Friday, January 24, 2020

It Seems Like My house has been For Sale Forever

Selling a house can be a daunting and stressful task.  Years ago if your house was neat and clean, it would sell.  However, with television networks like HGTV, buyers expect homes to look like the houses seen on shows like Flip or Flop, Property Brothers, Hometown or Christina on the Coast.  The number of buyers wanting a fixer upper is shrinking. The majority of today’s buyers want move in ready home. What exactly is move in ready?

The move in ready home:
  1. Freshly painted walls in a neutral color that will allow a buyer to simply place their belongings inside.  Freshly painted does not mean “I just painted 5 years ago.” The color has to be current and not clash with the surrounding architecture.  I have seen it too often, a seller paints the trend color and it clashes with the flooring or cabinets.
  2. Updated kitchens and baths.  Buyers prefer stone counter tops of granite or quartz.  Buyers want updated stainless steel appliances. They want nice back splashes.  What they don’t want is honey colored oak cabinets and laminate counters. Does this mean a remodel? Absolutely not.  It often means painting or staining cabinets in an updated color. Changing hardware to a more current style. Possibly adding an updated faucet and/or sink.  Depending on the price point adding better counter tops. The kitchen has to be current enough for a buyer to be willing to live with it until a remodel can be done.
In the bathroom get rid of your gold, green, blue, pink turquoise, toilet, sink and tubs.  A toilet is an inexpensive fix. Tiles and tubs can be re glazed in white to update.
      3.Light fixtures are another inexpensive fix.  Remove all the old brass       
         light fixtures for new.  Your local big box store has many inexpensive


4. Flooring   The preferred flooring is hardwood.  Check to see if you have hardwood under your carpet.  If not make sure your carpeting is clean and not worn. No one wants those popular colors from the nineties like mauve or royal blue. If you need to replace carpeting go with a neutral or consider a good laminate that mimics wood.  Ceramic tile in the bath is preferred.    
5. Do not forget your curb appeal.  Overgrown bushes and tree limbs distract from the value of your home.  Chipping paint, weeds, grass that needs cutting can also turn potential buyers off.  Landscape pays a big return of 100 to up to 1000%. Buyers want to see a low maintenance yard that is an extension of the indoor spaces.

        Ideally, there are 4 steps to selling your house to have it spend the      least amount of time on the market

  1. Prepare your house for sale. Make it move in ready.  A certified train stager will advise you on what needs to be done to sell your property.  Take their advice seriously. If you decide to skip a suggestion it may cost you time and money.  Remember once you decide to sell it becomes about the buyer. Your decor style may not reflect the demographics of the buyers in your area.  I understand that your recliner is super comfortable and relaxing. It’s just that being in the room doesn’t make the space look like a pottery barn catalog photo.
  2. Do a showcase staging.  This means spending the money to have a professional stager stage your home.  Unless you are Joanna Gains or her BFF clone, staging is not a DIY project. Many try and most fail.  The showcasing is what causes a buyer to make an emotional connection to the house that allows the buyer to envision living there.  I have seen many valiant efforts to stage. A table set for a dinner party, a tray on the bed, a lamp placed in the corner of an empty room, artwork missing or too small or hung wrong these are examples a novice wanna be stager makes. I have even seen large stuffed toys placed in various places in the house.  Yes, most people don’t live in perfectly staged houses. Even stagers don’t. But, when selling, we want to evoke the possibility that we could live like that all the time. Furthermore, it takes less than 15 seconds once inside the door, for a buyer to decide if they like your house. Don’t give a buyer a chance to find a reason not to say yes to your house.   I hear this all the time too. “ I am not spending any more money on this house.” If you don’t want to spend money on your house what makes you believe a buyer will want to spend money on it? Maybe if you lower the price enough a buyer will put in the time and effort to fix it up. Furthermore, every day your house remains on the market you will have carrying costs, water bills, electric and other utility costs, taxes, maintenance costs such as snow removal or lawn care, and mortgage payments if you do not own it free and clear. Once your house is on the market over 30 days, buyers think you have a distressed property that no one wants.  This leads to further price drops. The first price drop is almost always more than the cost to properly stage your house. Staging is a marketing tool! Staging is a marketing tool that gives a measurable return on investment. Don’t you want to market your property effectively?
  3. Hire a great real estate agent that knows your market and will price it competitively and market it effectively. There are 4 reasons houses won't sell. Price, Location, Condition and Improper or lack of staging.  I once staged a house that the owners refused to do showcase staging when it went up for sale. It sat on the market for over 5 months. Once the showcase staging was complete it sold in under a week.
  4. Professional Photographs.  Photographs are the first thing buyers look online at.  If a buyer isn’t drawn to the house through pictures, that buyer will never walk through the door.  A well staged home will also create better listing photos. This will further enhance your chances of selling quickly.

Need help getting your house ready for sale?  Or do you need help with a property that has been on the market too long? 
Staging Designs by Deborah can help.  Please contact us at 517 282 5039 or visit our website

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