HOUSTON — Real estate broker David B. Atkins of Heritage Texas Properties is known for having the art of home staging down to a science. Home staging refers to giving a house a make-over before it goes on the market to make it more appealing to potential buyers. “I love what I do, and I’m the best at what I do,” Atkins said. He stages everything from $32,000 entry-level homes to million-dollar mansions.
He offers these tips for selling your home faster and for more money:
- Clear out your personal stuff, like that wall of family photos. “Your kids are beautiful but people aren’t buying your kids and the more the house says you, the less it says me,” Atkins said.
- Clear out the animal prints and hides. Some folks get offended. The same goes for guns, he said.
- Take down diplomas if possible. They can be polarizing. “Because 50 percent of the city likes UT, 50 percent like A&M,” Atkins said.
- 4. Appeal to the buyer’s senses, music for the ear, but never country, rap or rock. Atkins said play instrumental music. He advised putting a cinnamon stick in the oven to appeal to the nose. He said don’t use cookie dough because you could burn it. To appeal to the eye, Atkins advises letting in lots of light. To make rooms appear larger, he said, place big things and colorful things in the far corners of the room.
- Create vignettes inside and out. “A vignette is an emotion where people can imagine themselves being in that space,” he said. Examples include a cozy chair with a lamp and a book or a comfy patio chair under a shade tree with a pitcher of iced tea next to it. By the way, Atkins doesn’t bother making real tea. Soy sauce added to ice water looks exactly the same.
- Take about 50 to 60 percent of the clothes out of your closet, then arrange items by color, Atkins said. This will make your closets appear larger. If you have high and low racks, put pants on the top and shirts on the bottom. Pants take up less space and that will also give the illusion of a larger closet, he said.