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Staging Your Home For Sale

June 28th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

No matter what the market conditions, homebuyers have a multitude of properties from which to choose. They go through a list of basic desires and start looking at homes on the market that match their individual list.

A new kitchen, a garage, a certain number of bedrooms or full baths, everyone has their own criteria and you need to figure out what type of clientele your home will attract. You then need to market as generically as possible to that buying segment. You can’t convince a four bedroom buyer to move into your two bedroom house, so think about who might need a two bedroom home and be sure not to offend, but instead be the most attractive to that market segment.

As buyers start viewing properties, the list of needs, wants and desires becomes more focused and a short list develops. You want to be on that short list. One way to get on that short list is by preparing your home for showing.

Preparing your home for showing.

Curb appeal applies to every part of the home, even your neighbors yards. As soon as the buyer enters the neighborhood, they are making judgments on this potential home where they may someday live. Does the neighborhood fit their profile, does it have kempt yards, friendly people, and controlled animals. You may not be able to control every aspect of your neighbors, but most cities have basic property codes for controlling lawn height, abandoned vehicles, fence regulations and other items that may bring down property values. If you suspect a neighbor is neglecting their property, call the city ordinance enforcement department, often you can call anonymously.

Hop in your car and drive up to your own house while wearing your ‘buyer goggles’. See the property from the buyers perspective. A religious person is happy to have a religious stature in their yard, but a person of another religion, no matter how small the theological differences will not get the same warm feeling from the statue. Remove all artifacts that might have a religious, political, or cultural appeal. You want to be as generic as possible so that everyone who comes to the house can build their own mental picture of themselves living in that home.

Give the home an open spacious feel with lots of light and pleasant smells.

Walk up to the front door and open it, does the entranceway have a focal point? Make sure each room has a focus point that stands out. There are many ways to bring out a focal point, sometimes it is as simple as de-accessorizing.  Too much furniture, too many pictures, or knick knacks take away from the natural highlights of a room.

A good way to start is by taking all the decorations out of the room, decide which few pieces of furniture will stay while allowing for easy traffic flow through the room and then bring a few generic decorations back into the room.  Put the rest in storage.

Keep going back to the entryway, walk from room to room, ensuring that you have easy movement, and simple decorations that will allow the buyer to picture their own furniture, and decorations in the room, envisioning their own live being lived within the space.

Allergies are quite common in the St. Louis market. If you have a pet, think about having it stay with a relative while your home is on the market. I know this sounds insensitive to your four legged family member, but many homebuyers are seriously turned off by pets. Have your carpets and drapes cleaned and your air filters replaced.  Air freshener is your friend, pleasant smells that remind people of home or holidays are  recommended to set a positive mental mood.

Keep the blinds open with lots of light flowing into the rooms. Remember you are setting the environment so that your home, once on the short list, becomes the home that invites the offer.


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