I've been thinking a lot about my job as a home stager and what my business does for people who are selling their homes. Investing (yes, home staging is an investment) in staging your home can bring you a return of nearly 300%! That is HUGE. Where else in this economy and market can you earn such a return?
Most of today's buyers don't want to buy a home that they have to make repairs and upgrades on. If such a buyer does submit an offer on your property, you can bet that they will subtract out how much they think it will cost to ready the home for their needs and send you an offer that you won't like.
Many of the homes on the market have been purchased by investors (flippers) who have rehabbed (remodeled) the property with granite, new flooring, fresh paint, new appliances and all the bells and whistles todays' buyers want. Does your home have all these upgrades? No? Then how will you compete with the house down the street that does?
If you're home isn't in the same condition as your competition you need to take a good hard look at what your selling goals and objectives are. Do you need a fast sale? Do you need to get as much money as you can? Is the lender breathing down your neck? If so, how much are you willing to invest in preparing and readying your property to obtain your objective? The old saying that you need to spend money in order to make money is so, so true and it especially applies to the real estate industry.
If your home doesn't have all the bells and whistles and isn't in the same condition as the competition, then you need to take advantage of every strategy available to you to make sure that your home presents in the best condition possible and stand out among the homes that you are competing with. Some preparations will be needed to just "list" the property, never mind getting top dollar or beating out the competition.
Take a look at the ROI (return on investment) these necessary home improvements will get you:
# Cleaning and de-cluttering ($290 cost / $1,990 price increase / 586% ROI / 99% of RE Agents surveyed recommended)*
# Lightening and brightening ($375 cost / $1,550 price increase / 313% ROI / 97% of RE Agents surveyed recommended)*
These are things every seller must do before they even contact an agent about selling their home. Buyers are not interested in properties that are cluttered (which makes them look smaller) and look like caves (too dark and depressing).
So now that you've cleared out all the clutter and cleaned the floors, windows, bathrooms and kitchen. You've had the carpets cleaned and every room in your house is pristine clean and sparkling. Remember that the house down the street with the granite, stainless and fresh paint? What do you do now to bring the buyers to your home with their offers?
I would never recommend that a seller invest in a huge costly remodeling jobs. But what I am advocating is that you take what you have and make it work to its best possible advantage. What does that mean? It means that you take that one final step to prepare your home by bringing in a professional home stager. Your home stager will go through every room in your house and advise you on where you need to invest in an upgrade, such as a new light fixture over the bathroom sink or a new faucet in the kitchen. Maybe you need a new porch light or a fresh coat of paint.
Take a look at what your investment in your professional home stager gets you;
Home staging ($550 cost / $2,194 price increase / 299% ROI / 80% of RE Agents surveyed recommended)*
You can leave the tiled countertops and cabinets but if your stager advises you to clean the grout or paint the vanity or buy a new light fixture, these are minimal investments compared to the amount of money not heeding your professional stager's advice. Then when all the prework has been completed, your stager will go through your home and arrange the furniture so that it flows, looks inviting and isn't hiding any features or focal poiints. Your stager will arrange all of your furniture, artwork and accessories so that they do highlight all the features and focal points in your home.
Just a note, this house sold at the first open house!
*The above statistics were taken form HomeGain's 2011 Home Improvement National Survey results. HomeGain recently surveyed nearly 600 real estate agents nationwide to determine the top 10 low cost*, do-it-yourself home improvements for people getting their home ready to sell. Results are estimated on a national average and may be higher or lower depending on what region you live in.
PROVEN RESULTS IN PRICED RIGHT - STAGED HOMES SALES