When you think of staging your property for sale, how much thought do you put into it, or do you?
Not all real estate agents provide staging as a part of their marketing, some include it at no charge to the home owner as part of their service to help show your property at its best. Just like they would hire a professional photographer. A very wise investment for those who are motivated to sell, whether your agent provides it or not and for a few hundred dollars, you can't afford not to, if selling price is a concern.
So, what do you look for in a home staging? I've heard comments from sellers about the staging services they received and they are not all positive. Were you presented with a couple of options or just one? Did you do your research? Ask your agent about who they use and do a bit of research. See what type of transformations they have completed and see if they are the right match for you.
What is important right out of the gate is to have an open discussion about your expectations. Let the home stager know what your thoughts are. Are you willing to leave it in their hands? Should I believe what they say? How much are you willing to do? This is where personality comes in as well as how good in planning you both are.
So, what happens if the home stager tells you that you need to pack away all your personal photos, they mention to you that your furniture does not show well? Do you get all defensive, do you tell them that you are not going to put those things away? We get emotionally attached to our things. Remember, you are selling your house, you are not erasing your memories. All the things you have will be going with you to your new home so packing those memories are an important step.
Your home is no longer a home, its now a house for sale, it's a piece for sale, it's probably your biggest asset. It's a structure for someone else to build their own lives and memories in. Let's be honest, your future buyers don't care about you and your family. If you can't get past this point, then you will risk leaving money on the table. If you can't understand this and accepting a lower offer showing your property "as-is" then that is your choice. Remember that you have competition.
What about if your house is dated? What if your carpets or floors are damaged? Are you willing to fix them? When people walk through your home and see this, right away they see it as an expense and will normally inflate the cost of what it actually cost to fix or replace. Don't give them the opportunity to start deducting this in their minds. As well, they see this as work. People today want move in ready.
Another thing to consider is what target market are you going for? Have you looked at all the on-line listings, what do others in your neighborhood offer. For example, all your competitors have updated kitchens and yours is dated. Do you settle for a lower offer based on this or do you step up to the plate and build equity to get to that price point? I suggest that you visit open houses to look around and get an idea as to what is out there. What are YOU competing against?
This is where planning in advance is important and needs to be done before you list with your agent. Agents are to be used to find buyers, get you the best offer and close the sale. It is up to you
to make the best first impression, not your agents responsibility.
When you look at home listings online, do you notice that the house looks like no one lives in it? Although there is furniture, it looks vacant and cold, it is not warm and inviting. This is what I called over-staged. Too much has been taken away. It does not invite people in, it does give you that feeling that you want to be there.
As well, you may notice that sometimes there is too much decoration. Have you seen full place settings at the dinner table? Who sets the table just for the fun of it? This is most likely that the homeowner did their own staging. They are not able to cut down on the items on display as each one is a love of theirs. This as well can negative effect your sale.
Are you ready to start planning your exit? Yes, I call it the Exit Strategy. It's better to start planning early that too late.
Areas I service include Barrie, Angus, Springwater, Wasaga Beach, Midland, Penetang, Orillia, Innisfil and Bradford. If you are out of this area, please contact me to discuss your location. I have completed assignments in other cities as well.