Every few days, I click through listings searching for my next prospective client. I love the FSBO listings the most because the homes are typically in the same condition: A) Vacant (which tells me it's usually an investment property) or B) Occupied, that an attempt was made at cleaning it up. For my company, ALR Home Staging and Showcasing, I prefer to streamline my prospective target clients and handpick them myself rather than target every single homeseller out there.
When I come across those vacant properties, I analyze each room and take mental notes of what the room needs to be staged. For sure, that home gets added to my list of mailers! If you are a selling a house without a realtor and it's vacant, invest in home staging! For a fairly minimal cost, you can get the home furnished, or partially furnished, and accessorized to give it a warm, homey feeling. The starkness of the empty rooms is going to be a deterrant, therefore the home will take longer to sell. Think of Model Homes in new developments...it's furnished and accessorized. Why? It creates a great visual for the potential home buyer once they leave the model and visit the vacancies. They take the mental images of the model and translate it to the empty home. Make your vacant home look like a model home!
When I come across the occupied homes, I analyze each room and pick apart what works, what doesn't, what should change, what should stay, what it needs, etc. That home is getting added to my list, as well. On occasion, I do run across a home that is in OK condition so I may or may not add it to my list. But typically, each home needs something to be staged properly so I add almost all of them.
Not sure what home staging is? Let me tell you what it's not: It's not decorating. It's not emptying the counters. It's not pushing all of the furniture against the walls to make the room look big. It's not tossing a thow over a random chair just because you think your supposed to.
Home staging is the process of de-personalizing, de-cluttering, and de-bulking the home, ultimately neutralizing it to appeal to a wide range of potential home buyers. The process begins by deciding what stays and what goes. What works and what doesn't and deciding what it needs. Then, room by room, beginning with creating or determining a focal point, the room is pulled together. The process may require moving things from one room to or another, or rearranging, or getting rid of something all together---and don't take it personal! We all have certain taste and if you have a very specific 'taste' that will not appeal to a mass market, it may need to go! (There are homes that are VERY country, VERY modern, VERY eclectic, etc...you are narrowing your prospects leaving it that way!) A staged home is quite different from the home we live in day to day...we all have things on our counter tops and vanities, we all have our collections and things we love on display, we all have pictures of our family scattered about, we all keep things on our refrigerator, etc. Once you understand what staging your home is and what message a staged home is delivering, you won't think twice about getting your home staged.