One of the things that’s drawn me to selling homes is the feeling I get when I walk into someone’s house for the first time. Whether it be the way a home smells when you walk in, the tiny personal touches an owner will add, or the unique fixtures they place around their living areas, I always find it exciting to observe all of those things someone will do in order to make their house a home.
There is, however, a downside to this sometimes. From wacky paint colors, to inappropriate photos or posters on walls, it’s not always easy to see past the cosmetic issues and keep an open mind! Sometimes, what appears to be gorgeous on the outside can be a nightmare inside, and vice versa!
This is where staging comes in.
If you watch just about any of the real estate shows on TLC, HGTV or the DIY Network, you’re probably familiar with the concept of staging. If you aren’t, the basic idea is to make your home as appealing as possible to a larger pool of potential buyers by decluttering and removing personal effects. Studies have shown that this is not only an effective tool, but also proves that staging can actually bring a seller the best possible price on their property.
According to Homestaging, only 10% of people are able to visualize the potential of a home. That means 90% of people are unable to overlook the negatives. Making a strong first impression can make or break any sale and studies put out by various organizations show that owners who spend as little as $50 can see quite a large return on their simple investment.
While not necessarily a “rule” when it comes to selling your home, I do recommend certain aspects of staging to my clients. For example, would you want to continue to tour a home that was dirty, had an overgrown lawn or smelled heavily of pet odor? Of course not! People are much more likely to want to see more of something they find appealing to their senses.
The most important thing that I can recommend to my clients is that they make sure their home is clean! Wipe down your baseboards, get stains out of carpets, scrub down bathrooms and remove grime from those hard to clean kitchen surfaces. You would be amazed by how easily a deep cleaning alone can transform the image of a home!
Next, I ask that they rid their home of anything that might be considered clutter. This means removing things like piles of magazines, minimizing their book collection and packing away their children’s stuffed animals. I ask them to make sure to organize places like their garage so it appears large and neat. Even closets and cabinets need a quick sprucing up so buyers can see how much storage space is available!
Get rid of those personal items! If you’ve got ten photos on your fireplace mantle, pare it down to three or four. If your bathroom counter is full of styling products or makeup, put them away. Take extra books and decor off of shelves and clear away photos, jewelry and knick-knacks off of dressers. Maybe put up seasonal decor, like a pretty wreath on the front door. Make it look homey, but lived in.
And finally, the most critical step. Get that exterior clean! Sweep your front porch, trim hedges and bushes. If you have a pool, make sure it’s clear of all debris and straighten up the patio area. Rake leaves, put away hoses or tools. Take the time to make sure the outside looks as neat and clutter free as the inside, because very few buyers will want to waste their time taking a peek if they can’t even see over tall grass or piles of dead leaves!
So, if you want me to walk through your house and let you know what you need to do to prepare your home to list, just ask! I’m more than happy to help get you started on the right path to getting sold as fast as you can for as much as we can!
Remember, I can show you any home for sale, at no cost to you. And I never charge buyers anything. So if you have a home you may want to sell, let’s talk! This sellers market is calling your name! Oh by the way… If you know anything who would like to buy or sell real estate, I would love to call them and see what I can do to help!
Kristi Fox Satsky