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The Way you live in a home and the way you sell your house are two very different things!

Authored: Christine Rae
Publisher: Port Dalhousie Peer

Your house is probably your largest asset, selling it can be one of the most important decisions in your life.

If you want to ensure your house sells fast and for top dollar you may consider a new idea… "Home Staging" or "preparing a home for sale".

When you list a house for sale it becomes a product. Just like other commodities for sale, your house must be seen in order for it to SELL. To sell quickly, it needs to stand out from similar products in the marketplace. Staging a property is a smart investment, sends the message of a well cared for home.

By creating a series of first impressions, & showcasing your home's best features, the buyer connects emotionally & is able to visualize living there.

Why is staging important to sellers?
Today's buyer is interested in moving into a home that does not require any "move-in repairs". They do not want to patch or paint the inside or do landscaping on the outside. Today's buyer is busy, usually two-income, needing to quickly get on with their lives. Smart buyers look for a house that is "move in ready" in all aspects; a staged home is just that. When the house is staged, the realtor has the option to put a "styled home" sign under the FOR SALE sign. A savvy buyer will ask to see a staged home first, knowing that it will show best, saving time and effort.

Generally, when buyers arrive to view a property, they have established it meets their basic criteria. Staging the house creates a series of great impressions throughout the home, motivating the buyer to linger; move in-not on!

What is the ultimate goal of staging? What feeling should be conveyed? Why is it important to stage both the inside and outside of the home?

The ultimate goal of staging, is to place the home in the best showcase condition, so it sells at the best possible price in the shortest possible time.

The feeling to convey is de-personalized and de-cluttered, so the potential buyer can see the house and its features, not the current homeowners "stuff"; the best view of each room, the best traffic pattern through the home, the best curb appeal. Any realtor will tell you there are times when a potential buyer will not even get out of the car just because of the impression made by the outside. Staging includes curb appeal suggestions. The buyer needs to feel she is at home, not in your home.

A certified Canadian Staging Professional™, or a Realtor with the certification (CSP) has the best interest of the homeowner in mind, wanting to have the home showcase at its best and providing an objective opinion.

Often the difficult part of selling a home is establishing or agreeing to a sale price. Pricing a home is emotional; many sellers want the price to reflect personal memories and values. Memories, however, don't qualify as a feature but appealing to a buyer's emotions will make a difference. Buyers only know what they see, not the way it's going to be!

Looking at your house with the eyes of a buyer is the first step to objectivity. The marketplace will determine the price range your house is in; by staging your home YOU are determining where your house falls in that range. The most critical timeframe for selling your property is the first 30 days, because the first 2 weeks generates a flurry of activity. That is when curiosity is piqued, interest is generated, brokers and agents tour. If your property is overpriced, it will quickly becomes shop worn, people begin to think there is something wrong with it….they might look but they don't buy. What kind of experience do you want to have 30 days from now? Do you want to have your house sitting on the market or do you want to be getting on with your life?

With technology buyers can quickly find out what is on the market, how much its listed or sold for, even before they contact an agent… and they will be comparing your house with them. Remember the consumer always wants the best product that meets their needs, at the best price. Isn't that what you always want? The true value of a home is the price a buyer is willing to pay to gain ownership of it.

Price, Location and Condition are three of the most important ingredients for a successful sale. In order for a house to sell, the list price must be in direct relationship to the other ingredients. If just one of those ingredients is off balance, the property will take longer to sell and the $$$ amount will be less. If your home is less than ready to sell and you don't see the need to "prepare it for sale" don't be disappointed when an offer comes in at less than you hoped for.

Tips for Selling

  • Play music every day; you never know when a showing may occur.
  • Involve the family. Everyone help to keep the house "picked up" & ready to show.
  • Before all showings open window coverings, turn on lights, keep garage doors and toilet seats down!
  • Allow potential buyers privacy to view your home; go for a walk, leave or work in the yard.
  • Put jewellery and valuables in a safety deposit box to avoid theft.

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