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Sell Houses Fast & Top Dollar: Design Psychology

How would you like to start a bidding war for your home, ending with a sales price greater than the asking price -- all within your home's first three hours on the market? That's the kind of results you can expect when you prepare your home for marketing, using Design Psychology methods!

Design Psychology's innovative interior design strategies go well beyond normal cleaning, painting, and repairs, and have been proven to increase homeowner profit while shortening a home's market time. And best of all, you don't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy the benefits Design Psychology can provide!

Here are a few tips for maximizing your sales price, while minimizing the out-of-pocket cost of selling your home:

First, you must emotionally detach yourself from your home and begin to think of it as simply a piece of property that needs to be sold. In the end, your goal is to make your home feel like a well-appointed vacation property and to spur buyers' imaginations with dreams of enjoying a new life in your luxurious home -- soon, and at top dollar!

Imagine your home as a five-star hotel room with a kitchen. Set out your best china, crystal, and finest linens, and then start packing everything you won't need, including all personal items, such as family photos, memorabilia, and other clutter. Your aim is to create a luxurious feeling for prospective buyers -- because buyers will pay more for a home that makes them feel pampered and comfortable.

Once you've got the interior of the house feeling warm and inviting, it's time to take inventory around the rest of your property. Take a notebook, and make three columns on your notepad: "No Cost Changes," "Small Cost Changes," and "Dream List Changes." Then start at the street, pretending you're a home buyer, seeing the property for the first time. It may help to have a friend with you during this process, in order to be more objective.

Walk around the property, just as a potential buyer would, making notes about everything that could use improvement, such as landscaping and exterior paint, listing each change in the proper column. Then walk to the front door, enter the house, and then walk through, letting the natural flow of the layout guide you all the way to the backyard.

Keep a constant eye out for things that need attention, jotting them down on your notepad as you walk around the property. Notate everything you find that detracts from the serene, inviting feeling you're trying to create.

Once you've compiled your list, begin with tackling the items in the "No Cost Changes" column. They could be things like pulling weeds, moving plants from crowded garden areas and transplanting them elsewhere, or rearranging furniture, to show off your home's architectural features or to make rooms seem more spacious.

Always try to see your home as a prospective buyer would see it. Set up enticing vignettes throughout the house, such as an intimate breakfast table for two in the master bedroom or a book sitting on an end table in the reading nook.

Since under-furnished rooms allow buyers to imagine their own furnishings in a home, it'll be worthwhile to sell or place unnecessary furniture in storage. If you find that hard to do, compare the cost of moving a piece of furniture to the cost of replacing it, and then ask yourself if the piece is worth keeping.

For tackling the items on your list that will cost money to address, always make sure the expense will be worth the benefit.

Using new interior design ideas to prepare your home for sale can speed your sale and get you a bigger check at closing.
Copyright  c.2004 Jeanette 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

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