Today’s buyers are looking for turnkey homes; they want to move straight in without having to do a lot of work. Buyers with busy lifestyles pay a premium for properties that are in prime condition. Staging can make the difference between a listing selling or not, the time it takes to sell, and the ultimate sale price.
Vendors who are selling for financial reasons often have a hard time accepting that they’ll need to invest some money to prepare a house for sale even if it means selling for less than they paid. ‘Fix-up’ costs can mount up; your agent can help you prioritize so that you don’t waste money. It’s important to keep your goal in mind, which is to sell your house in a difficult market.
It’s a cliché – you only have one chance to make that first impression. Curb appeal is the most important part of a property viewing. Clean the main entrance door, mow the grass, tidy the garden, pull out all of the weeds and have some bright flowers as you approach the entrance. Then move on to the interior.
Lynn Usher, Sales Manager at
After months on the market with no significant interest, their agents our instructions the sellers pulled the house off the market and made improvements. The house was painted from top to bottom lightening the whole interior and a professional stager was hired to bring in furniture, artwork, house plants and accessories. The listing was put back on the market with a fresh look and sold right away.
Listings staged by a good decorator view well and often sell quicker; you don’t need to spend a lot to put your home into shape for marketing. Most homeowners have too many personal possessions in their home from a sale point of view. De-cluttering is something most sellers need to do; this enables a potential buyer to envisage the surroundings with their own possessions – giving a feeling of comfort.
De-cluttering can generate uncomfortable emotional responses; it’s not bad to start the detachment process prior to the addition of a sold sign!
Consider hiring someone to help you sort, pack, donate and recycle items that you no longer want. Your real estate agent should be able to recommend someone who can help you clear your house of clutter if you are overwhelmed by the project.
Your agent, or stager, may ask you to put away collections of art, personal photos, etc. This can be difficult for most sellers because, for them, it’s part of the emotional appeal of their home. Your house won’t look like your home after you’ve removed personal possessions and moved what’s left around to display the house to its best advantage.
That’s the point of the preparation process. You don’t want prospective buyers focusing in on your personal property; you want them to focus on the house. Keep in mind that how you live in your home and how it should look when it goes on the market are not the same.
Some sellers complain that their house looks too stark without all their possessions. Even so, it helps you to detach yourself emotionally from the property. Also, less personal property usually gives homes a more spacious feel. When buyers are looking for the most for their money, bigger is usually better.
To close the deal, a listing should be spotless and inviting. Bring in new house plants to put in strategic locations, like orchids in the bathrooms. In dark spots that need a dash of warmth and color, use bougainvillea!
For more advice on staging your property for sale,