May 24 2017 To Stage Or Not To Stage

Dated: 05/24/2017

Views: 168

To stage or not to stage, is a question that affects every seller. I have been in the business for over 25 years and in almost every sale, staging made a big difference both to the sale price and to how quickly the home sold. So what is "staging a home"? The three factors that control the sale of a home are location, price and condition.  The right staging is all about improving condition - cleaning, organizing, de-cluttering and de-personalizing  all go a long way to ensuring a faster sale. Only in an extreme seller's market will a buyer ignore and still put in a top priced offer immediately on a home requiring a lot of work.  Staging helps the buyer see your home in it's best light. 

A seller may not realize that there is more to do to prepare a home for sale than signing a listing agreement and putting a For Sale sign in the yard.  From both a designer and a real estate agent's perspective  sometimes we have to let potential sellers know things like:  their home has unpleasant odors, or that the closets and cupboards need a complete overhaul, or perhaps decisions need to be made to invest a few dollars in repair on the front end to max out sale dollars at closing. Many Buyers won't look past the clutter and neglect and if they do, they will often offer significantly lower than expected. This is why the right agent, one who knows how to stage a home or who has easy access to a great stager, can make all the difference to your bottom line when selling your home.

Here are some simple things that you can do to get ready to sell:

A) Call or email me to get my "Getting Your Home in Top Selling Condition" checklist.

B) Make each room appear more spacious. Be 100% committed  to the fact that you will be moving. Start going through each room especially closets and cupboards. Have three categories: 

  1.  What is to be thrown away

  2.  What to donate

  3.  What needs to be packed away (this includes all off season clothes, extra toys, books, dishes that you aren't using)

 C) Only keep out those items that will enhance the sale, not detract from it.  (Ultimately, if your garage is so full that you can't park a car in it - you might seriously consider ordering a POD to store things that are packed and which you have no immediate need for. The best part of doing this is that it makes your current home so much easier to keep up, it appears so much more spacious to Buyers and best of all you are way ahead of the  dreaded packing!) 

 D) While you are packing away your "extras", it is a great time to put away your personal effects and expensive items. The goals here are to create the atmosphere of a model home, so the Buyers are looking at your home's bones instead of your "stuff".  It is also important to pack away your most precious items. I have never run into the experience where something has been stolen, from a showing or Open House and I never want to - and nor do my Sellers.

 E) Make your front walk and front door totally inviting: imagine what a buyer would be thinking as they walk from the car to your front door. Speaking of your front door - the Buyer often stands there for a few moments until the door is opened.  Pretend you are the Buyer - do this walk - what do you see, smell and hear? This might be your best chance for a great first impression! I usually recommend at the very least, a scrub down of the entire area and a tidy of the landscaping. Often a nice planter at the front door area brings additional color.

 F) Ensure there is a lot of light in each room: make sure all the light bulbs are working, Sometimes you may need to replace light bulbs with the highest and safest wattage. Trim back hedges or shrubs to let light in and open all the blinds. It never hurts to have ALL the lights on for showings ( including the outside lights).

 G) Clean, clean and clean - pay special attention to the areas that influence Buyers the most. The entryway will serve as their first impression, as well the bathrooms, Master Bedroom and especially the kitchen. If your painted walls are damaged, chipped and faded - never underestimate a coat of fresh paint in a very neutral color. This is especially true when rooms have been painted very bright or dark colors - keep thinking model home - there is a reason they are so neutral in color - we want the Buyer to see past the color of the walls.

 H) Create curb appeal. Keep your lawns mowed and edges tidy. Add some new bark mulch to the garden beds, trim the plants so they look the best. Remove the unwanted stuff around the outside of your home and make sure the fence is in good repair. 


Once you are ready, together we will go through your home and set your furniture so that it accents your home. I will show you some tricks to make your beds look more "show home" like, your kitchen more inviting,and  the general feel and flow of your home more open and relaxing. We will accent your counters, walls  so that the Buyer will spend more time engaged with thinking about your home as a potential purchase. Not all agents offer this service. I do and will support you through the entire process. The condition  of your home can make a huge difference in the  selling price  - and together we can put your home in the best light. 

If you are thinking of selling your home - call Debbie Stevens  for a no cost staging consultation 352-328-9763


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