Home staging is often referred to as the lipstick of a home, it is not entirely a necessity but it can add 10X the appeal in terms of visual triggers. Especially considering the proven value it brings in selling a home by attracting more showings, minimizing the amount of time the home spends on the market, and maximizing the final sale price. Using professional staging as a marketing tool can be especially beneficial in down markets when a $2,000 staging package can save you $10,000 in price reductions. However, this attractive visual trigger can quickly become a deterrent. Much like lipstick stained teeth, certain things are never acceptable because you only get one chance for a first impression. Of course there are always exceptions, but these are the rules in avoiding disastrous home staging.
- The “Lived In” Look – No such thing exists in effective staging. The way you place the furniture to live in your home is much different than the way you place the furniture to sell your home.
- Severally Out Dated – Staging can be completed in many varying styles. However, if your home was built in 1960 and it has never had any interior upgrading, you are better off to allocate your staging dollars into getting rid of those shag carpet walls (Yes, they do exist!).
- Much Too Small – It’s not the size of the staging, but the size of the home that can be a deal breaker. If your home is less than approximately 800 square feet, you are better off to leave it vacant so that it is represented in its most spacious looking state.
- Lacking Cohesiveness – It is almost never necessary to stage every room in a home. You want potential buyers to draw inspiration from the rooms that are staged and still be able to view vacant rooms in order to visualize their own furniture. However, each staged room must be consistency in staging density, colours, and style. A flow during the walk-through must be evident, one way to achieve this is through the use of strategically chosen and placed accessories.
- The Cheaper Route – If you or the staging company you hired has a comforter laying over a set of cardboard boxes in the shape of a bed, save your money and leave it vacant. Bad staging is worse than no staging!
Contact award-winning REALTOR®, and the owner of www.upstaginginteriordesigns.com, Tanya LaRose for more information on how to effectively stage your home for a successful sale.
- Be Prepared – Attractive buyer’s hold the most power in any real estate transaction. These ideal buyer’s are pre-approved for a mortgage and have no other home to sell or have an accepted offer on their current home. By preparing accordingly, it increases your chances of getting the property you want on the terms you want.
- Be Watchful – Even in a down market, nice homes that are priced well do not last long. Your real estate agent can connect you to the MLS® system so that you will automatically receive new listings within a desired criteria. Receiving this information in real time will give you an upper hand over other competing buyer’s not utilizing an agent or this service. Combine this with a readily available real estate agent and you will secure your new home in no time!
- Be Informed – Before deciding on an amount to offer, you will want to know what other similar properties in the area have sold for so you are not overpaying. Real estate agents have such statistics at their fingertips, so be sure you discuss fair market value with your agent before submitting an offer.
- Be Strategic – Once you have found the property you would like to further pursue, find out how long it has been on the market and how many times it has been listed without selling in the last couple of years. This information is easily accessible to your real estate agent and is vital in negotiations.
- Be Creative – There is more than one way to increase monetary value in your real estate purchase than through price alone. If you are buying a house and the seller will not budge on price, your real estate agent can negotiate other inclusions such as a replacing old windows, re-shingling a roof, or improving another feature unique to the house. The implications of this negotiating technique can be tricky, so you will need to work closely with your real estate agent on this one.
For more information on how to successfully maneuver in a buyer’s market, contact Tanya LaRose with RE/MAX Saskatoon at 306-380-7325.
- Pricing Too High – You know it is too high, your REALTOR® told you it was too high, but you practice “the law of attraction” so you are convinced it will sell $25,000 above market value. Start out at the right price so you can avoid chasing the market which typically results in a lower selling price, especially in a smaller market.
- Shortcuts For Necessary Home Repairs – You may think you have a chance at fooling a potential first-time home buyer but shoddy repairs will not fool an expert home inspector. Hire a professional for repairs to ensure you are not giving the buyer viable reasons to request a price reduction.
- Refusing To Be Inconvenienced – Did you just work a 12 hour night shift? Do you have 6 children to clean up after? Are you extremely hungover? Regardless of the reason, it is important to ensure your home is clean and tidy prior to every showing. Additionally, please vacate the home for every showing!
- Disregarding Deadlines – Did you end up listing your family home in October when your REALTOR® advised you to list it 3 months prior to September to appeal to new families coming to the neighborhood for school? The entire process of selling a home is full of deadlines that can make or break a sale so be ready to cater to such timelines.
- Lacking/Incorrect Staging – Leaving your worn out sectional in the living room or a table set from the 70’s in the kitchen will only hurt the sale of your home. Cheap furniture will bring a cheap offer.
- Improper Lighting – If you leave the blinds drawn and have yet to replace 4 burnt out light bulbs, this may be effecting your home appeal. Most people want to live in a well-lit home.
- Too Personal – Do you keep hundreds of family photos or have a life-sized nude sculpture on display? You need to remove anything too personal or offensive and present a neutral palette to potential buyers.
- Bad Photography – Are the pictures advertising your home dark lit with a dog running through the house and the toilet seat up? The photos should be taken with minimal distractions, showcasing the homes best features, using correct angles, and retouched in editing.
- Stubbornness – Did you refuse an offer that was $2000 lower than your bottom line and the buyer walked away? Did you just buy that brand new freezer that the buyers are requesting to include in the purchase? Maintain flexibility when you enter into negotiations and remember the bigger picture which is getting rid of the first home so you can enjoy a new location!
- Sentimentalism – Selling your home can be one of the most emotionally charged tasks you will ever experience. Your home is full of precious memories that you will never get back but when you decide to sell your home you must also decide to let go of any emotional attachment you may have to the house.
- The Wrong Representation – Putting a sign on the front lawn does not sell a house. Make sure you talk to your REALTOR® about their sale strategies, social media presence, possible promotions, and how often they will be available to you.
- Minimal Online Presence – Nowadays the internet is the first place over 90% of buyer’s go to search for a home. A good REALTOR® will have a strong social media presence on multiple platforms, utilize Search Engine Optimization, and pay for ads.
- For Sale By Owner – Unless you want to wear a hat for the next month you probably should not cut your own hair just because you have your own scissors. The same goes for real estate, hire a professional for optimal results. You might be paying $15,000 in commissions but you may also be selling for $30,000 more than you would have without the expertise of a REALTOR®.
Home staging is an age old selling technique that is finally reaching mainstream media. Studies show that staged homes sell in a shorter period of time and for a higher amount than homes that are not staged. Both vacant and fully-furnished home can benefit from professional staging. It is important to know that staging does not cast a wide net hoping to attract random buyers. The following are areas that an effective consultation with a staging professional will result in:
- The staging must assess the style of the home to correctly coordinate it with appropriate furniture and accessories that will appeal the most to the target buyer.
- The staging will present a lifestyle to the target buyer that aligns with their needs, wants, and aspirations which results in more pliability during negotiations.
- The staging will present your home in the same way multi-million dollar companies sell their products, without lack, in an attractive manner ready to be marketed by your real estate agent through photography and showings.
- The staging will provide a warm and welcoming environment during in-person showings that will results in potential buyers falling in love with the home.
- The staging will include elimination of buyer deterrents such as dirtiness, clutter, repairs, updates needed, and smells (among other things) while replacing them with attractive items such as luxurious soaps, scented candles, and fresh flowers.
- You will hurt an agent’s feelings if you tell them you are already working to another agent. – When other agent’s approach you, the biggest courtesy you can show is by immediately making it clear that you already have representation. Additionally, you will sabotage your results if you attempt to work with several agents – nobody wins.
- Your agent gets a kick back from mortgage lenders, home inspectors, and other professionals they refer you to. – It is actually against the law for a REALTOR® to make any secret profit or receive remunerations from anyone other than their client without their client’s fully informed consent. The remuneration is prohibited from two sources: the other party to the transaction and a third party.
- If you pay less on commission, you will make more on your house. – Discount brokerages push this message but the truth is that the commission paid goes into the quality of advertising and expertise that is proven to bring higher offers. Like anything else, you get what you pay for.
- You will get a better deal if you buy directly from the seller’s agent. – Untrue. The seller’s agent is under fiduciary duties to protect the best interest of the seller. Although there is the option to agree to dual agency, you will most likely get a better deal if you have your own buying representation to negotiate on your behalf. Plus, you aren't responsible for the buying agent fees!
- Real estate agents say anything to make a sale – It is against the law for REALTORS® to make false statements or misrepresentations. By failing to disclose all material facts, the real estate agent is subject to punishment ranging from substantial fines to the loss of their license. Although there are bad apples in every bunch, any reputable agent will not risk this.