How to Prepare Your Home For the Sale

The question was recently asked of me, "How can I make my home sellable?" I first want to get down to the actual problem here. Homeowners struggle today in making a house a home. Homes are most often built for the convenience of the builder. The elements that go into building a home are typically weighed on the return factor for the builder and developer. Future homeowner's often struggle with the need to decide if they will build a new house, even though in most cases they cannot customize it exactly as needed in the building process, or buy an older home that has the existing characteristics they love, but most likely does not have a floor plan suitable for modern living. Often in the homes in which we live, there are elements that we love, but also spaces that provoke frustration, tension, and sometimes even embarrassment, and when you are looking at homes, they all start to look the same and it gets monotonous. The question then arises - is it possible to have a home that truly reflects who we are as individuals and aids in creating the lifestyle we want, or must we cater our lives to the way a home is built?

When I was young, my family moved often. The first big move, though I was young, was very memorable for me. We had moved from a two-story apartment in Orange County California to a small town in the mountains of Central California. The house was nestled in the mountains and had a Gambrel Roof, which I had never before seen on a home at the age of 7, and which peaked my interest immediately. Outside there was a tree swing, and if you hiked a way into the woods you would find an old tree house. I remember windows in the living room that overlooked the forest in which it sat and watching through them in awe as the snow fell from the sky that Christmas. In the kitchen, I remember there being a claw-foot porcelain bathtub that my mother would bathe my baby brother and sister in. I believe it was actually in a bathroom right off the kitchen, but in my mind it was in the kitchen. Upstairs, there was an open play space, and in the boy's bedroom a loft, and in the girl's bedroom a balcony. All these features were very intriguing to me and it has since stood out in my mind as a magical home, distinctly resonating in my memory, though we only lived there three short months.

What made this home so magical? What made it stay in my memory so clearly almost 20 years later? It was the very unique elements to it. They created a sense of wonder, playfulness, and a feeling of home. Through Jamie Nell Design, I create homes such as these for my clients - homes that inspire, homes that remind us of our past, and homes that help us to live better in efficiency and function. I won't put a bathtub in your kitchen (unless you so desire), but I discover unique solutions to make sure your home serves you, instead of you shifting your lifestyle to fit your home.

So, how can you apply this principle to make your home more sellable? I believe making a home desirable to sell is just the same as making it desirable to live in. When we add unique elements to our homes, we are customizing them to the way people truly live, not to how they live theoretically. My advice is to start small to create that charm in your home. Here are my five tips (and I hope you enjoy my funny little sketches):

1. Accentuate your windows. Is there a window you can add a window seat to? Window seats add whimsy and comfort to any home. They bring the outside in and create a place that we can sit and reflect. It can also be as simple as investing in some light drapery that frames the windows nicely. But if you can do a window seat, go with the window seat.

2. Add molding. What do we love about old buildings? The details! Adding decorative molding to your home can make all the difference. Don't just think baseboards - can you add crown molding to a room or a wainscot? Wainscoting to an entry, hallway, or living room would peak interest (and value) immediately!

3. Add elegant, but modern, light fixtures. Light fixtures always grab interest and if you add unique, timeless ones to your home you can never go wrong!

4. Change up your back splash. Yes, I'm talking kitchen. Add a back splash that they will want to touch. Something subtle and neutral, but has some texture to it. This is a simple way to update your kitchen without too much expense.

5. Turn a blank wall into a canvas. Show the potential of your home by taking that blank wall and treating it like a blank canvas that can be turned into a piece of art. Add a stunning painting or a gallery wall. Try wall sconces, or place a unique piece of furniture up to it. Add color - not to the actual wall, but to the accessories on or around it.

The details will be what draws their attention and sells them the home. And, if you're not selling, those small elements will be what you love about your home and makes it charming to you!

I'd love to see how you implemented these five things into your home! Comment here or post pictures to Instagram, tagging me @jamienelldesign!

With love always,

Jamie Nell