Prepare it Before You List It (Part One

Home Stager with Creative Staging Company

Prepare it Before You List It (Part One)

As the owner of a Home Staging company I am often faced with the task of educating my client's on the things that need to be done to prepare their home for the market. Even with the countless television shows on networks such as HGTV, I still find myself meeting clients who don't really know how to prepare their home for sale. I can look through countless MLS photos and find many things that would send a potential buyer running for the hills. Gone are the days where you could just put a sign in the yard and that meant your home was for sell. Today's buyers are savvier than yesteryear's and require more out of a listing then just a sign in the yard. The fact is there is a lot of inventory on the market buyers have to choose from. What this means for a seller is that you have to do certain things to be able to fairly compete with your competition. You will either upstage or be upstaged. You have to give buyers a reason to pick your property over the other 20,000 (or more) homes that they have to choose from. The goal of this series is to provide home sellers with valuable information to help them prepare their home for the market BEFORE they list it. In part one of this series let's focus on some questions sellers should ask themselves before they decide to sell their home.  

What is your motivation?

The first thing you may want to consider is your motivation for selling your home. Are you selling because you have to relocate? Are you selling to move into your dream home? Are you selling because you are now an empty nester and need to down size? What is your real motivation for selling your home? It is important to think about this because your level of motivation will determine how committed you are to doing what is necessary to sell your home.

What are you selling? 

Seems obvious, you are selling a home right? Actually you are selling more than just a home, you are selling a lifestyle. When you decide to place your home on the market it goes from being the place you live in, eat in and sleep in to becoming a product for sale. A product that must be presented in a manner that will captivate buyer's interest. This is where Staging comes in. Home Staging sets the scene throughout the home by creating a lifestyle that buyers can envision themselves living in. Today's buyers don't just fall in love with a home; they also fall in love with how that home will fit their lifestyle.      

Is your home on clearance?

Are you selling your home for top dollar or is it on clearance? Are there a number of items in your home that need repaired? Are the walls painted the wrong colors? Is there wallpaper everywhere? Is your home dirty? Is your home full of clutter? Is the curb appeal less than appealing? If the answer is yes to any of these questions then you can't expect top dollar for your property, it should be clearance priced. This goes back to your home being a product for sale, if you want a buyer to dig deep down in their pockets to give you a top dollar offer, then your home should be in pristine condition. People will only pay top dollar for quality.

Your level of commitment and motivation will help determine if your home sells or lingers on the market. Sellers you have control over two things when selling your home. The first being price, an experienced Real Estate Professional can help you price your property right. The second, being the condition of your home. You the seller have complete control over how you present your property when it is on the market. When selling a home presentation is EVERYTHING! In part two of this series I will discuss the steps to take to prepare your home for a quick sale. Stay tuned!

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Tia Spaulding ASPM, ASP, IAHSP

Tia Spaulding is the Owner of Creative Staging Company, a premiere Real Estate Staging Company located in greater Indianapolis, Indiana. Tia Spaulding is a master in the Home Staging industry earning the industry's highest designation Accredited Staging Professional Master (ASPM.) Tia Spaulding is a member of IAHSP, MIBOR and WCR. Tia Spaulding can be reached at 317-833-9539, by e-mail at or via


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