MILWAUKEE -- If you are looking for a house, you know it's a buyer's market. There are plenty of homes for sale for less, so if you're trying to sell a home, how do you make it stand out? FOX6's Contact 6 has some tricks-of-the-trade when it comes to "house staging."
A three-bedroom, one-bathroom English Tutor-style home is for sale on Bay Ridge in Whitefish Bay. It's picturesque from the outside, and there is a secret about what to look for on the inside. "When we first walk into a home, I go straight to the kitchen, and I do what I like to call 'the refrigerator test,'" Shorewest Realtor Kathleen Davis said.
The kitchen in the Whitefish Bay home is super clean, and it should be. It is owned by a FOX6 employee who knew FOX6's cameras were coming. Davis is the seller's agent. "It's clean, and they clean it. When something spills, they take care of it, and when something happens in their house, they take care of it, and that's the message I get when I walk through a house," Davis said.
Davis says she's seen some refrigerators that are a mess! "I translate it into general maintenance. Have they cleaned their gutters? Have they changed their furnace filter?" Davis said.
Tip #1 for selling your home is to make sure it's clean.
To make a room look better, remove anything that doesn't add beauty to the room. There are no remotes or phones in the living room of the Whitefish Bay home - only new pillows to add a little color pop, decorate birch logs in the fireplace, and just the right amount of family pictures. "You are going to be seeing, do they look happy in their home? There is nothing that does that better than a picture. Don't go crazy - I don't need to see 15 wedding photos or 600 pictures of your children," Davis said.
Also - don't think buyers can look past bad wallpaper or decorating. At another property, Davis convinced the seller to rip of ultra-bright wallpaper and paint the room a neutral color. "Then I brought all the stuff in and re-staged it, and BOOM, for $300 we changed that room," Davis said.
For one last quick and cheaper fix, make sure all the bulbs in the light fixtures have a good, white light.
Then, wait for the buyers to call!