Posted on September 18, 2009 by ERA Landmark
Now more than ever, the old adage “you only get one chance to make a good first impression” rings especially true for real estate. With a larger than normal inventory available for buyers to chose from, sellers need to present their homes in the best possible light at all times. Of course the selling process begins with pricing the home properly based on its location, size, and condition. The next phase is to critically assess and evaluate a home’s “showability” to get it into showing condition and ready for potential buyers.
Research has shown that 78% of a buyer’s assessment of a home to purchase will take place before they even see it due to the location of the property and whether the home’s size meets their needs. After that, the rest of the decision making takes place in the first seven seconds of actually seeing a home. Clearly, taking the time before the home goes “on the market” to make it stand out is worth the time and a small investment.
An important first step for sellers to take is to mentally shift from viewing the property as their home full of memories to a commodity that is for sale. It needs to be treated as any other item that you would market to the general public by highlighting the strong points in order to get the most money for it. By removing some of the emotion tied to the home, it is easier for sellers to realize that a buyer will either like the home or they won’t, but it doesn’t reflect on the owner’s own taste.
Home staging has received much attention over the last several years for good reasons. It has become more of a standard for selling a home rather than an option. By stepping back and viewing the home with “buyer’s eyes”, sellers have the opportunity to make a home more appealing before the first viewings take place. Going room by room to accentuate the positive aspects and downplay the negatives is an effective way to draw more attention to the home. It uses creativity versus a lot of money to market the home. A few of the most simple aspects of home staging include choosing a focal point in each room and showcasing it in the best possible way, removing all clutter and personalized items that you can live without (which is more than you might first imagine), repairing and replacing all small items that have been on your “to do” list, and cleaning every nook and cranny.
Keep in mind that the staging process is certainly not for the interior of the home only. Recalling the very short time frame that buyers make their decisions, curb appeal is key. At the very least, touch up trim and paint on the home’s exterior, make certain that decks and porches are not rickety, clean out gutters and make sure they are draining properly, keep landscaping in good condition at all times, ascertain that fences are not damaged and gates work properly, and clean out the garage as you would the inside of the property.