A staged home will sell, on average, 17% higher than an unstaged home. (US Housing and Urban Development)
As a seller in today's real estate market be prepared to have your house sit on the market upwards of 6 months before selling. You are competing against so many homes and some price well below market due to foreclosures and short sales. You have to do everything in your power to stand out to buyers and show them the value of your home. By preparing your house for sale, and make it as desirable as possible you are more likely to not only get an offer but to get more money. You can't expect your agent to work magic if your house is not in good condition and doesn't show well. Participate in the sale of your home, you can't sit back and watch the offers come in like the old days you need to get your hands dirty and contribute. Spend the money now to prepare your home for sale and you will get more money when you sell it.
2. KNOW WHAT YOUR NEIGHBORS ARE DOING
In controlled tests selling identical homes professionally staged vs. those not staged, the unstaged houses sold in 102 days, the staged houses sold in 45 days! (RealEstateStagingAssociation.com)
The goal is to provide the buyer with the most value when compared to similar homes for sale so that they will want to purchase yours. Visit Open Houses, arrange to preview the other listings in your neighborhood so you know what you are competing against. Is your home "upgraded"? Over "upgraded"? How do the other homes show? Make sure your house shows the best so you get the offer. Buyers will pay a little more for a house that is 'turn-key'. By being aware of the other homes in the neighborhood you know how to put your best foot forward. Especially if you live in a track neighborhood where the homes are the same, you need to separate yourself and attract positive attention.
3. 1ST IMPRESSION IS A LASTING IMPRESSION
Buyers will judge a home in the first 7-10 seconds and whatever emotion is evoked will carry with them the entire showing. Curb appeal is so critical! House numbers must be visible so buyers can find the home. Make the exterior of the home immaculate so that buyers are wowed from the start and want to come inside. With so many homes to choose from if the curb appeal is lacking there is a good chance buyers will keep on driving.
4. LET'S TALK ABOUT THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
It is estimated that only 10% of home buyers can visualize the potential of a home.
As the seller you need to address and fix major issues that everyone else will notice like stained carpets, chipped paint, a bad odors. Don't sweep it under the rug, address it and fix it. Don't be in denial because we guarantee that if the buyer has to fix the issue it will cost you more money. Buyers estimate repairs to be three times the price. You might not want to spend the money now but if you don't it will cost you more money later. Most buyers can't see past these major flaws and even though your home may have potential all they see is a house they don't want to put work into.
5. THINK HOTEL, NOT HOSTEL...PICK IT UP, CLEAN IT UP
Would you be ready for a showing right now? Make sure the house is clean, de-cluttered, neat and tidy. All beds should be made, all mess cleaned up and items stored where they belong. We understand that this is difficult when you are living in your home but you have made the choice to have your house on the market in an effort to sell it and there is a certain amount of responsibility that goes with that. Remember buyers get to be really critical, the media tells them to be because the assumption is that everyone selling right now must be desperate. There is no excuse for mess. Clean it up!
6. FEBREZE IT OR FORGET IT
Most buyers are very sensitive to smells. Take care of negative smells. Think "neutralize" but make sure to not go overboard with floral or vanilla scents. We want to appeal to all five senses in a positive way. It is imperative that the house does not have an odor of dirt, must, food, pets, laundry, bleach or anything that will trigger a negative emotion. Would you stay in a hotel room that smelled awful? Probably not, why would you buy a stinky house?
7. PET HOTEL, RESERVATIONS PLEASE!
More than 1 out of every 7 people has a pet allergy (Discovery Health)
Pets must be removed from the house for showings and open houses. Arrange for pet sitting or make reservations at the pet hotel. Most people who have pets are uncomfortable around pets that are unknown and a very high percentage of people have pet allergies. Pets are very distracting to potential buyers. Pets can break a deal, this is critical for sellers to grasp. Do the right thing and find a place for your beloved animal while the home is on the market.
8. KEEP IT G RATED, APPEAL TO THE MASSES
Remove all offensive or distracting décor from the home. Buyers that are offended or distracted are not going to consider making an offer. Think of the TV shows that upgrade or redo homes. The color schemes are neutral, the paintings simple and decorations follow the ideal that less is more. You want buyers to concentrate on the home not on the décor. Make the look classic, simple and sophisticated.
9. KEEP IT FLOWING
Making homes more accessible, with an open flow is the top future trend according to a poll by The National Association of Home Builders
Make sure your home has a natural flow so buyers can move freely through the home. This includes catering to the baby boomer population who need to be able to move easily through the home but also because younger buyers may have a parent living with them. Make sure your home is logical in that people can visualize all the possibilities for their own needs. The living room should not be overcrowded with furniture and the bedrooms will look bigger with less crammed in them. Less is more, make it easy to move around. Staging is not just rearranging furniture. It is knowing what to remove, what to add and how to place items to appeal to a majority of buyer. The more buyers that like the home the higher the percentage of an offer and a sale.
10. TREAT YOUR BUYERS AS HOUSE GUESTS
Sellers who spent $500 on staging recovered over 343% of the cost when they sold their home. (Homegain.com)
Treat your buyers as guests. Provide water, snacks and/or candy. Leave extra information out regarding the property or the community. Turn on all the lights, open the blinds, make it warm and inviting. The more comfortable you can make buyers in your home the more likely they are to visualize themselves as the owners. Think about how nice it feels when someone spoils you and try to pass along that emotion. This will lead to better negotiations and therefore a better sale.