Staging your home for sale
I visited a home that had been on the market for an entire year, and the owners were worried about ever finding a buyer.
We walked through the house and talked about problems that were distracting buyers from the home’s best features. The vertical blinds were not working so were left closed most of the time, obscuring incredible views. The carpeting was bright blue and covered a hardwood floor beneath it. There were fingerprints on the walls and toys strewn around the living areas.
For the next month the owners worked hard repairing, painting and cleaning. The transformation was so startling I hardly recognized the place.
The drapes had been removed emphasizing Mount Sopris views and privacy. The wood floors gleamed, walls were freshly painted, toys were put away and the fireplace burned invitingly in the living room. Shortly after we put the home back on the market, they received a full-price offer.
If you want to sell your home for the best possible price in the shortest period of time, you should consider “staging” your home.
Capitalize on your home’s first impression
Home staging is the process of preparing a home for sale so your home is presented in its best possible light and gives an excellent first impression.
A properly staged home has a competitive advantage. With today’s technology, many buyers will be comparing your house to others in your price range on the Internet before they schedule their first showing. The home that looks the most appealing in pictures inspires more showings.
After you’ve motivated the showing, you need to prepare the house for a walk-through. Buyers usually make up their minds about a house positively or negatively as soon as they walk through the front door, so capitalize on your home’s first impression.
Sometimes sellers offer “allowances” to correct problems such as worn carpeting, or outdated colors. However, in my experience, a buyer knows what they see, not what it can be, and most buyers aren’t looking for a home that needs work. If you can afford to correct the problems, you’re better off. A home with a great overall impression might be the key to a buyer falling in love with it.
Look at your house for the first time
So how do you start to prepare your home for sale? Separate yourself from your feelings about your home and try to look at it as if you were seeing it for the first time.
If you were a buyer, what would be your first impression? What are its best features, and how can you emphasize them? Are there lots of personal objects that will distract a buyer and make it more difficult for them to imagine living there?
Take pictures of the interior living spaces, and look at them objectively. Ask friends and family what changes they would recommend. Since you’ll be moving soon anyway, begin packing up your possessions and excess furnishings and place them in the garage or in storage. Aim for simplicity and harmony. Not only will the home look more spacious and organized, buyers will find it easier to picture living there.
Staging Tips for Sellers
1. Clear unnecessary objects from furniture throughout the house. Restrict objects on table tops to groups of three to five items.
2. De-clutter the entire house especially kitchen counters, refrigerator doors and closets.
3. Remove unnecessary items from bathroom counters, commode tops and shower stalls. Close commode lids. Keep colors of towels to one or two only.
4. Rearrange or remove some furniture to make the room appear larger and improve traffic flow.
5. Review the house and, if necessary, paint walls and clean windows and carpets.
6. Leave lights on for showings.
7. Add some live plants to strategic corners.
8. Create an inviting atmosphere with fresh flowers, background music, a fire in the fireplace and inviting aromas from the kitchen. (Don’t use air fresheners, buyers may suspect you’re covering up an unpleasant odor.)
The first 30 days, when your home is introduced to realtors and prospective buyers, is the most important time of the listing period. Prepare your home for this initial flurry of activity by following some of the tips above to show it to its best advantage. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes.
If you have any questions please contact me at Sharon@SharonRBeattie.com or 945-6266.
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