Sensei/Grasshopper Challenge - Vancouver Stager & S. Dakota Realtor®
As a Vancouver Home Stager, I'm always thrilled to have a great collaboration with a Realtor®. Some partnerships are just magic, as we know we're on the same page, and striving for the same goal... to help a home owner sell their home quickly and receive the most money possible for their home.
Imagine my delight when I was contacted by Lee Alley, Realtor® in Rapid City, South Dakota, asking for a concise "Top 10 Tips for Staging a Property for Sale" that he could pass on to his clients. I knew Lee through a group that SEO Guru Michael George has set up. Lee is the guy who asks the really intelligent questions, or imparts information or adds his two bits to an indepth computer discussion. A-way over my head, but then hey, Lee does have a Phd in Engineering, and... well, I have a "petite" degree in French language...
I attacked this challenge with fervour and gusto. One interesting tidbit Lee passed on to me was that he lives in a rural area, where there are lots of farms, animals and horse lovers. People in his neck of the woods are wary of the term "stage", and seem to respond much better to the word "groom", as they often groom their horses. My new title is now the House Whisperer or Groomer, rather than Stager, and I'm quite fine with that!
In my enthusiasm to impart information, however, I became overly verbose. My one page list of top 10 "grooming" tips soon rambled on to two pages. I submitted the two-pager to Lee, and this is where the Sensei/Grasshopper relationship flip-flopped a bit. Lee suggested that I condense the tips down to one page. He felt that sellers would be more open to a quick, one page read, and Lee, as the Realtor®, could then use this list of staging tips as a spring board or opportunity to expand further and go into more detail on what needed to be done to the property in question. I realized how right Lee was, and was grateful for the wisdom he imparted.
Here is the final result. I hope these tips will be helpful and useful to other Realtors® also.
TOP 10 TIPS TO GROOM YOUR HOME FOR SALE
1. LOVELY CURB APPEAL - An appealing home exterior will get homebuyers to stop and get out of their car to view your home. Have a tidy, well-kept garden. Make sure the front door and doorway are welcoming, with pots of fresh flowers.
2. FIRST IMPRESSIONS - You only have one chance to make a great first impression. When homebuyers walk into the Foyer, greet them with a warm vignette, such as welcoming art, a console table or chair. Leave buyers intrigued and excited to see the rest of the house.
3. CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN - A clean, “spic and span” home send the message to homebuyers that this home is well cared for and maintained. Clean like you’ve never cleaned before, or hire cleaners. Open windows to clear out stale air; let in fresh air.
4. PAINT - Paint is cheap, and nothing looks better than a fresh coat of paint. Choose a light, neutral colour for the walls. Don’t worry… you can add colour with cushions and art work .
5. FIX IT - All those little annoying things that you’ve been living with now need to be repaired, such as loose knobs or broken tile. Homebuyers are notorious for overestimating how much it will cost for them to take on these repairs.
6. LIGHT AND BRIGHT - Open drapes and add extra lighting. Space and light sell homes.
7. EDIT - We all have too much “stuff”, so go through and donate, sell, recycle or store all the extra items that you can live without. Buyers want space.
8. DEPERSONALIZE - Remove all personal family photos. Buyers will have an easier time visualizing themselves living in the property.
9. HIGHLIGHT YOUR HOME’S BEST FEATURES - Arrange your furniture to show off the best architectural features in your house. Emphasize focal points, such as a fireplace or a view.
10. ADD PIZAZZ - Add accessories, artwork and cushions for some interest and colour. Homes need to convey warmth and personality. Think about hiring a Room Groomer or Property Stylist to help add that last little bit of icing on the cake. Pull at homebuyers’ heartstrings and speak to their emotions.
© Sally Weatherley
Here's what Lee Alley had to say about staging in his area: Top Ten Grooming Tips to Sell Your Home in Black Hills, SD