Staging is not only the candles and scents. The real meat and potatoes is creating the best look of a salable product. You only have one first impression. If a buyer thinks the room looks dated or small – they shut their minds to any possibilities. Buyers buy what they see now. If you want top dollar – don’t say “they can always change that.” Don’t kid yourself. Either they won’t do it or they will start deducting from their offer price. And they will OVERdeduct.
With all the distressed properties out there, this is the golden opportunity for individual “move-in ready” sales. Some people don’t want a fixer upper. But be mindful of the price. Don’t overdue for the area and the price. Price is still a very very important thing.
Here are a few of the biggest nonos that prevent sales or drive down the price.
1. That was Then. This is now. Your home is competing with new homes and rehabbed homes. If you want to compete, you need to bring in the new. Updating your home can include cosmetic items that can be economical and easy to replace. Light fixtures, window treatments, bedding, even furniture needs to be considered.
2. “People will want to paint their own colors so why bother” or “My walls are white – everyone likes that – it’s a clean slate.” WRONG. Paint is cheap. Labor is cheaper (do it yourself). If you do nothing else before a sale – put on a fresh coat of neutral but warm paint. You may love your colors – buyers may not. Darker bold colors are great, but it makes rooms look small. And white is not a neutral. You want your rooms to look fresh , clean and warm. White is not warm – it is cold and institutional. And white is rarely clean. It does not create the right look. Light caramel colors, camels, any warm tan or beige family does the trick.
3. Toooo much personality. We all love our things. If we didn’t – we wouldn’t have them. But too much of your personality with picture frames, collectibles, mementos and just knickknacks can distract and even make buyers uncomfortable. You want them to picture themselves in a home. As a rule – box em up – put them away or get rid of at least 30% of the things you have out. It makes for a lean and clean look. Then the buyer can see what you are selling – the home.
4. Square footage = money. Floor space = square footage. Too much furniture=no sale or less sale. The way you show a home for sale is not the way you live. You may need a dresser, armoire, and chest of drawers to accommodate your clothes, but if it stuffs the room – the room looks small. You may need seating for 10 in your family room, but if the buyers can’t see the floor or move around – again the room looks small and awkward. Streamline the room with the essentials. Pack the rest away in a storage container or sell it if you don’t need it. The more floor space you have and still be able to live in the home reasonably – that is the right balance for maximum sale.
5. Put a little elbow grease in it. It seems simple, but it is often forgotten. Keep the house clean and tidy, clean out closets – don’t stuff them. Clean the carpets. Give the house the white glove test. And above all – finish all those “honey-do projects.” Unrepaired and unkept homes don’t sell. It may not bother you, but you are not buying the home. Don’t let something that small stand in the way of your goal – a successful sale.
I am a broker owner, but I also have merchandised and staged builder model homes for over 15 years to sucessfully sell them. Call 888-788-9544.