Preparing homes for sale often makes me feel like the horse being led to the field for a race, waiting for the starting gate to clang open. Right at the moment, I'm juggling two properties getting ever closer to their premiere performance. One is ready for its dress rehearsal, the other being primed and painted, primped and prettied, stepping up to show time.
This is an exciting time as we put on our finery and show our wares in the hopes that the one perfect buyer sees it for the jewel that it is. If we do it right, we can defy market conditions and garner more than our share of the viable buyer pool.
Convincing homeowners about the wisdom of doing some work and staging their homes prior to putting them on the market is sometimes difficult. On a recent listing, the seller just didn't get it and we entered the market unprepared for today's very picky buyers. Though I tried to let the seller know it was imperative to put our best foot forward, she believed it was not only unnecessary, but was certain the first person who walked through the door would buy.
It was only time and disappointment that convinced her to allow me belatedly to stage her home. The difference in the areas we addressed was astounding, but it was too late. The damage was done. The saying, you only have one chance to make a good first impression is so true. By the time we unveiled the new and improved version, we could not undo the impression that a significant number of potential buyers already had.
Fortunately for the two homes currently in rehearsals, we'll be ready for our intended audience. So for now, we peer around the curtain, beyond the footlights, hope for a full house and wait for the orchestra to start playing.