How to Sell Your Own Home – Part 2 – Staging
Part 2 – Staging Sells Your Home Fast.
In 2009 many people began a business in real estate sales by selling their own house. Today, (2010) many of these same people are still trying to sell that first home. The market is tough and with so many homes on the market, today’s buyer is looking for an extraordinary home at a reasonable price, not an ordinary home at an extraordinary price. If you are a For Sale by Owner seller who is not partnering with a REALTOR®, this article will provide you with some guidelines that will help speed the process up and make your home extraordinary.
For example, using our checklist as a guide, the first task after setting the proper price, (see article 1) is preparing your home to sell or “staging.”
Before we get into the heart of staging, we need to discuss disclosure. Staging does not mean hiding. As the seller, you should be aware that the seller’s disclosure of material facts is an important part of a real estate transaction. We suggest you first get your home inspected by a licensed home inspector. Make sure that your home is termite free, and has good plumbing; water quality, lead, radon, septic tank, asbestos, electricity.
If you are partnering with a REALTOR®, they will know of a professional who is reliable and experienced. If you are going strictly on your own, you can look up their listings in the phone book under Home and Building Inspectors. Beware however. Anyone armed with a “do it yourself” book and a business license can call themselves a home inspector. Some states do not require the inspector to pass a test or be certified. Make sure that you them through the Better Business Bureau. Ask for their credentials and verify references. It’s a little effort that results in maximum benefits.
As we discussed in the last article on “Setting the Price,” the first thing to remember in selling your home fast is to highlight the best parts of your home. Remember – “first impression” is important. Just because many of you are still living in the home you are selling, it doesn’t mean that the home has to appear “lived in.”
Make your home attractive to a potential buyer by making sure the first view is their most attractive view. Walk to the street in front of your home and turn around. What do you see? Be honest with yourself; would you pay the price you’re asking. Is the lawn cut, curb edges manicured?
Are the bushes trimmed? Is the paint fresh or chipped and fading? Has the roof seen better days; missing shingles or curled up in spots? Are windows broken, screens missing? Is there clutter everywhere, bikes and toys lying all over? Are fences down or missing slats or links? Are walkways broken, cracked or missing? To answer the obvious question here – NO, the new buyer does not want to do those repairs themselves, no matter how attractive the price is.
Ok, assuming the outside checklist is finished, walk inside the home, with that same critical eye and notepad in hand. Make sure the inside of your house is attractive. A well decorated home, with freshly washed or painted walls and clean carpets, with furniture neatly arranged, will sell faster and for more money than one that looks “lived” in. De-personalize the home. Get rid of the personal mementos and wall decorations, sports plaques or your child’s finger painting you have tacked onto the refrigerator as well as un-clutter and re-arrange desk(s) and bookshelves.
Clean the kitchen and bathrooms until they shine. These are the two most critically looked at areas of the house, right after the living room. If you have problems doing this, you may need to hire a home stager and a professional cleaning crew so that your home will look organized, clean and tidy.
After your home is in its best performance, you can also hire a professional photographer to take some great pictures of your home. Why you ask? Because in today’s market, many home buyers and their buying broker, look for houses on the web first.
If you belong to a FSBO service, they usually have a spot for you to put pictures of the home. Do not trust this requirement to your trusty digital camera you got for Christmas. Get a professional who knows real estate sales. Remember that first impression is an important thing, how can you sell your home fast if your home itself does not look attractive on the web. You want them willing to see your home after they have viewed the pictures you put up..
After all those things set, you can start to make an “open house.” Open houses should be scheduled on the time in which your home shows its best performance or condition. For example, if you have a beautiful garden, show it off during the morning before the flowers start to wilt. If there’s one thing that you love most about your home, be sure to share it with potential buyers, but don’t hover. Let the potential buyers look for themselves. Let them ask questions and answer them honestly but then shut up. As a professional REALTOR® who partners with FSBO sellers, I have seen more first time sellers talk the customer out of buying, than I have ever seen them talk one into buying.
With today’s influx of foreclosures, if you need to sell your home fast, you may need some help from a professional in order to take advantage of their buyers list and their nationwide marketing.
If you are partnering up with the services of a real estate firm, your REALTOR® will be able to help you determine what needs to be repaired or corrected.
In conclusion, selling your home fast by yourself is not an impossible task. Those expenses you will incur to freshen up the home are worthwhile when compared to the money gained in the sale.
By Hans Rosielle – GRI
Property Mill Real Estate Group LLC
A Fixed Fee REALTORS® Guide for the FSBO Seller.