So you’re getting ready to put your house on the market. You’ve determined a price, considered a REALTOR and are ready to sign the papers. You’re ready, but how “ready” is your house?
It’s time to consider S T A G I N G. Staging is not interior decorating, but it is about fixing up, cleaning up and “dressing up.” It’s about preparation and transforming your “home” into a “product” for the marketplace and the focus becomes about the features that make your home special!
Here’s a word you’ve probably heard… “decluttering”…which means “ start packing…NOW!” You’ll be packing things up anyway, so you might as well get started and start making a difference.
If you like the deer head hanging on the living room wall or that your kids’ rooms are overflowing with every toy imaginable, a potential buyer will probably have a hard time seeing themselves living there! They’ll leave feeling like they just walked through “Cabela’s or TOYS R US? What you want is for them to feel they left the home they can picture themselves living in. Too much “you” can mean not enough room for their imagination about what works for them!
The idea of turning your home into a “product” can be difficult especially since it “works for you.” Stark white walls that you say “go with anything” probably won’t be as inviting as a soft neutral color that says “inviting and updated.” Making allowances for old carpet and walls crying for paint, won’t work for the majority of buyers looking for “move in ready.” Even if the flooring and colors aren’t exactly what someone else would pick, “up-to-date” is more of what buyers are willing to live with for the moment!
SO HERE YA GO FOR STARTERS…
Put away the “foo foo.” Plastic flowers and knickknacks can be more distracting than they make a statement. Pack up your grandmother’s dishes stacked in the hutch or the over flowing book cases and your collection of “every Precious Moment ever made” in the corner curio. “Bare” is better and MUCH easier to keep tidy. If someone calls on short notice to show your house, it takes less time to make it presentable!
Lots of things on the wall may distract from the room. It can also leave buyer’s thinking “holes, patching and painting.” And what will they remember later…you want them to remember the ROOM!
Painting is one of the cheapest things you can do to give your home a facelift. Once you’ve patched and painted; why hang a bunch of stuff and put all the holes back in the walls? Let the next owner do that!
And if you don’t think “staging” is for you…whatever you do, don’t underestimate “clean.” Even people who live in a dirty house don’t want to buy a dirty house. They want to feel that the hard earned money they’re going to put into a home is going to get them something that has been taken care of!
Article by Carol Foht of American Realty. Carol retired from John Deere after 35 years of service and chose being a REALTOR as a second full-time career. She has enjoyed a very successful career in residential sales since 2004. Realizing selling a home is not just about getting the listing but counseling sellers on preparing their home to sell, she began staging homes.
“It’s important to have upfront conversations with sellers about what should be done to get their home prepared to sell. Even if it’s as simple as “cleaning”…it’s important to have that talk with the seller. Afterall, the seller and REALTOR are working as a team to get the job done. It doesn’t make sense to know what should be done and not share that with the ‘the rest of the team’. I wouldn’t be doing my job,” she says. Carol offers staging as a part of her listing service. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by cell at 563-542-0520