There they sit, the UNSOLD, (like the last kid picked for the team) nice homes in good neighborhoods, great curb appeal, but ignored by buyers. As a home staging professional in Fresno, CA, I have been asked by people why some homes sell quickly and why others remain for sale for months, sometimes even a year or more. This sad drama is taking place all over the country, not just in Fresno.
We know, it's the economy, right? Partially, but not completely. Many homes sell within a few months, some in as little as a week. So what is the problem with the houses that don't sell? Ask any home stager, or look through the MLS ( Multiple Listing Services) pictures, and you will find the answer.
Assuming that the home is priced correctly and is in a good location, the reason it remains on the market could lie in the photos posted on the Internet. Since over 80% of potential home buyers begin their searches on line pictures of homes for sale are critical. If the photographs present the home poorly many buyers won't even consider visiting the house in person. The list below highlights just some of the pictures that are costing home sellers thousands of dollars. These examples are from actual listings.
- Too much furniture makes the rooms appear smaller and hides the home's features.
- Outdated or very large furniture.
- Red or dark blue paint on the walls,
- Clutter on kitchen and bathroom counters. (Please put the toothpaste in a drawer).
- Toilet seat left up.
- A cluttered or messy office, can't even see the desk.
- A bed with such huge lumps under the spread that it looked like a body was under it. ( True story).
- Floral, cowboy, rooster, ivy or any wallpaper design that was from another decade.
- Big screen TV in front of a window. ( And please TURN OFF the TV before taking MLS pictures.)
Before listing a home real estate agents look at the home thoroughly and give the owner detailed suggestions about how to prepare the house for sale. Many agents recommend that the owners consult with a home staging expert who can see through an impartial eye what needs to be done and can give the home owner suggestions regarding decluttering, furniture arrangement, paint and repair needs.
The owner is free to disregard the suggestions, implement them themsleves or hire the home stager to make the home picture perfect. A simple walk through staging consultation is usually under one hundred dollars. The cost of complete staging job will vary in accordance with the needs of the home.
When the home is market ready the Internet photos will draw potential buyers, not drive them away. Those pictures will be worth thousands of dollars in a timely sale.
Before and After Staging