May 26, 2010
Home Staging is simply the process of ensuring that your property is being marketed in its best light. We want to do everything in our power to highlight the property’s features or assets.
Because most people don’t know where to start, I have come up with a comparison that may resonate with you.
Have you ever sold a vehicle privately, or to a Dealership for trade-in? When we officially list our vehicle for sale, what are the steps we take to prepare it for photographs and showing to prospective buyers?
- We make sure the exterior of the vehicle is spotless, including the glass. We may even wax and polish it for that added gleam. Translation: Curb Appeal.
- We check our struts, tires for tread –depth, brakes, exhaust, etc, so we can give buyers accurate information when asked. Translation: Ensure the foundation of our property is in good repair.
- We check under the hood for any engine leaks, loose belts, low fluids, etc. Translation: Ensure the furnace, hot water heater, plumbing, and electrical in our property is in good repair.
- We remove all personal and confidential items from the vehicle, making sure the only items we leave in the glove-box are the insurance and registration. Translation: We must de-personalize and de-clutter our property in order to ensure the buyer’s attention is not distracted from the product they are looking at. We want them to remember the property, not our stuff.
- We “go to town” with detailing the interior of the vehicle and its components. We clean, shine, buff, vacuum, and shampoo. We want the buyer to be impressed, right? Translation: Ensure all floors are shampooed and/or cleaned. Shine all stainless steel, chrome, windows, glass, tiles, etc. Ensure all dusting is kept on top of and that all fabrics/textiles out on display are fresh and clean.
- If we are accustomed to taking our family dog for a ride in the car, we make sure to clean all the hair out, shampoo the upholstery, and air out the vehicle with windows open to let fresh air in. Oh, and we certainly will not have Fido sitting in the passenger seat when the prospective buyer comes to view the car. Translation: We need to find alternate living arrangements for our indoor pets when selling our properties. Although most of us love animals, just seeing them or their toys, makes the buyer wonder how much damage has been done to the property.
This is a great comparison. It is all about selling a Product that has become very dear to us over time. It is all about a shift in thinking that needs to occur. Staging a property is about marketing a product in order to attract as many buyers on the market as possible. Removing your emotional attachment is necessary in order to have the ability to sell this property. Try to remember back to when you made the final decision to purchase this home. What features drew you in at that time. Chances are those same features are the ones that will attract a new happy owner. So, let’s buff and shine these assets.
Rhonda Wilson – CCSP™
Home Staging and Decluttering Services
April 27, 2010
Here are 4 great tips to be mindful of. And, stay tuned for my Weekly Home Staging Tips!
- Make sure your address is clear, very visible from the street, and in good repair. Ensure that exterior lights are turned on as soon as dusk starts to set in. Buyers will often drive around the area they are interested in, looking for the “For Sale” signs. If they are not able to quickly determine your exact address, chances are they will not even make mental note of your property.
- De-personalize and De-clutter! We have all heard these vague instructions before, but how do we determine where to start and where to finish? The first step is firmly detaching oneself from the property. It is now a product or a dwelling, and is no longer your “home”. Think about how you have merchandised belongings you have sold in the past. The goal is to draw attention to, or to highlight the product’s assets, features, extras, and perks. Another good starting point is forcing oneself to remember back to when you actually decided to purchase the property. Which features drew you in, romanced you, and left a lasting positive impression? Probably items such as the fireplace, large beautiful windows, or the big amount of granite counter-space in the kitchen. Go back to that time in your mind, and take a look at those items in your dwelling now. Have you, over time, covered up, hidden, or blocked access to any of these features? Remember, those same features are what the new buyer wants highlighted in order to make a quick decision. Important note to leave you with: A prospective buyer is interested in buying the house, not the stuff in the house.
- Say NO to table-cloths! Dining room tables, kitchen tables, coffee tables, and side tables need to be free of fabric of any sort. Try it now. Simply remove any table-cloth or runner that hangs over the edges, stand back, and notice visually how much less space that table is using up in the room. This is a very simple detail that can make a world of difference in perceived available floor-space.
- Say NO to artificial air fresheners! And, yes, even Febreeze falls into this category. My least favourite commercial is the one with the Realtor® stating that she always carries a can of Febreeze around with her, and that it “fixes everything”. Not only are an increasing number of people allergic to chemicals in scented products, but when a buyer smells these products upon entering a dwelling, they automatically wonder what smell you were trying to cover up. Not a good first impression. The best scent is no scent. Fresh air works wonders. Just imagine your Realtor® opening the door to a potential buyer, and the wife’s throat (air passages) start swelling shut due to allergies. Do you really think that they will stick around long enough to see the whole house? This couple will not be making an offer, or come anywhere even close.
My name is Rhonda Wilson, CCSP™, owner of Revealing Assets – Home Staging and Decluttering Services. I have partnered with Mark Walker and his team to ensure his clients realise the quickest, most profitable sales possible. As a Certified Staging Professional working actively in today’s Real Estate Market, I am all too aware of the seemingly small details that can either make or break a sale. I have found that it is not necessary to shell out lots of cash to adequately showcase one’s property. I focus on working with what you have to make the biggest, most positive, most attractive impact. And, many times, it comes down to the smallest details. The truth is that when you, the seller, succeeds, everyone succeeds!