Interior Design Secrets for Selling Houses

New concepts in Interior Design Psychology are helping home sellers net more money in today's competitive real estate market. Therefore, it's worthwhile to spend time planning the changes that will help your home sell for the highest price.

Develop a general design plan, keeping your target market and budget in mind. Your overall design plan really depends on supply and demand. How many houses are for sale in your area? How many houses sell each week? Is the selling season cold, warm, or hot? Is it a seller's or buyer's market?

If the market is moving fast and buyers are lining up to make offers for homes in your neighborhood, you can do less. But whatever your answers to the above questions, you'll still need to do a few things to make your home stand out from the competition.

Know Your Target Buyers

Think about your neighborhood and the buyers purchasing homes near yours. Are they purchasing their first home or moving up? This will be important to your marketing and design plan, since the psychological needs of the two types of buyers differ considerably.

First-time homebuyers seek to control their own environment by owning, rather than renting. Their psychological needs include:

Safety and security
Sense of place or connection
Comfort
Self-control

Move-up buyers often enjoy those benefits, too, but they're generally more interested in finding a larger home with more amenities for their comfort, self-esteem, and feelings of prestige.

Once you've determine your potential buyers, you can begin making improvements to your home that will attract them.

Budget Concerns

Spend money only on items that will make a difference in your sales price. Of all repairs, fresh paint is the best investment you can make. New kitchen appliances, upgraded bathroom features, and updated lighting fixtures will usually give a good return for your money, as well.

Sometimes, hiring professional help is worth the extra expense. Professional painters work faster and will often cost less than day laborers. Tile installers, carpet layers, and electricians also know their trades and will do a better job than most day laborers.

Contractors should have their own disability and liability insurance -- ask for a copy with your contract. Get everything in writing -- including work to be completed, costs, lists of specific materials to be used, time for completion, and payment schedule.

Exterior Design Psychology

Choosing the right colors to paint your home will make a huge difference in your paycheck at closing. Look at the other homes near yours and choose complementary colors.

Did you know that the exterior color of houses selling the most quickly is yellow, but the wrong tone or shade of yellow can kill a potential home sale? Avoid yellows with green undertones and bright yellows, and choose pale yellows with creamy or beige shades instead. Warning: colors look darker on huge exterior expanses than they do on the little
paint chips you see in the store.

Color Combinations

Paint stores offer many brochures, showing various combinations of exterior paint colors, but most of them also feature combinations include three colors. Limiting your paint selection to only two colors will limit your income potential.

Think fun colors for a fast sale. Think "Disneyland Main Street," where every shop is painted in glorious multi-color. Using a third or fourth color on the exterior can add definition to your home's details. Use gloss or semi-gloss paint on wood trim.

Psychology of Exterior Paint Colors

Take the ultimate sales price of your remodeled home into account. Certain colors, especially muted, complex shades, will attract wealthy or highly-educated buyers, whereas buyers with less income or less education will generally prefer simple colors.

A complex color contains tints of gray or brown, and usually requires more than one word to describe, such as sage green or forest brown, while simple colors are straightforward and pure. Generally, houses in the lower price range will sell faster and for more money when painted in simple tones like yellow and tan with white, blue, or green trim.

Interior Design Plans and Secrets

Create a list of work and materials you'll need for each room and then estimate the time you think it will take for each task. The more planning you do before you begin, the more time and money you'll save.

Psychology of Interior Paint Colors

Daring to use color instead of bland white walls will increase your profit potential. Did you know that Lynette Jennings tested people's perception of room size and color? A room that was painted white appeared larger to only a few people in the survey, compared to an identical room painted with a color, and the perceived difference was only about six inches! Because most people look better surrounded by color, a colored wall also makes them feel happier, and buyers will choose to buy the house that makes them feel happiest.

Entryways should bring the exterior colors of the home inside. Repeat variations of the exterior shades all the way through your home, which will make the entire home seem to be in harmony. As an added bonus, if buyers love the exterior colors, they're going to like the interior colors, as well.

Spending time planning your home's sale, rather than just listing it and then taking your chances, will net you more money, and faster!

Best wishes for a profitable, quick sale.

(c) Copyright 2004, Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved

Professor Jeanette Fisher, author of Doghouse to Dollhouse for Dollars, Joy to the Home, and other books teaches Real Estate Investing and Design Psychology. For more articles, tips, reports, newsletters, and sales flyer template, see http://www.doghousetodollhouse fordollars.com/pages/5/index.htm

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