If you are one of the tens of thousands of homeowners attempting to sell your home at any one time now then you know how hard it is becoming to both get people to the home and once there get them to like it enough to put an offer on it. You will have been undoubtedly been told that times are tough and to expect to take a hammering on the price of your home. Not only are homes all over the country losing value, but sellers are having to compete with mortgagee sales at lower than market value and the credit freeze that is preventing a lot of people from getting financed. So what is the secret to selling in today’s market? If you are really serious about selling. Over the past few months I have been flooded with reports with people saying they know the answers to how to make that sale in this market and there seems to be a clear point that all seem to agree on. And this is Staging.
|Article Source: Dana Plazyk|
Chances are, if you’ve bought or sold in the past few years, you’ve heard of the term “staging.” Staging is the art of preparing your home to appeal to the most buyers through de-cluttering, organizing, cleaning and repairing, and then marketing to your target audience. The last one may sound like a business pitch, but it is vitally important. The first four on the list are not only important, but will benefit your family and your well-being by bringing about a change and newness to your home and ultimately prepare you for your next move.
This can be a touchy subject for some people. We all know that many items in our home are sentimental but when you have to resort to trailblazing a path to the front door, it’s time to let go. If you MUST keep 100 copies of your favorite magazine, rent a storage unit while your house is for sale. You will get back the money you spend when your house sells faster and who knows, you may even learn to enjoy the extra space!! De-cluttering also includes de-personalizing. Start your packing early by putting family photos, heirlooms and other personal items in storage. Replace them with neutral accents or nothing at all. A buyer has to feel as if the home they walk into could be their home.
This goes right along with de-cluttering. Organization and placement of items in your home will not only make your rooms and closets look much larger, it will show the buyer that the current owners are organized and accountable and believe it or not, trustworthy. Check out home décor magazines for inspiration and ideas.
Cleaning and Repairing:
We all put off home repair or remodeling projects due to lack of funds, schedules and other priorities, but now is the time to get serious. Any project that has been left undone needs to be finished or at least finished to the best of your ability/budget. This will be your advantage over foreclosures; many of them are left dirty and in disrepair. If your home shines and looks well cared for, the buyer’s perception is their reality! The number one complaint from real estate agents who show or visit your home is a lack of cleanliness. Cleanliness also happens to be the hardest part of staging. If you have animals or children, you undoubtedly find a mess as soon as one is cleaned up. Deep cleaning is the first step. Clean your drapes, dust your window blinds, and by all means, keep your kitchen spotless! If you are leaving the appliances, make sure they are thoroughly cleaned with a grease cleaner, oven cleaner or specialty cleaning agent for your appliance. Don’t forget the top of the refrigerator and range hood! You never know how tall your potential buyers may be! Then have your family make a pact and be diligent about it until the house is sold.
Reaching your target audience:
This is where the little touches make a big difference. Make sure your home is inviting from the inside out. Neutral paint on in the interior, adding greenery on tables and shelves, and dressing up the front porch or entry with a wreath or nice patio furniture will all make an excellent first impression. Put away any kids’ toys in the front yard and hide garbage cans the best that you can. Don’t forget to make a lasting impression by having a sheet with all of your home’s information– schools, shopping, library, golf course, etc. And last but not least, treat your potential buyers like a new friend: have warm coffee or tea brewing, bottled water and cookies or other snacks readily available in the kitchen.
These are the very basics of home staging. You can find many more tips and suggestions on the internet, home and garden programs or with your real estate company. Also, there are many professional home stagers who will do the job for you. If the project overwhelms you, this may be a practical and worthwhile solution. Find these professionals online, in the phonebook, ask a friend, or enquire in your local chamber of commerce.
The benefits of home staging are lasting long after the ink is dry on the contract. You may just make a habit of staging your next home…for yourself!