Q: There are many TV shows about getting your house ready to sell. Now that we plan to list our house for sale, do you have any decorating tips that will make it appeal to buyers once on the market and without spending a fortune?
A: Deanna Wolfe of Roohan Realty: Wouldn’t it be great to be the featured home on a TV show like Designed to Sell? The homes on the show are taken apart and rearranged by a team of professionals in preparation for listing them. By the end of the episode, the home is transformed from a cluttered and messy “lived-in” space the homeowner loves into a well organized, clean and snappy looking space the potential buyer loves, which makes selling a home much easier. This fascinating process is called home staging.
Home staging is not decorating but rather de-personalizing your home to appeal to more buyers. Potential buyers will be looking at many houses and comparing them; you want them to envision themselves living in your house rather than the others. Take a minute to think of your home as a product. You want it to stand out among all the homes currently for sale.
Presenting a clean, roomy and neutral house will appeal to the majority of buyers. Have you ever toured a model or showcase home? Everything is bright and shiny and in its place. There are no piles of papers on the countertops, no toys stacked in the family room. The closets and cabinets are organized and a car can fit in the garage. Each room looks spacious and comfortable due to the furniture placement. Compare this to your house -- a potential buyer will!
With this information in mind, how does it apply to your house? As the homeowner, it may be difficult to be objective and look at each room with a fresh eye. As Barb Schwarz, President and CEO of Stagedhomes.com advises, “The way you live in your home and the way you market and sell your home are very different!” This is where a professional home stager can help.
Bringing in an objective and trained point of view to help de-personalize your house is an important step to make it more marketable. Hire a pro!
Keep in mind that the changes made have a singular and important purpose: To present your home at its very best to potential buyers by allowing them to envision themselves living there.
Many sellers express concern about the cost of home staging. The question should be, "Can you afford NOT to stage?" A Stager will work within your budget and utilize the items already in your house to "set the stage" for a quick and profitable sale.
The average staged home brings in 6.9% more money and is on the market 50% less time, according to a 2006 Stagedhomes.com survey, while the cost to stage is much less than a single price reduction, an appraisal or an inspection. Some Realtors offer staging as an added value with your listing. Consider any fee a sound investment in getting your house sold more quickly and at a higher price.
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