When invited to someone else’s home for the first time what we encounter first is the exterior of the house. Good curb appeal may welcome you. Then as one proceeds inside to greet the homeowners, have you ever commented using a variation of one of the following phrases?
“What a nice place you have”, “I love your décor” or “What a collection you’ve built of bat houses, coin boxes, figurines, tea cups, soda tops, wine corks, street car memorabilia, etc.…”, “Great photos of your family – didn’t know you had so many siblings and extended family!” “Wow, you have so many pets!”
The point? Displaying too much of a homeowner’s personal life and tastes is problematic when putting a home on the market. Although you may have painstakingly decorated the house with all of your favorite things and your family’s favorite paint colors such as Pepto pink bathroom for your little girl, and Epic Deep Dark shadow Black for your rebellious teen and race-car stripes for husband’s man cave is likely not going to go over as a fan favorite with most buyers checking out your house to purchase for themselves. “Why?” you may ask. You could argue that those beautiful and unique color palettes and one-of-a-kind knickknacks displayed around your dwelling is a true expression of who you are and you may indeed be quite proud of your surroundings – the bottom line is that the combined affect is a resoundingly clear personal to the owner feel. When others, namely potential buyers see a cluttered, overly decorated, high octane colored space, it SCREAMS that the place is “somebody else’s” – the very opposite effect that we as your realtors and listing agents desire. Our objective for our listing clients is to have their house picked up, decluttered, minimally decorated, light and bright – think “neutral” versus personalized. The house must show well to everyone who walks in – we want them to fall in love with it.
First-impressions are important as the well-known expression goes. In real estate, first expressions are critical as we have but a small window of opportunity to capture the intended audience’s attention and hold onto it. There are many houses vying for buyers’ precious time, attention and dollars. Regardless of the type of house, beach bungalow, brick ranch, craftsman, penthouse, luxury, or waterfront, STAGING a home to show it at its most optimal by doing the things mentioned here is essential to making a great first impression that lasts, an impression that is impactful enough to produce an offer on your home and ultimately a sale.
Having a house that is clean, that looks well maintained and cared for, smells fresh - which does not mean having heavily scented glade plug-ins permeating fragrances that can trigger headaches in many people – have the air free of cooking and pet odors. Eradicate the extra things in the house such as all the kids’ trophies, gun collections, too many family photos covering your walls and mantles, the throw rugs that do not match, stacks of mail and newspapers everywhere, toys strewn here and there, clothes sofas, laundry piled high, etc. You do not want to have anything that would make a prospective buyer leave the house before they fall in love with it. Make the house a space where a potential buyer can see their belongings in the rooms, where they can see themselves living.
Step back and think of all of the things that drew you to your home when you were the buyer. Is there something that is particularly special that you feel should be highlighted? Is there a great outdoor space with a fire pit or a Jacuzzi surrounded by willow trees that should be talked up? How about a study with cathedral ceilings and beams with amazing natural light? Are you located near a bird sanctuary where you have a sliver of nature that not many others have? These are the types of things you should share with one of us on the Choose A Home team so we can market the property in the multiple listing system to include the special characteristics of your home. Real estate agents searching the MLS for their clients may come across a highlighted characteristic that their client may be looking for and ask to see it! Exactly what we want.
If you require help with staging – there are staging professionals that can be called upon to service your needs. Obtaining a few quotes is a good idea as fees can vary greatly. As your realtor, Choose A Home team agents would also be able help with guidance before the house is shown to the public.
So, don’t wait another moment – Make your home sparkle!
By ~ Susan Kent (aka Agent Kent)
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