Ok, hopefully 80% of buyers aren't painting their homes purple, but, if they were....
We do need to point out to our sellers, that they're not buying the house, someone else is buying the house and we need the house to appeal to those potential buyers.
As a Realtor, when I list a home, I also profile the potential Buyer and help my seller stage and market their home accordingly. If the necessary changes go beyond my expertise, then I hire someone to help. The first thing I look at are the comps and what has been selling. As one of my favorite builders put it, you have to make Lemonade from Lemons. So, if your potential buyer is a 20 something young professional, you need to market the home to their likings. It doesn't usually take a fortune to change a few items out to appeal to potential homebuyers.
When you analyze the comps and you see a trend in the comparables that have sold, then you definitely want to take that into consideration. If 80% of all solds in the $250k range have granite, then perhaps your $250k listing should upgrade to granite. If 80% of all homes below $200k include washer & dryer, then leave or replace the washer & dryer so the new buyers will have one. If most homes selling in your subjects price range are paying closing cost, then, expect and offer to pay closing cost. In many situations, it isn't that difficult to see what buyers are drawn to just by analyzing the comps.
Below are some basic staging tips you'd think everyone knows. However, I've been in plenty of homes that could use a little help.
- The home definitely needs to be de-cluttered inside and out. Yes, buyers will open the cabinet doors, oven doors, closets, etc. They want to know how much space there is. Plus, it lets them know how the current owners have cared for the home.
- The home MUST be cleaned - that included baseboards, inside microwaves, inside ovens, ceiling fans, and the air filters must be clean. Make sure the carpet is clean or have cleaned if necessary. The carpet may look really good once it is cleaned. However, once a buyer has the vision of a dirty carpet in their mind, they'll want new carpet.
- Furniture needs to be positioned properly. Sometimes, that means rooms need to seem open or more cozy depending on the home. It may be you need to remove or add furniture.
- By all means, Let the Light Shine! The one thing some people can't overcome is a dark home. You must let the light in.
- Keep the temperature of the home comfortable. There are few things that will rush the buyer through a home quicker than a really hot home or a very cold home. If they rush, they won't remember anything about the house.
- Odors must be minimized. Pet, cooking, and smoking odors can and will bother many folks. Neutralize those odors. If there are teens in the home, make sure their dirty laundry and sports equipment aren't emitting undesirable odors. Add a light but, pleasing fragrance. Please, don't overdo the fragrance. Many folks have allergies.
- If at all possible, contain pets during a showing. Most Realtors can deal with friendly pets. However, there are folks who are allergic, scared of animals, or just not animal people. Plus, kids often come along during showings and not all kids are good with pets and visa versa.
- Turn answering machines off. How many times have I been in a home while someone was leaving a message on an answering machine? More than you would think. Yes, some people still use regular answering machines.
- Staging doesn't need to be elaborate but, it does need to bring out the best features of the home. You're not selling the furnishings but, presenting a lifestyle or vision. Buyers need to imagine themselves living in that home. Most do not imagine themselves or dream of living in clutter.
- Take photos with a small digital camera when preparing a home for the market. When you look at the photo, you may see things out of place. Ask yourself, or better yet, a friend/neighbor how the home looks in the photo. If it looks bland, then it may not draw people in to even view it. Do this before the professional photos are taken.
Many times, there's nothing wrong with the home or decor. It's possible it's just very personal or doesn't appeal to a wide range of buyers. There's enough inventory on the market that buyers can weed out many home from MLS alone. You need to make your home Stands Out to your potential Buyers, after all, you do want to sell it, don't you?
Contact Carla Freund, Broker, Fonville Morisey Realty/ A Long and Foster Company, Licensed Realtor® in North Carolina at 919-602-8489 to list your property for sale or to purchase a property in Cary, Raleigh, Morrisville, Apex, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Durham, Chapel Hill, Johnston County, and the surrounding areas.
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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is supplied by several sources and is subject to change without notice. The Carolina Living in the Triangle Blog and Carla Freund does not guarantee or is any way responsible for its accuracy, and provides said information without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied. Entries on Carolina Living in the Triangle represent the opinions and ideas of the author(s). Carolina Living in the Triangle Blog does not express the views of Fonville Morisey, Inc or those of the broker.