how to stage a home

The Cost to Stage Your Home Will be Less than a Price Reduction

Does the term “price reduction” give you cause for a headache? Are you playing a waiting game now your home is “on the market”. Fingers crossed and hoping that the perfect buyer will come along and pay you top dollar for your family home?

If you’re not in a hurry to sell, you might not mind if your listing waits for that perfect buyer. The one with no chain or mortgage wobbles.

However chances are you’d prefer NOT to tie up your life over this important and strategic financial decision. You’d just as soon get on with it right? Especially if the sale allows you to afford your dream home. For the majority of us, once we decide to make a move, we’re psychologically ready to go. Or as they say in Texas, get er done.

how to stage a home

What Does Chasing Down the Market Mean?

Have you heard of this phrase? It frequently pops up when the real estate market is going through a correction and sellers face uncertainty about how to price their home. Chasing down the market means you list your home at the price you’d like to achieve. However your home stays for sale until the price is in line with what the current market will bear.

In other words, your home will stay listed for sale until it reaches the price a willing buyer is prepared to pay.

As of the first half of 2019, the hot sellers market is cooling in London and the southeast. Of course this changes weekly. Best advice is, when prices come off historic highs, then only the best and most competitively priced will sell.

How Can You Compete with a Cooling or Volatile Sellers Market?

PRICE

Price trumps everything else. Consult several reputable estate agents to get a realistic estimate of your home’s value in today’s market. With current volatility 6 months ago or even 3 months ago may not  be accurate. Get a look at what’s sold in your neighborhood in the past 30 days.

Don’t be flattered by a high evaluation. Do your own research online to get familiar with what’s selling in your town or street. Be realistic. Avoid the angst of chasing the right buyer. Price your home right from the start.

The estate agency Hamptons International (no affiliation) reported that in the past 12 months a home that didn’t need a price reduction sold on average in 25 days. A home that did need a reduction took 63 days to sell. Which isn’t terrible but in addition to the uncertainty, there’s a loss.

What if you aren’t prepared to give a price reduction? Selling a home is very personal. Be honest about your real needs and what you hope to get out of selling. If it’s time to “move on” with your life, consider what net you can work with. If it’s a second home or an investment, you might want to wait until the market stabilizes.

Another option is to keep your home off the big real estate portals like Rightmove or Zillow and instead create an off the market or pocket listing through an agent or agency. You’ll be relying on their expertise and connections to match your home with a potential buyer in their network. It’s one way to test your home’s price and condition.

For sellers who value their privacy a pocket listing can be desirable. Your home is only shown to pre-qualified buyers and if you need to correct the price you can do so before your home is on the open market.

how to stage a home

CONDITION

Please don’t throw away money by selling your house “as is”. In the US “as is” is code for a home with maintenance or repair issues. Issues the seller has no intention of repairing or addressing. It’s a carrot to any investor or buyer looking for a bargain. Which is not the image you want to convey.

Putting a home on the market today without preparing it for buyer scrutiny is essentially throwing money away. By making repairs, updating, cleaning and presenting your property at its’ best, you’ll increase perceived value from your potential buyers. The valuer’s assessment may get a bump as well.

Buyers will mentally deduct the value of fixing those niggling repairs from your asking price and their offer will reflect that. You want full price offers.

Would be buyers will compare your home to other resale properties, natch. If they’re also shopping new homes they’ll compare the pros and cons of used VS new. I know.

For buyers looking for perfection, they’ll find it in a new build. Those brand spanky new model homes are staged without a hint of clutter anywhere in sight.

But you can compete with that. The best way to market your home is to present it as new not as is. Most existing homes have desirable features that new homes lack. Lovely character and period features, in town locations, and more mature landscaping.

If buyers are considering new build, then chances are what they’re really looking for is move in ready. Make your home look as if you could move right in and you’ll get buyers attention.

staging a home for sale

TIMING

If you have flexibility on when you sell your home; by all means take advantage of timing. Be one of those sellers prepared to get their home ready for the spring property boom to be well ahead of the game. Can you sell at other times of the year? Of course.

But why not take advantage of a built in season when buyers – especially those with children – tend to be out in droves looking for their next home.

The more buyers who are competing for your home, the better your odds are to have multiple offers.

Timing flexibility is also to your advantage if the market has a wobble. It’s the middle section of the market that gets thrown a curve ball by politics or interest rates. The high and low end often continue on as if nothing happened.

If you have the flexibility to wait out a temporary downturn in the market, it could be to your advantage. Consider renting or letting out your home instead of selling. Or stay put  until conditions are more favorable for a profitable outcome. When it’s costly and difficult to buy, the rental market may provide a safe haven to keep your investment growing. Hire a reputable agency to screen potential tenants and keep an eye on things, especially if you decide to move across county or country.

staging a home for sale

How Can You Avoid Losing Money on a Price Reduction?

  • The most effective way to avoid losing money when selling your home is to price it right at the start.
  • Do your research and consult not one or two but several estate agents to achieve a realistic evaluation of your home’s value.
  • Be realistic about the condition of your home and be prepared to correct any visible defects, known issues or deferred maintenance.
  • Consult a professional staging service to help you see beyond the personal and get your home whipped into shape.
  • Be prepared to update worn surfaces such as countertops, flooring, tile or walls. Especially in kitchens and baths.
  • De-clutter. Imagine you’re moving next week. What will you let go of and what should you get rid of pronto?
  • Deep clean from top to bottom. Clean as if your mother is coming to visit. Lack of whiffy smells sells property.
  • Create function and purpose to your rooms. Don’t allow a room to multi-task unless it’s the living dining.
  • Donate, sell or toss anything you’re not planning on taking with you. Especially worn furnishings.

That’s all very well you say, but my home is different and unique. It sells itself! That may be true, but are you willing to bet on it?

The average cost of staging your home or preparing it to sell should be less than 5,000k and in many cases far less. Especially if it just takes a simple roll up your sleeves and clean.

My definition of staging includes all the prep, cleaning, organizing as well as strategic interior design decisions to present your home at its best.

It’s up to you whether you’d rather pocket a full price offer or give away an average price reduction of 25,000k or more. But statistics prove if you’ve priced your home competitively and done your homework, you have much better odds of getting profit in your pocket.

I’ve helped over a hundred clients give their home a fresh look, sell for more and love their new space! If you’re ready get started, get in touch here. Not quite there yet? You’ll find a lot of my secrets in this handy downloadable Staging Checklist.

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