What is the number one rule of real estate? Location, location, location. We take the opinion that when selling a home there are four factors you need to be aware of: location, marketing, pricing, and staging. The scariest thing about these four factors? You only have control over one of them.
Location: Since you cannot physically move your home, location is the most important factor. You might have a great lot until the city decides to expand a road cutting your yard in half. You could have the best school assignment until the city redistricts. Location is all about the physical location of your home and why someone would want to choose that area
Marketing: This is the reason you hire an agent. An effective agent should be your marketing partner who brings solutions about how to maximize the exposure of your home. This could include photography, brochures, flyers, ect. Additionally, you want to ensure that your agent is monitoring your showings, not just physically but also the internet traffic. You are entitled to know what your agent is doing to market your home.
Price: Contrary to popular belief, neither you nor your agent set the price for your home. Price is set by the market. Everyone wants to price their house correctly and receive the highest price for their home. An experienced agent will review the comparative properties, calculate price per square foot and be able to substantiate the recommendation they offer, however the market will set the price. Both buyers and sellers should be aware of changing market trends to maximize their investment.
Staging. This is the one area where a homeowner has complete control (although your agent will be sure to offer suggestions). While a home should be where you feel comfortable, when you are trying to sell your home that house transitions from your home to your prospective buyer’s new potential home. This is an important differentiation and for some clients it is one of the most difficult parts of selling their home. Here are some quick tips to help get you started:
-Color: The old adage of a neutral color palette is not necessarily true anymore, but keep in mind that the purple you love in your kitchen might be giving a buyer a reason to say no rather than yes. Focus on broad appeal.
-Personal Photographs: It is OK to keep some photographs, but a buyer traditionally does not want to see a photo history of their seller’s life on display. Keep a few mementos but get a jumpstart on packing by putting the rest away.
-Countertops: Do you use your Kitchenaide mixer every day? Let a buyer see how big the counters are rather than seeing home much stuff they can hold.
-Floors: Flooring is hot right now and buyers love floors. Pulling up an area rug can make a room seem bigger, brighter, newer, and more modern.
-Focal Point: Each room should have a focal point, or something to catch the attention. Look at most Great Rooms and you see furniture oriented around the fireplace. Arrange your rooms so that it directs attention towards the focal point and put something interesting there.
-De-Clutter: This is the number one conversation we have. De-clutter. Put things in storage or the garage. Someone cannot admire your home if all they see is your stuff.
Feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to start? Working with a stager can be rewarding but be prepared for a potentially emotional experience. Statistically speaking, our clients who use professional stagers experience fewer days on market and higher closed prices than those who do not.
And if you do not want to hire someone? That’s OK, too. You can be your own stager. The best advice we give to clients is to go to someone else’s house and walk through it as if you are going to buy it. Does the staging of the home make you more or less interested in the home? This is how your potential buyer will be viewing your home. Finally, your agent will always be more than happy to offer their opinion. Work with a trusted advisor who can help you present your home in the best way to get the results you seek!