Selling your Home – Advice from a Real Estate Stager

If you ask a room full of realtors (hold the jokes) what makes a house sell, you will get one of two answers; location, location, location or price, price, price.  I think there is another answer to that question that may be even more important; condition, condition, condition.

Nothing turns away buyers quicker than a house in bad condition.  Buyers will be willing to try to negotiate price or forgive a less than stellar location if a house is in good shape.

So, if you’re thinking of selling your home, let’s talk about things to do to get it in top selling shape.

  • Curb appeal.  If the buyer drives up to your house and keeps on going, it’s going to be very hard to sell.  The number one thing you need is a fresh coat of paint.  Don’t forget the front door!  Popular colors for the front door are red, rust, eggplant and black.  Make sure that the yard is kept mowed, trimmed, weeded and watered.
  • Now that we have the buyers in the house, let’s make sure we close the sale.  Again, overall condition is critical.  Have the walls and trim painted.  You don’t have to go with white or beige, just pick nice neutral colors that appeal to everyone.  Remember, the idea is to have buyers imagine living in your house.
  • Edit, edit, edit.  When a house is cluttered or has too many personal belongings, a buyer can’t see the house and it’s features.  Be brutal when editing a house.  Err on the side of sparse, you can always add a little decoration back in if it becomes too stark.
  • Make sure that each room reflects its’ original purpose.  Don’t turn a dining room into an office, it just confuses buyers.  You never want a buyer to have to guess what a room is supposed to be, or worse to leave your house and not realize that it has just what they need.
  • Buyers respond to a house with all of their senses.  Once you have it looking good, make sure it also smells good (no pet or cooking odors), and sounds good (soft music).  Buyers will touch items in your house, so make sure everything is clean and sticky free.  If a buyer wants to taste your house, I don’t know what to tell you.

The most important thing to remember:  Once you decide to sell your home, it stops being your home and becomes a product.  Always be thinking about what you can do to make sure that your product is the one that sells first.