the inside. This adds a decorator's touch.
"Pay attention to the details," says Ron, "You don't need to pay a stager. If you take care of the simple things, you'll create an interest and get your selling price."
Thorough cleaning and staging makes your house look bigger, brighter, cleaner, warmer, more loving and, best of all, ready for buyers to move in. They can redecorate later.
Laura Gelezunas is an agent at Ron Morgan Properties, who has lived in Puerto Vallarta full time since 2002 and knows the bay and its neighborhoods. When you start thinking about making the move to paradise, email her at Laura(at)RonMorgan.net.
Ron Morgan Properties specializes in luxury real estate in the Marina Vallarta area and beyond to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and Punta de Mita, as well as along the southern shores of Banderas Bay, from the Romantic Zone, Amapas and Conchas Chinas down to Mismaloya and even Costa Alegre. For more information, visit RonMorgan.net.
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