Thursday, June 9, 2011

Home staging for a faster sale

Staged-livingRoom2Image by dawnella66 via Flickr

Home staging in a soft market with more sellers than buyers takes a strategy that is both effective and aggressive. It is hard to “dress” your home to suit the unknown and remove so much of your tastes in the process. However, failing to take the necessary steps can only hurt your chances at having your home sell and for the right price it is a must.

Pair down personal collections and photos
A buyer has got to envision themselves in your home. Every trinket, or photo of family member is a reminder to buyer that this is not their home. The buyer has to be able to connect and bond with what they see. Know your market and your buyer. If you have a large home, your target buyer will be families that are probably purchasing their second home.

Show your square footage off
Revealing square footage translates into value to the buyer. Floor space needs to be seen and easily navigated. Too much furniture, even if it is attractive and looks lovely can gobble up the amount of space the buyer sees. This then is interpreted as less space instead of more. Limit the amount of area rugs you have if you have hardwoods. The buyer needs to see your hardwood floors. Too many area rugs whether on hardwood or carpeting suggests that there could be something under the rug that the seller doesn't want the buyer to see, damaged flooring, or a stain. If you have damaged flooring, or stains, take care of them before placing your home on the market. Worse case scenario, be prepared to either knock some off your asking price, or offer an allowance to the buyer for new flooring.

No puppy surprises
Pets and their belongings need to be removed during showings. Litter boxes, pet beds, feeding dishes all have to moved during a showing. Consider temporarily keeping these things in your garage area or have your pet stay with family. Many buyers could be allergic, or sensitive to the smells of a pet that you may not notice. You want your buyer to leave with a good taste, er, smell in their nose. Make sure to regularly clean your linens, drapes and carpeting. Use fabric fresheners, and baking soda often to eliminate smells you have become immune to.

Take it away
Staging isn't about adding to as much as it is about taking away, so anything you don't need should be packed away and moved into storage. You'll be glad you took care of that before the sale of your home because you can move out in a more timely fashion.

Dated means less profit
Be prepared, old appliances, dated furniture, and old fixtures will certainly speak in a loud voice to your buyer, you may have to factor that into the price of your home and remember your competition is new housing as well. Old appliances say to a buyer, “you're going to have spend more money on this house than the asking price.” Most buyers aren't keen on having to fork out more money right off the bat. If you can't afford to replace these items, make sure they are in good working order and very clean.

Pricing to sell
Pricing too high will only cause your home to sit longer on the market. Savvy buyers are looking and will know how long your home has been listed and use it to their advantage. Make sure your home is well cleaned ahead of time. If you need help hire extra help, better to spend a little to make a little more than to neglect things and have it come off your asking price. As the buyer takes note of your price drops, they will make the assumption that there are problems with the home in general. The first question they will ask themselves is, “wonder what is wrong with that home, it isn't selling..” This is the last thing you want a potential buyer to say.
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