Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Staging is for everyone

When something if familiar, we tend to take it for granted and stop seeing it as clearly. This is a fact that home sellers need to be aware of.

When you are selling your home, consider having an extra set of eye walk through to look for the things your might not notice any more. Perhaps the friend who seems to have the Midwest Living quality home can give you some advice. Consider a staging consultation, offered free for all of our sellers.

If you can, hire a professional staging service. The costs to modernize window treatments, paint colors and art work can be minimal, and the payback in higher selling price and quicker selling time can be enormous. Some people also consider furniture rental for vacant homes; this can turn vast empty spaces into a home the buyers can see themselves living in. The cost of professional staging services is often less than you think. One nearby company lists costs as $195 for a do it yourself guide filled with suggestions of things like paint colors and where to put your furniture. A complete home staging using your furnishing runs $595 to $895 (furniture and accessory rental extra). According to industry data, staged homes spend 80% less time on the market, and staging costs have up to a 578% return on investment.

If a professional stager is not in your budget, there are still some simple things you can do to help your home show better:
  • Remove all the personal photographs. You love to see your wedding photo, your children and grandchildren, but the goal is to have buyers see themselves in your home. Your family's faces on the wall tells the buyer this is your home, not theirs.
  • Declutter. You are moving, right? So pack away the knick knack collections. Clear the appliances and papers off the kitchen counters. Have the entry areas clear inside and out.
  • If your furniture is older or dated, invest in some modern slip covers to freshen them up.
  • Remove any dated window coverings and replace them with more modern pieces. This can be done inexpensively by shopping discount stores or even the local Swiss Colony outlet store.
  • Put away the silk flower arrangements and replace them with a few real plants throughout your home. Don't go for a jungle, but a few glossy green plants or succulents in the kitchen and living spaces can modernize things.
  • Take a weekend to fix the little things: broken light switches, door latches, holes in the walls, off-track sliding doors, missing trim pieces, etc. Invest in a little paint to freshen up any dated color schemes or spongepainting.
  • Buyers will see everything, so make sure your home is clean for every showing. The bathroom should sparkle, the corners of the rooms should be dust-free, windows should be free from little handprints.
Staging can be time and money very well spent, making a difference in how quickly your home sells and how much your home sells for.

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