Now that you know what really sells a house, let's talk about how to create your plan of attack during the Pre-Staging process.
I can not begin to stress the importance of having a game plan. I see sellers and real estate professionals either waste money and time or leave thousands of dollars behind by not having their act together in this arena.
These are the things to do that, in general, I find most important:
1) Having a clear schedule
2) An objective and thorough assessment of your property
Let's elaborate a little …
1) Having a clear schedule – If you are going to have a successful home sale, you must have a clearly defined schedule of all the activities that need to take place prior to your home actually being on the market. Start with the target market date and work back to fill in dates when significant activities need to be completed. This exercise will save you the stress and reduce the overwhelm that would otherwise be inevitable.
The goal is to fit the “necessary” tasks in order to properly prepare your home for sale. DO NOT skip this crucible step, you will live to regret it.
Here's a sample list of things to calendar:
* date of first open house
* date of broker's tour
* date of virtual tour
* date of professional photo shoot
* date of home inspection
* date of scheduled cleanings, ie house, window, carpet, etc.
* date of scheduled repairs or renovation work
There were many times that I received calls requesting my staging services and when asked when they were planning on putting the house on the market, the answer was “this weekend” or “next weekend” or “as soon as possible”. With further qualification, the inquiring party realized that the timeframe was not realistic to accomplish everything they had in mind or was later shown was needed.
2) An objective assessment of your property – get a notepad and walk around the perimeter of your home and jot down anything that you see that needs to repaired, changed or replaced. Better yet, to assess your curve appealing, stand across the street and see it from that perspective. Walk through the entire property, room-by-room and do the same. If you do not see anything wrong, enlist the help of an objective friend who will tell you like it is, not just what you want to hear. Really evaluate the condition of everything from the carpet, walls, lighting, even the scent of the home. Decide if you need help eliminating any food or pet odors. Make notes about all the deferred maintenance that needs to be addressed now.
Remember, buyers are particularly choosey in today's market. They need turnkey, not a fixer upper. Anything that needs work, however minor, conjures up dollar signs in the buyer's minds. Do not give them any argument against you. Squash any concerns before they arise.
This pre-staging process will be the foundation for your home selling success.
Stay tuned for # 4 in our Effective Home Staging Tips series where you will learn what upgrades are expected in your neighborhood and price range.