When it comes to selling a home, a picture is worth a thousand words. With the Internet being the premier place to pre-scout a property, making sure it’s presented in its best light is paramount for gaining actual foot traffic, and ultimately, an offer. The problem most sellers have though, is that they don’t see their homes objectively. Hiring a home stager is a worthwhile investment that may enable sellers to attract a buyer more quickly and sell their house for top dollar.
Patricia Justice, owner of Home Staging by Patricia, has built a career out of helping stage and style homes for sale. “Staged homes typically sell within 2 – 6 weeks,” shared Patricia, “versus an unstaged home which may sit on the market for six months or longer.” And as anyone who has bought real estate knows, the longer a property sits, the more potential buyers wonder, “What is wrong with it?”
As a home staging expert, Patricia knows that some sellers are reluctant to invest more money in a home they are leaving. However, she knows that in most cases, for every $100 invested in staging, a seller’s average return on investment almost quadruples. After all, buyers are looking for move-in-ready properties. Setting the stage so a potential buyer can “envision” themselves in the house is a key first step. Patricia recommends going to a real estate website and browsing similar homes for sell in your area. What do the photos show? Clutter? Too many personal effects? Loud or untraditional colors on the wall? Use this exercise as a mirror to evaluate the changes you may need to make to your home before you list it.
The 2008 crash that hurt the real estate market hasn’t fully recovered. Houses still aren’t selling for what they were, but with a professional’s help, sellers may realize a bigger bang for their buck when it comes to getting an offer. “A seller needs to try to emotionally disconnect from a home before they even list it,” said Patricia. “If a seller is serious about selling a property, then they have to look at it not as a home, but as a piece of merchandise.”
Patricia Justice is a certified Home Staging and Redesign Specialist. Visit Home Staging By Patricia online at HomeStagingByPatricia.com or call 434.944.9686.
Patricia shares some key things to getting a home ready for market:
- Declutter, declutter, declutter. Take about half of everything in your home and either get rid of it or store it – cabinets and closets included.
- Take down and store all personal photos. People looking for a home want to envision themselves in your home, and it is not helpful when they see pictures of people they don’t know “hanging around.” Also, store personal collections. If you have a curio cabinet or shelf full of “cutesies” that reflect your personal interest and style, please store them.
- Update! How old is your paint? How old is your carpeting, roof, and HVAC system? People today do not want a fixer-upper; they want move-in ready. If someone wants a fixer upper, he or she will expect a fixer-upper price.
- Clean the home – spotless! Remove pet smells and stains. It is a no-brainer to be sure your home looks and smells clean and spotless.
- Curb appeal. First impressions are critical. Your home should say “welcome,” and if your home doesn’t look inviting from the street, you may have just lost a prospective buyer.