Posts Tagged ‘home staging franchise’
Showhomes has staged more homes across the country than any other staging organization. We have many great long term relationships with Realtors across the country and this has been one of the keys to our success. There are times when we see mistakes made by Realtors that we interact with that could be avoided. This is a great blog by Rooms in Bloom Home Staging with some information that you should consider before working with a Realtor and Home Stager.
“It’s always great when realtors and home stagers create strong partnerships. In these types of scenarios, both parties support and rely on each other to handle the important aspects of preparing and selling homes. We have seen these partnerships go wrong however and from our perspective, here are the Top 10 home staging mistakes realtors make:
1. Selecting your Stager based on price only – Selecting a stager simply because they are the cheapest is one of the best ways to sabotage your sale and cost your clients thousands of dollars in lost equity. More important than cost is the experience, talent and resources a staging professional will have – and the results they achieve! When selecting your staging professional, base your final decision on their portfolio, professionalism and expertise.
Free or Low Pricing doesn’t ensure QUALITY so buyer beware!
2. Telling your stager what they can – or cannot – address in a home – It’s not always easy to hear what a home stager has to say but their job is about addressing ALL the factors that buyers will object to. Agents often tell their stagers to go easy on their clients or not to address certain things. This does a disservice to your clients and can potentially cost them in poor buyer interest, price reductions and even the sale of their home. A better plan is allow your staging professional to discuss everything they need to so even if you or your clients decide not to implement the suggestions right away – if the house doesn’t sell then – there is a back up plan. Finally, trust your staging professional to handle sensitive topics in such a way that you or your clients will understand and appreciate. If your stager can’t do this then maybe it’s time to find a new stager!
3. Selling your listings vacant – Statistically, vacant properties take 90% longer to sell than staged properties. That can mean sitting on the market up to 7 months longer and going through countless price reductions. Investing in home staging never costs as much as the first price reduction once a property is on the market. Not recommending your clients invest in staging can cost them on the the final sale price and extra carrying costs, resulting in a long stint on the market.
4. Not using professional photography – It’s an online real estate world and buyers are searching for their next dream home on their mobile devices. Buyers are also inherently visual so professional pictures of bright, modern spaces will get their attention and get them in the door for a visit. If your realtor doesn’t offer professional photography, find one who does. It is simply not an option anymore not to use professional photography.
5. Poor planning and time management – This is an important one!Many people fail to plan how much time it will reasonably take to prepare and stage their homes for sale. The sense of urgency prompts them to put the property on the market when it clearly isn’t market ready. Be reasonable and plan for taking anywhere between 1 – 3 weeks to get your home show-worthy. Calling in a home stager and then planning for pictures the next day is unrealistic and unreasonable – for both your clients and for your stager.
6. Staging the home yourself – Well meaning realtors often offer to help clients stage their homes – with mixed and varying results. As most realtors have not been trained on how to effectively showcase focal points or create great flow through key selling areas, these efforts are often ineffective. We recommend working with a professional who can confidently recommend the right colors, finishes and furnishings to add the WOW factor so that the agent has a property which is a joy to market and sell. Unless a realtor owns their own staging business and inventory (we know of a few successful ones), agents are best to partner with a staging professional who can handle all aspects of a home’s preparation while the realtor does what they do best: sell the home!
7. Disrupting the Staging - Once a home has been staged, it’s important that it be kept in the same condition throughout the time it is up for sale. Most stagers have clauses in their contracts which prevent items from being moved or relocated so it’s important to be aware that the home was staged in a certain way for a reason. Moving furniture around or relocating staging decor can make the staging less effective. Additionally, if someone sits on a bed or a sofa, fix the pillows and straighten the bedding – especially for the pictures.
This room looks great except for the pillows on the sofa! Someone sat on the sofa and didn’t fix them for the pictures!
8. Undermining Your Stager - When we get contacted by a new realtor, we always invite him or her along on a staging consultation so that they can see how we work and understand the reasoning behind our recommendations. This builds trust and confidence in both parties so that they can, in turn, support each other. Nothing is worse however, than having the agent who hired you disagree or dismiss your suggestions in front of the clients. Not only does that create confusion but it also makes the stager you chose, look like they don’t know what they are talking about. Staging is our area of expertise and that is what most realtors want – an expert – so their clients will listen and follow the recommendations. If you disagree with something your stager is saying, it’s fine to ask why they suggested it – your clients are probably wondering too – and listen to the explanation. If the stager is recommending things that you know won’t add value or are confusing, be sure to have a talk with him or her after the appointment.
9. Poor Communication with Your Stager - The best partnerships are built on great communication so we encourage realtors to disclose all necessary information to their stagers. This can be anything from relevant personal details about the client (divorce or a death in the family necessitating the move) to providing feedback on the staging services themselves. We aren’t mind readers and letting us know facts like the home owners have already bought a home and are listing the following day will greatly impact how we prioritize our recommendations. Realtorswill get a client complaint from time to time – stagers are addressing some personal topics and regardless of how good their communication skills are, there will be people who take offense. Discuss it with your stager and do your best to back them up. Remember, they are having the conversations with your clients that you don’t want to have. Some of our best realtor partnerships have come from going through these types of situations together.
10. Telling Your Clients they Don’t Need to Stage their Home - While this echos a bit of #6, this mistake deserves a mention. We often hear agents say that they don’t recommend home staging or that they have never had to use one in their ___ years in business. Great! It’s important to realize however that the way homes are sold these days has been changing and evolving for awhile. Presentation and condition are very important to today’s buyers who value quality over price and who have little time or interest in dated properties. The emerging buyer places considerable value on free time – they eat out more, travel and value time with friends and family over working in their home. They will pay MORE money for a home which is turn key and which reflects the lifestyle they aspire to have for themselves. If you aren’t staging your listings then we can tell you with confidence that you are helping to sell the staged homes in your area. Sellers are aware of these changes and are seeking out realtors who offer home staging as part of their listing services. They know they have to do more to impress this new generation of buyers. Offering staging to your clients will give you more marketable listings, better sales & more referrals plus it will give you an edge when you are competing against other agents!
A great partnership with your stager will strengthen your business and impress your clients. Avoiding these mistakes will ensure that the relationship you have with your stager is a long and profitable one!”
RESA CEO Shell Brodnax recently interviewed Barbara Corcoran, well known Real Estate Investor, Venture Capitalist, and co-star of ABC’s Shark Tank tv show, about Home Staging. Here is a summary of some of her insights:
BC: Well, I think the advent of the Internet set the stage for Home Staging. Here to fore people would ride by a house and take a peek at the front of the house and decide if they want to see it or not. Now, EVERYTHING is obvious; inside the house. Everybody shops online. 9 out of 10 people start their search there. Without the Home Staging people wouldn’t even come to see the house. It used to be an extra and now it’s an essential. Why WOULDN’T someone stage a home if they want to get more money for their house? I don’t get it!
SB: Sometimes we don’t get it either
BC: Well they’re getting it more and more because the proof is in the pudding. Because people are getting more money for their homes!
SB: Can you speak of the advantages that Home Staging, including consultations, can bring both to the Home Owner and the Listing agent?
BC: A good home stager goes well beyond pretty furnishings, and light bulbs, and drapes. They’re recommending all of the improvements that are needed in the home. I don’t mean large improvements, like rip out your kitchen, but repairs. It’s very hard for a Real Estate Broker to walk in and say “I want your listing but I also have to tell you that you have to fix these 15 items.” It’s much easier for the Home Stager. It’s the proper place for it. They advise from the repairs to the things that enhance the space, like the light. I’m still baffled why people still don’t know this!
To see the complete interview go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nl-qsswMyg&feature=youtu.be
As Spring Cleaning season begins here is a great blog on the keys to staging your home!
Home staging is quickly becoming a necessity and an integral part of selling real estate. Gone are the days when staging was simply an option; in today’s tough real estate market proper staging is the only way to set your house apart from the competitors down the street or in the same neighbourhood. Overall, staging follows some simple and proven techniques to maximize the appeal of your home to the greatest number of buyers. However, despite the theoretical simplicity of the staging concept, there are quite a few common mistakes that undermine the success of staging and a potentially successful sale of your home.
Here are top 20 common mistakes that sellers make when preparing their house for sale. You should keep these in mind if you’re thinking of or getting ready to sell your house:
- Don’t neglect the clutter. What might seem like clean and organized to you, might not translate the same to others. Make sure to tour the house top to bottom by enlisting a friend or the help of a professional stager that will give you an honest opinion about what needs to go and what can stay.
- Don’t do any major renovations.This is not the time to splurge on expensive renovations and replacing all appliances. Smart investment dollars can go a long way in creating the desired, updated look. Sometimes simple things like adding an attractive backsplash in the kitchen, replacing the faucets, light fixtures, hardware and door handles, and painting the walls a warm but neutral colour can go a long way. To finish of the look, it is important to bring in attractive accessories that will compliment the rest of the space and add warmth.
- Don’t block light & views. Natural light is extremely important and blocking it off with heavy curtains or bulky pieces of furniture is false economy. Especially if you’ve got attractive views, instead of hiding them – make them the focal point, and see the positive result it has on the buyers.
- Don’t paint with dark, intense and custom colours. Now is not the time to bring in your personal taste to the table. Choose a nice, neutral and warm colour, such as any of the following families: beige tones, grey tones, or light blue or pale greens. You’ll be surprised at the transformative effect a few coats of fresh paint will have on your space!
- Don’t take it personally. When you make the decision to sell your house, you have to realize that now is the time to emotionally detach from your home and think of it as a product. The same way that products in a store are marketed, your house will have to be treated with the same marketing strategies in order to secure a successful sale. It can be a very emotional and difficult time letting go of your beloved home, but you have got to keep the bigger picture in mind, and think that you will create more amazing memories in your new house.
- Don’t stay at the house during showings. It can be quite awkward and uncomfortable for buyers to have you around, as they will not feel comfortable to voice their honest opinion in your presence. Make sure to leave the house for all the showings and trust that the realtor will do a proper job at showing your house.
- Don’t leave your pets around during showings. This goes along the same lines of not taking it personally. It is important to keep in mind that not everyone loves animals, and some people might either be allergic or afraid of them and therefore, some will even refuse to walk into the house, knowing there is a certain creature in there. So take them away on a mini adventure during showings, and make sure that all the pet odors have been eliminated as well.
- Don’t think the house will sell itself. Real Estate is like a game in any market, and especially in today’s market conditions, you have got to implement some preparation strategies if you want to sell quick and for maximum profit. So de-clutter, de-personalize, clean, make all the small repairs, paint if you have to and overall create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Make sure to take some attractive photos for online listings, as that is the first step most buyers take when starting their search. Read this post and learn How To Take Magazine-Style Photos for Online Listings.
- Don’t over-stage and over-accessorize. It is easy to get carried away when decorating, but the thing to remember is that there is a huge difference between decorating and staging to sell. A few, well thought out accessories in key places is all you need. No need to fill the tub with bubbling water and sprinkle bath salts in order to create a spa feeling. Instead, a few candles, fresh towels and minimal bath accessories will do the trick!
- Don’t buy all new furniture. If you current furniture pieces are not working because they’re outdated and unattractive, there is other ways of going about it. You can always ask to borrow friends’ or relatives’ furniture for the time being, or rent furniture items while you’re selling. The problem sometimes can also be that there is just too much of big and bulky pieces, and a simple rearranging of key pieces and removing the rest will make all the difference.
- Don’t add personality. Now is not the time to bring in your unique style into the home. Staging is all about de-personalizing the space, and creating more of a luxury hotel or a Model Home look that will appeal to most everyone.
- Don’t neglect the outside spaces. With outdoor entertaining becoming more and more popular with each year, the importance of these areas should not be overlooked when selling the property. A neatly groomed front yard and a cozy and comfortable backyard can turn some lookers into buyers instantly. So mow the lawn, plant some blooming flowers, add some outdoor furniture and you’ve created an outdoor oasis that buyers will instantly imagine themselves enjoying for years to come.
- Don’t neglect the refrigerator and the pantry. Go through your entire fridge and pantry and get rid of any old and expired items. Thoroughly clean the entire fridge and pantry from the inside out, and then neatly organize only fresh produce and food items back in. Make sure that there aren’t any odors when you open the fridge. A good tip to remember is to leave an opened box of baking soda in the fridge. Baking soda absorbs odors and prevents them from interacting with each other.
- Don’t neglect the closets and the storage spaces. According to a recent study, 86% of buyers said storage was one of the most important items on their wish list. When you move, you are going to have to pack anyways, so why not get started a bit earlier and do something that will benefit the sale of your home at the same time? Purge through all the clothes and linen closest and other storage spaces, get rid of anything that hasn’t been used or worn in over a year or two, pack away seasonal items and only keep the essentials. It will make the closets and storage spaces appear a lot more spacious if they are not crammed with clothes and other things. Attract more potential buyers with an organized home by installing closet design organization systems in lieu of cabinets
- Don’t neglect the laundry room/area. Often the laundry room or area becomes a catch – all place for all the odds and ends that you couldn’t figure out where else to store. It is time to address this issue and de-clutter. Make sure that the only things that are left are laundry related and are neatly organized.
- Don’t neglect the garage. People are looking to buy space, so having your garage piled with boxes and other items will make it look smaller. Store all things off premises if possible. If you can’t find a friend or a relative to ask to help out, there are other storage solutions that are affordable these days. The investment will pay off in the long run.
- Don’t neglect the basement. Most of the time the basement is a place for all things unfit elsewhere. Excess furniture, clothes, books etc. Pack whatever you’ll be taking with your to your new home away in boxes and arrange the rest in attractive seating or lounging areas. Poorly maintained basements can leave a bad overall impression on an entire house.
- Don’t keep your photos and knick-knacks out. Buyers are there to potentially find their dream home, and it would be impossible to try and imagine their own lives, when they’re surrounded by constant reminders that this is someone else’s house. So eliminate anything that will cause buyers to be reminded that it’s not theirs, since you want them to feel at home and envision their own family enjoying the space.
- Don’t list your house if you’re not ready. It is truly false economy to rush and list your house if the house is not ready for showings. Instead invest the time and money to prepare your house to be viewed and judged from all angles, and then watch it be snatched up in the first few showings, because people will fall in love with it, when they see how well maintained the house is.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help. It can be an overwhelming and daunting task to know exactly what to do and how. A professional stager will provide you with the knowledge and expertise to transform your home into a Show Home, which will be invaluable to the success of your home’s sale. Depending on the scope of the project the investment in staging can cost you anywhere from $300 to $5000 dollars, and it will certainly be recuperated after your house sells. And remember one last thing, your first price reduction will probably be more than the investment in preparing your house to show at its best!
By Lorelie Brown, Certified Professional Real Estate Stager (CPRES)
Owner, Showhomes of Charleston
As a professional home stager, I encounter calls daily from agents and homeowners who are considering staging their properties. I applaud their understanding that the property should be properly presented for the best possible viewings by buyers. Too often, however, the calls come only after the home has been on the market for 30 days or longer, and there haven’t been any offers or interest in the home. Sadly, these calls come much too late. The first buyer has already come and gone. A home should be in the best possible condition, including properly staged, before it is listed. This is not to say that I can’t work some miracles in the middle of a listing process (I have and will continue to do so). However, the first 30 days of a listing are critical and sellers need to include staging in their checklist with touch up painting, sprucing up the yard, and getting the home sparkling clean. Staging is no longer an optional part of home selling…it is a crucial element. In fact, HGTV rated not staging a home as the #1 real estate mistake.
As I stand on my soapbox, I’m sure that there are some who would think that their listing has already been de-cluttered and that their sellers have beautiful furniture. I’ve seen many very nice properties with great furnishings and no clutter that don’t sell. Staging has very little to do with de-cluttering and great furnishings. It’s a professional service that aligns a buyer’s perspective with a visual sense of space and generates an emotional connection with the home. Professional stagers are skilled in ensuring that these components bring about buyers’ experiences that generate offers and help agents and buyers get things SOLD.
So if you are considering listing a property, make a call to a professional, certified stager first. To get the maximum exposure for your property and minimize time on market, staging should not be a last resort! Your first buyer will visit in the first 30 days, and your home should properly presented, including well-staged, from Day 1, if you want the best chance of selling it for top dollar.
Showhomes is America’s Largest home staging provider.
Lorelie Brown, CPRES | Showhomes of Charleston
email@example.com| 843-619-3000 ext. 702
This week the Wall Street Journal wrote an article, in celebration of Valentines Day, about falling in love-with houses! This is exactly what Showhomes has been doing for almost 3 decades! We now offer a number of new interior design services to help you fall in love with your home all over again! Reach out to your local Showhomes franchise at www.showhomes.com to learn more.
“Falling in love can be wonderful—and finding the perfect house can make a house-hunter weak in the knees.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, a survey by Realtor.com shows that falling head-over-heels for a house is fairly common—69% of respondents reported that they have had a home crush. House-hunters with a “home crush,” as defined in the survey, are drawn to the same house again and again. Realtor.com surveyed 1,082 individuals from Jan. 9 to Jan. 20 who reported having had a home crush.
Many people approach house hunting the same way they approach dating, by checking compatibility and fit, but the intangible factors are what tips a house from crush to true love, says Leslie Piper, Realtor.com’s consumer-housing specialist and an agent with Pacific Union in Lafayette, Calif.
“You have to make sure you know what’s really out there. You evaluate what is a turn-on and turn-off, and perhaps you’ll fall in love,” Ms. Piper says.
Also like dating, men and women approach a home crush very differently.
Some key findings from the survey:
Women are more likely to crush on home that is out of their price range: 41% of women said their home crush is out of their price range, compared with 30% of men.
Men tend to move from one home crush to another: 36% of men said they find a new home crush weekly, compared with 29% of women.
Outdoor living spaces are the most attractive home attributes to both men and women: 54% of women and 46% of men said outdoor living spaces like backyards, decks and patios make them fall in real-estate love. In addition, 42% of women preferred open-floor plans, and 40% of men indicated garages.
Nearly 80% of homebuyers first find their home crush on their computer. After that, about one-third then decide to go see the house in person.
About 16 years ago, Brenda Van Fossen of Lynchburg, Va., stumbled on a 2,600-square-foot, contemporary-style house with 10-foot ceilings and an open-floor plan. She called up the agent and was disappointed to hear that the house was already under contract.
But Ms. Van Fossen couldn’t get the house off of her mind. A year later, she found out that the house was back on the market and purchased it for roughly $170,000.
Ms. Van Fossen, who became a real-estate agent in 2006, says she has never felt this way about a house before: “That first night there, it sounds silly, but it was like I was in love.”
But love can have a downside—heartbreak.
“You have to be realistic. When you’re looking at homes outside of your price range, the last thing you want to be is disappointed. It would be like falling in love with someone on the other side of the country,” Ms. Piper says. To move on, she suggests keeping an open mind and perhaps considering several houses at the same time in case the first choice doesn’t work out.
Fortunately, unlike with relationships, picky homebuyers do not need to limit themselves to what’s on the market, she says. Rebuilding, redecorating or building from scratch are an option, too.”
Many now realize that it is a great time to buy a home. Today, we want to look at why it might also be an opportune time to sell your house. Here are the Top 5 Reasons we believe now may be a perfect time to put your house on the market.
1.) Demand Is High
The most recent Existing Home Sales Report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed a 17.2 percent increase in sales over July 2012; sales have remained above year-ago levels for 25 months. There are buyers out there right now and they are serious about purchasing.
2.) Supply Is Beginning to Increase
Total housing inventory last month rose 5.6% to 2.28 million homes for sale. This represents a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace, compared with 4.3 months in January. Many expect inventory to continue to rise as 3.2 million homeowners escaped the shackles of negative equity in the last 12 months and an additional 1.9 million are expected to enter positive equity in the next 12 months. Selling now while demand is high and before supply increases may garner you your best price.
3.) New Construction Is Coming Back
Over the last several years, most homeowners selling their home did not have to compete with a new construction project around the block. As the market is recovering, more and more builders are jumping back in. These ‘shiny’ new homes will again become competition as they are an attractive alternative for many purchasers.
4.) Interest Rates Are Rising
According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have shot up to 4.57% which represents a jump of more than a full point since the beginning of the year. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae,Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will continue to climb.
Whether you are moving up or moving down, your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.
5.) It’s Time to Move On with Your Life
Look at the reason you are thinking about selling and decide whether it is worth waiting. Is the possibility of a few extra dollars more important than being with family; more important than your health; more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?
You already know the answers to the questions we just asked. You have the power to take back control of your situation by putting the house on the market today. The time may have come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.
Marty Barnes from The Entrepreneur Source recently wrote a great blog post about one of our long term franchisees Donna Muelver. Great overview of the fascinating people that are part of the Showhomes family.
“Our Entrepreneur this month wasn’t looking for a franchise and had little interest in owning one. But sometimes the franchise just finds you. Donna Muelver answered the door when opportunity knocked and she is happy she did.
Donna Muelver was a stay at home mom and foster parent and her husband Rick was a firefighter. One day a friend told them about a real estate sign installation company that was for sale. It was a struggling company with potential. Donna could run and market the business and her husband Rick and eldest son Wayne could help out with the installation of the lawn signs. They did this for over 10 years, increasing sales and adding real estate photography to their basket of services. And then, opportunity knocked again.
Bellaire home wins in CNBC Competition “Best Bang For Your Buck”
Showhomes Home Staging had its home staging services recognized nationally by CNBC’s Million Dollar Home Contest.
Showhomes Home Staging, a national home staging franchise, staged the million dollar property that was selected by CNBC’s real estate expert, Dolly Lenz, as the “best bang for your buck” in the country, priced at $1 million on May 3, 2013.
The winning home on Cedar Street in Houston’s Bellaire neighborhood is listed by realtor Lisa Kornhauser who works for the firm of John Daugherty Post Oak Realtors, who asked Showhomes to help him stage the million-dollar property. The English manor is 4,413 square feet and features four bedrooms, 3 1/2 bathrooms, a fire pit, outdoor kitchen and exceptional kitchen appliances.
Showhomes Home Staging specializes in helping realtors and homeowners sell homes by staging properties in such a way that prospective buyers can already imagine themselves living in the home.
“The key is to add little details,” says Matt Kelton, chief operating officer of Showhomes Home Staging, “Today’s Wall Street Journal by the coffee maker, slippers by the bed and fresh flowers on the dining room table make all the difference.”
CNBC’s Million Dollar Home Contest revealed a single multi-million dollar home in six different markets across the U.S.: Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Houston; New Haven, Conn.; and San Diego, Calif. The show aims to explore value in different markets and real estate trends in different regions of the country.
Not so, says Realtor Joe Finnerty, of Prudential Patt, White Real Estate. Finnerty and his clients encounter homes with dirty dishes in the sink and an overflowing cat litter box.
“A part of you wonders: Did the agent tell them what to do?” said Finnerty, who has an accredited home stager on his team. “I have heard sellers say before, ‘If somebody really wants the house, they will overlook that stuff.’ They won’t.”
Real estate agents and home stagers say the surefire way to sell your home fast is staging, either with the help of a professional or by following the simple, effective rules of the trade.
A house that sells fast is clean, clutter-free and looks well maintained. Staged homes sell for about 8 percent more money since they sell faster, Finnerty said.
Real estate agents and professional stagers alike agree the window to make a good impression is small. An effectively staged home allows potential buyers to envision moving right in.
“Allow the buyer to see the house, not the seller’s belongings,” advises Therese Kelley, president of the Lehigh Valley Association of Realtors.
Most buyers will first see your home online, so you want stellar photos that show all aspects of the house, said Nina Evangelista, owner of Staging It. She warns that clutter jumps out in photos.
“If they don’t like the pictures, they won’t call. The better the photos, the more traffic you will attract,” she said. “The more space and the cleaner the home appears, the faster the sale.”
If an online listing piques a potential buyer’s interest, most then hop in the car and drive by the home, Evangelista said. That’s why sellers need to evaluate their entire home with a critical eye starting with the view from the street.
Lawns should be well maintained, and if it’s spring or summer, plant flowers, Kelley said. In fall or winter, make sure leaves are raked and walkways shoveled. Give the front door a fresh coat of paint and put new numbers on the house.
“It makes the prospective buyer think they really took care of this home in other ways,” Evangelista said.
If the target buyer is a family with children, list your home in the spring, said Shoshana Gosselin, an interior designer and stager who owns Love Your Room. Families don’t want to uproot their children mid-school year, so they typically aim for a summer move.
The house should be spotless. Get carpets shampooed and drapes cleaned. Eliminate pet or food odors and send Fido to the neighbors. Ditch the tchotchkes and take down the personal pictures.
“If you go into a living room and the whole wall is covered in family photos, it’s hard to picture yourself there,” Finnerty said
Buyers are nosy
Prospective buyers aren’t like polite house guests, warns Gosselin. They will be looking in closets and storage spaces, so start packing and purging.
“You want them to open a closet and see how big it is, not all your shoes,” she said.
Replace dated light fixtures or draperies. Make sure light bulbs are all working and turn all the lights on before a showing, Kelley said.
“Little updates, details are what sell a home,” Gosselin said.
Has your wife been nagging you about that door that sticks for years? Chances are, Kelley said, buyers will notice that too. Save yourself the trouble and fix it before your home goes on the market.
Paint and carpet are two of the cheapest and biggest updates a seller can make. Slapping a fresh coat of paint on the wall has a 109 percent return on investment, Evangelista said. Stick to neutral colors and bring in pops of color with accessories, said Gosselin, who recommends Benjamin Moore Marble Canyon as a buyer-friendly paint color.
Solutions big and small
Fixes don’t have to be expensive.
Put that dated fire screen in storage and let the fireplace shine with a fresh stack of firewood, Evangelista said. Or swap out the kitchen hardware.
“You want to appeal to a vast amount of people,” Evangelista said. “Not to one small unique set of people.”
The return on investment for major updates like a new furnace or roof is tricky because buyers expect homes to have these things.
“If you pay $6,000 for a new roof, we can’t raise the price by $6,000,” Finnerty said. “It definitely makes it more appealing. If the roof is totally falling down, you will get every penny’s worth back.”
If you fear the age of your furnace could be an issue for potential buyers, Kelley suggests having it serviced and finding out the replacement costs since it will impact your bottom line. Savvy buyers check a unit’s service card, she said.
Real estate agents agree vacant homes are the hardest to sell. If the owners have moved out, Kelley and Finnerty strongly advise renting furniture and staging a home.
Stagers offer tiered services ranging from one-time consultations to total home overhauls with new furniture and accessories. One-time consultations typically result in a report with suggested updates.
If you can’t afford to hire a home stager, ask your real estate agent for help.
Know your target buyer and get your home ready for that person.
Eliminate niche and personal items from your home.
Rooms look smaller without furniture, so placing just a bed in a room helps buyers with scale.
Small, inexpensive updates can make a huge difference.
TAMPA, Fl. - The Spring and Summer months are traditionally home selling season, and prospective sellers are hoping to cash in on signs that the market is improving. But how do you separate your home for sale from all the others?
“It’s the art of decorating a home so that it sells at the highest price in the shortest amount of time,” said Ann Alderson of Staging South Tampa.You may want to consider staging your home.
It’s especially helpful with rooms that don’t quite fit the mold. You might turn an unusually small room into a home office, for example. It takes more than adding a desk to an office space. Stagers say adding particular objects can bring an emotional connection. A book, some greenery, or a touch of color can help a buyer fall in love.
“People associate psychologically, cooking in the kitchen, and family, so its warm and inviting,” said Saavedra, as she entered the kitchen of a home that had been recently staged. There are nicely placed kitchen tools, some greenery, even napkins and placemats in the dining area.
Sellers may put up some money to have the home staged, but it can pay off. Home seller David Riley is happy with his choice to stage the home he had for sale. He listed the home at many thousands more than he had planned, once it was staged. Within 48 hours, he said he had an offer that was several thousand dollars higher than his list price.
“It took it from an incredible house, to a very cozy warm home,” said Riley. “It was a total transformation.”
Experts say when staging your home, look for balance. Be careful not to cram too much in, or to put too little in for the right feel. Make sure home repairs are done, so that the home is in ‘move in’ condition. And don’t forget the importance of curb appeal. Add mulch, greenery, and even some color to make the home pleasing to the eye. The right touches can help you move your home more quickly, and often for a better price.