Homestaging: A Wise Investment for FSBO Listings

Homestaging: A Wise Investment for FSBO Listings

In today’s Staging a Home lesson we will turn our attention to the special needs of sellers pursuing a For Sale by Owner sales strategy.

If you will be selling your property yourself you will need to fill in some of the gaps that a real estate professional generally provides. Things you will need to purchase ala carte might include:

  • Legal assistance to understand local listing requirements and help you review purchase agreements when the time comes,
  • Advertising/Marketing
  • Advice about getting your property ready for sale

I can’t provide legal assistance or be much help with advertising or marketing but I would like to share a few ideas about getting the property ready for the market.

4 Good Reasons FSBO’s Need Professional Homestaging

In order for your property to appeal to buyers both on-line and in person you may need to make a few changes.  Deciding which changes are necessary can be a little tricky for a For Sale By Owner seller for the following reasons:

  1.  As a For Sale by Owner listing you will not be getting honest feedback from a real estate agent about the condition of your home.
  2. It is very difficult for sellers to critically evaluate their own homes.  I think it is a defense mechanism that we are born with.  We learn to not see every little flaw in our home while we are living there.  Maybe it’s Mother Nature’s way of ensuring that we can find a little peace and comfort in our homes.
  3. When you list with a real estate professional they often hold a Realtor Open House right before the property goes on the MLS.  The listing agent uses the realtor open house to collect feedback from his/her peers  on the condition of the property or the appropriateness of the asking price.  If real estate agents do come to your first open house, you can assume they are there to solicit your business. Telling you the nitty-gritty truth about the condition of your home or the appropriateness of your asking price is not likely to be forthcoming until you have a formal arrangement with them.
  4.  Relying on your friends and families to give you an honest assessment is risky too.  It is difficult for your friends and family to tell you that there is an off odor in your home, or that all your prized hunting trophies need to be removed and stored offsite.

Staging A Home is one of the best investments of time and money you can make when preparing your home for market. A small investment in professional home staging can make an amazing difference in the amount of traffic you get through your home.

Staging is also very affordable and can save you so much time.  How does it save you time? Your stager will help you zero in on the changes or fixes that will have the most impact on the sales process.  Sometimes people get bogged down doing things that really have little or no payback. A prioritized list will be a  huge time saver for you.

If you live in the Minneapolis St. Paul metro area and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your project. You can reach me at 651.587.5887 or contact me by email.

 

 

Is my Twin Cities, MN property too small to stage?

Is my Twin Cities, MN property too small to stage?

How To Sell A House Fast; Musings from A St Paul, MN Professional Home Stager (vol.6)

Today’s Topic:  Is Staging Just for McMansions?

In today’s How–To-Sell-A-House Fast lesson we will talk about which properties will benefit from a small investment in Home Staging.  In my opinion whether a house is listed for $98,000 or $598,000 doesn’t matter.  It will benefit from staging.

I am biased. I admit it. As a professional home stager working in the Minnesota Twin Cities metro area I would love to see each and every home that hits the market get staged to sell.

Of course some of that is self interest.  I am a business woman, I sell staging services and my bottom line would greatly benefit from home staging becoming a norm and an expectation in the Twin Cities community.

But, it is also my deep felt belief that home buyers are customers, and they expect and deserve to be treated with high regard and respect.  As customers we are use to having things presented to us in the most satisfying way possible.   We are accustomed to being marketed to and we have come to expect it.

As you prepare your property for the market place keep in mind that you are out to attract customers. Then think about what your customer wants and needs.

3 Things Customers Want and Need

  1. To be drawn in.  Most buyers select the properties they want to tour from on-line listings.  Vacant rooms or messy/cluttered rooms don’t appeal. No problem, a click of the mouse will move the buyer on to the next property.  Tiny vacant homes are at an even greater disadvantage.
  2. Assurance. Buying a home is a huge commitment.  No one wants to end up with a lemon and a nicely maintained and thoughtfully presented home looks like a safer bet.
  3. Pizzazz. A home that reflects us and the lifestyle we aspire to.

Stage your home for your customers.Think about this for a second.  If you were selling your 8 year old Toyota would you spend a little time and a little money getting it cleaned up and polished before presenting it to prospective buyers.  I would.  If a cleaned up Toyota could net me a quick sale and a more attractive price than a similar Toyota that had fast food wrappers lining the floor of the back seat I’d invest a little time and effort into its presentation.  The point is, the asset doesn’t have to be the most expensive option in the marketplace to deserve a little TLC.

Another benefit of me investing a little time and money is that I know that buyers will automatically assume that my cleaned up Toyota was given better care over the course of its life than the messy Toyota my competitor is selling. Because it looks nice, buyers will assume that I had the oil changed regularly, that I invested time and money in its maintenance. People that come to see my car will feel much more confident making me an offer.

Some years ago it was assumed that only million dollar properties needed to be staged.  But times have changed.  Younger buyers are entering the market in droves right now to pick up value priced starter homes.  This generation has been exposed to slick marketing techniques since birth and put high value on first impression and how something reflects their desired lifestyle.  A vacant home will not talk to this audience.

Sometimes a really small homes
needs staging more than the McMansion does.
Without props a very small bedroom can be impossible for some buyers to visualize as large enough for their bed.

Consider staging it to meet your customer’s expectations and you will find that your property will sell fast and at the best possible price.

So now you know how to sell your small home FAST…You Stage it!

If you live in the Twin Cities metro area and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your project.   If you have questions relating to this post, please drop me a comment and I will do my best to respond quickly. You may contact me by email or call me at 651.587.5887.

There are more articles about How to Sell a Vacant Home through Staging on Christi’s blog.

Kitchens Sell Homes…Or Not

Kitchens Sell Homes…Or Not

How To Sell A House Fast; Musings from A St Paul, MN Professional Stager (vol. 4)

Today’s Topic:  7 Tips for Staging Your Kitchen

In today’s How To Sell A House Fast lesson we will turn our attention to staging the heart of the home, the hub of the home, the most expensive room in your house for a buyer to renovate…the kitchen. 

how to sell your house fast by staging the kitchenKitchens are super important and weigh heavily on a prospective buyers decision to put in an offer on a piece of real estate or to pass it up.  It is a room that is used constantly and home owners also know that a renovation can be very expensive.

Even if your kitchen isn’t ever going to make the cover of House Beautiful you need to spend time getting it in the very best shape that you can. You may be asking; why should I bother staging this old kitchen? Sometimes the goal of staging is to show prospective buyers that they can live with the kitchen for a couple years while they get themselves finally settled into their new home.

Follow These 7 Tips To Get Your Kitchen Ready To Sell    

  1. Clean it top to bottom. Clean everything, the light fixtures, the inside of the oven, the refrigerator inside and out.  This step is super affordable and non-negotiable. If your home will be vacant while it is on the market this step becomes even more important.
  2. If your cabinets are in good shape, but the hardware is dated, change out the knobs to get a fresh new look.
  3. Clear the counters of almost everything.  You can leave a few things out such as a set of knives, a coffee maker, or a beautiful cookbook, but mostly you want counter tops cleared off.  Buyers want to see lots of prep space and desire very organized kitchens.
  4. Purge the cabinets and pantry of out of date food that you will not use and you will not move.
  5. Critically evaluate the number of pots and pans you really need on hand.  If your cabinets are crowded, weeding out the extras in this category is always a good place to begin.
  6. Check for unpleasant odors.  One of the biggest offenders is the cabinet where the giant bag of dog food is stored. You might want to move Fido’s food to a sealed container in the garage while your property is on the market.
  7. Check on the adequacy of lighting.  Buyers want bright light in the kitchen

So now you know how to sell your home FAST…You Stage it!

If you live in the St. Paul area and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your project.   If you have questions relating to this post, please drop me a comment and I will do my best to respond quickly. You may contact me by email or call me at 651.587.5887.

Staging Your Bathroom on a Budget

Staging Your Bathroom on a Budget

How To Sell A House; Musings from A St Paul, MN Professional Stager (vol.1)

Today’s Topic:  Staging Your Bathroom

Wondering how to sell your home quickly and for top dollar?  STAGE IT!  Real estate staging is all about teaching you how to sell a house in the shortest amount of time, and at the most attractive price.

Home Staging definition: (verb) The act of making a home look visually appealing to buyers. 

In today’s How To Sell A House lesson we will turn our attention to staging the bath.

Since buyers know that a bathroom remodel is both expensive and inconvenient, it is in your best interest to do everything you can, within your budget and time constraints, to stage your bath to appeal to the maximum number of buyers.

Bathrooms are very important to buyers.  At this stage of the game you probably can’t do anything about the number of bathrooms in your home, but the condition of the bathrooms you do have can be greatly improved with property staging.

Remodeling your bathroom for under $199.00If you need inspiration, or proof that a small investment of time and money can deliver amazing results you should check out Cathy’s  project where she details step-by-step how she completed a bathroom facelift in one weekend for under $199.  Fabulous!

Six Bathroom Staging Tips

I’m going to teach you how to sell a house one room at a time…today’s lesson is staging the bathroom

  1. Make sure that all the finishes in the bathroom match. If they don’t match you will want to replace the mismatched items.
  2. Put away personal items such as toothbrushes, brushes, makeup, razors.  Buyers don’t like to think about someone else using the bathroom.  You want them to be imaging themselves in the space, not you.
  3. Fresh towels and lots of them are always appealing.  If your shower curtain and rugs have seen better days replace them too.
  4. If your vanity is dated, or water has damaged the finish consider painting it.  A coat of paint and new knobs can completely transform the look of the room.
  5. Clean the bath until it sparkles.  I think Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are incredible.
  6. If the paint color is bold, dated or in bad condition take care of it.  The new neutrals aren’t cream and white.  You don’t have to go boring to go neutral.

If you live in the St. Paul area and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your project.   If you have questions relating to this post, please drop me a comment and I will do my best to respond quickly. You
may contact me by email or call me at 651.587.5887.