When deciding to sell your home, one question that will come up is – Are you going to Stage your House ?
Staging is not a new concept, it has been around since the 70’s. The fact that it is still used is proof that it works. Often the results show that staging gets the most possible money for your house in the shortest amount of time. This is good, right ?
Another thought to consider is the First Impression. As it has been said, you only get one chance to make a First Impression. So seeing your house for the first time does need to be a positive experience.
Staging is not to be confused with decorating. Decorating is a personal thing, and may or may not suit the buyer, as everyone has different tastes. Staging needs to appeal to the buyer’s imagination of how this home would work for them.
For example, we all have family photos on the wall, and some on the fridge. We don’t want to distract the buyers with our family’s happy faces, we want them to imagine their pictures hanging on that wall. Simplify is a key word.
The following are Tips that may help you prepare your house to present well when being viewed by buyers.
TIP # 1 – Prepare your house BEFORE you put it on the market. This means before your realtor takes photos. Those photos go online, on the MLS websites and the Realtor’s website and will literally be seen by thousands of people. You want your house to look it’s best right from the beginning. This includes staging.
TIP # 2 – If your house has some damage or needs a bit of ‘fixing up’, do it or have it done prior to the house going on the market. Don’t offer a discount for the purchaser to fix it. If it costs $1000 to repair, buyers will often expect the price to be discounted $2000.
TIP # 3 – Take a look at your paint. Is it in good condition ? Is it a calm neutral color ? If your colors are fairly loud, it may be worthwhile talking to a consultant at a paint store to determine which color may appeal to most people and have your house painted. Doing it yourself is OK as long as the finished job looks close to professional, otherwise hire it out. Paint is one of the few things that gives near to 100% return on your investment.
TIP # 4 – Sellers with children do need to be able to live in the house while it is listed, and toys are often part of life. Limit the toys to one area and just a couple containers. This quickens the clean up process in case of a short notice viewing and looks neater. Occasionally a potential buyer may come with their children, and this would also limit the temptation to play with the toys.
TIP # 5 – Everything in its place is a good motto to remember. Always find appropriate places to store your items. Litter boxes in the kitchen and garbage cans in the pantry are a couple examples of poor placement.
TIP # 6 – Cleaning products are necessary but need to be out of sight. You want the buyer to think that the house cleans itself. You don’t want to remind buyers that there will be work to do in the house, so put away laundry baskets and dish racks as well.
TIP # 7 – Sometimes changes need to be done to make a house sellable. Here are a few changes that you should NOT do:
– High End Appliances. If your house is a modest house, stick to modest appliances.
– Old Style hand painted backsplash tiles. They used to be cool, but not so much anymore.
– Tile Countertops. Just not good. People see them as unsanitary as they are very hard to keep the grout clean.
– Cheap laminate flooring. Cheap laminate flooring looks like …. cheap laminate flooring. It adds very little to the value of your house. In some cases you are better off to give the existing flooring a good cleaning.
– Adding central vacuum. It is nice if you are staying in the house, but it won’t be a deciding factor on whether the house sells or not.
TIP # 8 – Refrigerators and ovens need to be clean. Most often buyers will look inside either a fridge or an oven or both. They will subconsciously make a judgement on how well the house has been cared for based on the condition of these two areas.
TIP # 9 – Removing clutter and personal items is needed, but adding back is essential. Each room should be enhanced with some accessories, art, bedding, pillows and towels as needed so all areas look inviting.
TIP # 10 – This is possibly one of the most important tips. Do not attempt to sell your home unfurnished. This will end up costing you money. Vacant homes do not sell as well as furnished homes, and often sit on the market for a longer period of time. Some buyers cannot imagine the house with their belongings in it and may not be interested until the house is reduced to the point that the house is a steal.
These tips are common sense, but sometimes aren’t noticed until the house is viewed from a buyer’s perspective.
Watch for more tips on preparing your house to sell in the future.
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