Friday, February 8, 2019

Five Mistakes to Avoid when Selling your House

Five Mistakes to Avoid when Selling Your House

   Here in Michigan, we just experienced a blast of polar air with wind chills of 25 to 35 below zero. Hunkered down inside my house, wrapped in a heated throw, I began to yearn for summer. I longed to dig my toes into the soft, sugar-sand beaches of Lake Michigan and to watch the sunset, dipping under the Lake horizon, the sky turning brilliant shades of lavender, pink, and coral.  Then I realized, despite how brutal winter is, spring officially starts in just six weeks. That means many homeowners are preparing to put their houses on the market.   

As a Home Stager, I spend a lot of time online looking at images of homes for sale.  There are so many times when I look at those photos and ask myself, "Why?" Then there's that house that makes me say, "Ahhh." Here are 5 mistakes to avoid to make sure your home is an "Ahhh," not a "Hmmm?": 
  1. Hiring the wrong agent.  Not all real estate agents are equal.  Will your agent market your house effectively?  Do they have a team of professionals to maximize your profit? Will they take professional photos of your home?
  2. Not preparing your home for photos. Fifty percent of buyers find their home online.  Like the saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words."  If your photos do not draw buyers in (or worse, if they turn them away!) your house will sit longer on the market.
  3. Failing to disassociate yourself from your home. We love our homes. We've usually made many happy memories there- holiday celebrations, bringing our babies home, birthday parties, etc.  I tell my clients to take all of those wonderful memories, place them in a beautiful box and tie them with a pretty ribbon.  These memories are yours to cherish and hold on to long after the move. In order to sell, buyers must be able to see themselves making their own memories in your house.
  4. Not making the necessary updates. Some sellers love their decor, paint colors, etc. so much that they refuse to change them even though they're moving. This past summer, I had a client who loved the color blue.  Nearly every room was painted a different shade of blue.  Outside her shutters matched the color of the blue sky. In order to make the house appeal to a wider range of people, I had to gently push her out of her comfort zone. She had the entire house painted a neutral color. The shutters were painted black. We made other updates, and I staged the house. The first buyer through bought it!  Remember when selling, it's about the buyer.
  5. Not hiring a professional home stager.  A well-trained stager will look at your home through a buyer's eye and suggest changes that lead to a quicker sale, at a higher price. One of my favorite staging-career memories happened after one of my clients followed my staging consultation recommendations. The listing agent brought a buyer through before she placed the house on the market. The buyer walked through, approached the agent, and declared, "I want this house." Boom!  Sold!  Zero days on the market!

  Discovering the potential  Reveling the possibilities
     The Staging Dezigner