When going over my marketing plan, I told her I could assist with the staging of the home. Her reply surprised me. She said “Oh, I’ve seen all those shows on TV and I could never make my house look like a model home.” I think her perception was that she would need new paint, new furniture and designer art on the walls. I guess staging actually COULD mean that you completely make over a house with new paint, new furniture and designer elements. But it certainly doesn’t have to. Most sellers aren’t going to want to spend any more money than necessary to get their house ready to sell.
I told her that when I spoke of “staging” that it begins with basic things like making sure your front yard and front door are clean and appealing, the house is spotlessly clean and your closets and cabinets have been tidied and cleaned out. Then we should address each room: is it cluttered with books, magazines and toys? Are there lots of family photos on the walls and tables? How many pieces of furniture are in the room and do they make the room look crowded?
We want the home to look as spacious as possible while still appearing to be functional. A seasoned agent once told me: “Sellers need to SHOW their house differently than how they LIVE in their house.” You want a potential buyer to walk in the door and be able to visualize themselves living in the home with their own “stuff”. If you have too much of your “stuff” around, they will have a difficult time seeing past it.
Sellers need to give the impression that it is their intention to move. They have cleaned out their closets, and those personal photos and vacation knick knacks are safely packed and ready to go to their next home. Have you ever viewed a house where everything that the Seller has collected for the past 10-20 years is still on display or piled up in closets and in the basement? I wonder if these people really want to move? It’s not screaming out “I want to sell my house!”
Photos: Einstein Family Photos-Gaeten Lee; Office Junk-Blind Grasshopper