When they see some of the “after” pictures and videos of our flip homes on Flip or Flop, people always ask me, “Christina, how do you do it?” Real estate design is one of my favorite parts of the whole flipping process. With the right home-decorating tricks and techniques, you can make a house look totally gorgeous and help people really see themselves living there. Because I love this stuff so much, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite design tips for real estate investors with you. Let’s get started!
Check Out the Competition But Don’t Follow Fads
Most of your staging will happen after you’ve finished rehabbing the house. But the basis for a well-staged house is in how you rehabbed it. If you pulled up old, ratty carpet, what did you replace it with? Hardwood flooring is always a winner, but it’s expensive, too. Some houses and markets really require this extra touch, whereas you can choose a laminate or a nice carpet for others.
Pay attention to what other designers are doing in your area. If every house on the market has laminate floors, you might be able to get away with it, or you can set your house apart with real wood and potentially get a better price for it. Keep your head on your shoulders when deciding whether to make a design change based on what else is on the market. Updated styles are great, but passing interior design fads don’t sell a property.
Don’t Forget About Curb Appeal
What’s the first impression your potential homebuyers are going to get when they see the house? Are they going to approach a freshly mown lawn and trimmed, manicured shrubs? Or are they going to walk through a patchy, unkempt yard to a door with peeling paint and cobwebs in the corners of the porch railings?
I’m exaggerating just a little bit to make a point, but you’d be surprised how many people ignore curb appeal when staging houses. It’s one of the easiest ways to increase market value and pique people’s interest when you’re showing the house.
Update the Kitchen and Bathrooms
A beautifully designed, updated kitchen can really send a home’s market value through the roof. Add a gorgeous bathroom with a large vanity, plenty of storage space, and a luxurious tub, and your house will pretty much sell itself.
Maximize Natural Light
Natural light is flattering and makes any room feel more spacious. When staging a house, make sure that all of the curtains are drawn to let in as much light as possible. If you don’t have a lot of natural light, you can maximize the light you do have by painting the walls a light color and by strategically hanging decorative mirrors. These not only give the room a stylish look, but they also reflect light and give the illusion of a larger space.
There are many other things you can do with interior design to enhance the feel of a house and make people fall in love with it. Baking cookies to make the place smell like home is one of the oldest “feels like home” tricks in the book, but I like to stick to design tips for real estate investors that will actually enhance a home’s value and help you flip it fast.