For those of you who have not read this series before it is designed to give tips to buyers and sellers on how they can find the best home for them...or get the most for their existing home.
When buyers are looking for a home they almost always (about 95% of the time based on National Association of Realtors statistics) go to the Internet first. At this point in the process the pictures or visual/virtual tours are the best ammunition a seller has to get a buyer to consider their home. Once the buyer is inside the home decor, furniture, paint, religious artifacts, curb appeal, cleanliness, clutter, etc... all come into play.
This post is really aimed at buyers (although sellers take note). One of the goals you and your agent should have is to spend a portion of the time you are in the home pretending it is empty and all the walls are painted white. I want you to remember this very important fact...if the home looks awful to you (dirty, ugly worn paint, bad decorations, tons of clutter, dead plants and grass, etc...) it looks that way to every other buyer who comes to see the home.
What does this mean to you?
When a home is in this condition...a buyer needs to realize that other buyers see it in the same condition they do. Here is a little secret: most buyers will not have the vision to see past the issues the home has. This tends to make the the home stay longer on the market and that will likely lower the price the seller can get (are you listening sellers). If you can picture the home with the needed repairs and in a neutral color without the clutter...you can usually save quite a bit of money.
What do ASP's or Home Stagers know? If they help sellers do these updates and upgrades the seller will not only make more money...they will help them sell in less time! As an ASP trained Realtor/Stager I will go over furniture placement, wall colors, clutter issues, etc... to make sure a potential home fits my clients needs. If a home has been staged by a professional...I also go over things the seller may be trying to hide with staging techniques.
The point of this post: If you are a seller...higher a stager...if you are a buyer: Do not look past houses that need cosmetic updates...these are the homes that sellers are willing to leave money on the table...go pick that money up!