Sell Your House Faster & Raise Its Value by Home Staging – Fort Bend County Realty Selling Guides
Staging is a Way to Show Off Your Home’s Space:
There is a reason why many people opt to stage their home… It works! In fact, without going into a ton of research data, homes which are staged sell faster and for a higher price tag, period (feel free to do your own research). There is a reason why nearly all new construction developers set up the model home before the first home is even ready to be built; the model home is what sells their future homes. It is say to say, if you take two identical properties in Fort Bend, in the same neighborhood e.g. Greatwood in Sugarland, and stage one and not the other; the staged home should sell faster and at a higher price than its counterpart.
Then why doesn’t everyone do it? Well, sometimes the cost doesn’t match the selling price and time-frame, the owner’s don’t have time or have moved already, the person is unaware of this knowledge, or they are just lazy (yes, I said it). Regardless, home staging can be done by hiring a company or by simply using what you already have to the best of your ability. For owners who are still living in the listed property this often means de-cluttering, rearranging, and keeping things in perfect order until sold. Simply put, some staging (even the smallest amount) is better than nothing. Buyers are human and not all humans have the same imagination. Buying agents will make comments sometimes like ‘this is where you could put a love seat’, etc. but these type of spatial recommendations can only go so far. The owner needs to illustrate the way in which the typical person can use the available space. This need to show off the home’s space becomes increasingly apparent as the size of the home increases i.e. a person might be able to imagine how they would set up a bare 1500 square foot home but put the average buyer in an empty 4000 square foot home and they are going to struggle with imagining the space allocation. I am not going to write a how to guide on staging as there are already a multitude of them online; here is one by Realtor Mag Online and here is another by HGTV Front Door. I simply wanted to point out its importance and why owners need to show prospective buyers how their home handles space. For instance, If you have a kitchen bar which seats five – then put five stools, not just two, if possible; even buyers who will only have the need for two or three stools will appreciate the abundance of space you are displaying. If there is space in the living room for a desk / study area then add it and show off the home’s versatility. Staging allows people to enjoy the home as opposed to searching for its purpose and design. Another thing to keep in mind is over-personalization. You want to convey space without laying too much personal claim to it, e.g. picture frames are nice but pictures of you and your family remind buyers that the home is not theirs and has been used (of course, they ultimately know that already – but you want them to picture their family in the frames – not yours). The goal of staging is two fold: One reason is to show off the space and its use, Two is to get the buyer to say, “I see myself living here.”
You Decide… Not Staged vs Staged:
The small things make a lasting impression. A book with glasses on top of it next to the chase in the master bedroom makes the buyer feel as if the bedroom is for more than just sleeping; it displays a relaxing spot by the window where they can retreat from the world to their favorite book. Candles, a dish with flower petals, and a fresh robe cast across the bathtub indicate a spa like getaway after a long day of work. You can start to see the picture. The point is simple. Accent the home for features that go beyond its typical scope. Add emotion and desire, and don’t leave everything up the buyer’s imagination. Show them how the space of the home can be used and the cool aspects it has to offer. Even if the buyer doesn’t play chess they will appreciate a chessboard nicely set up in a den area, where, if left empty would appear like a void of useless space. Once the touch-ups are completed, it is time to take the photos and list the home.
Agents Going the Extra Mile
Realtors can sit back and let the home owner carry the burden of going the extra mile or get in the race right along side them. What is the point of the owner doing all the staging and touch-ups if the agent is going to show up and take pictures with his/her cell phone (even if it is 8 megapixels – it still sucks)? My point is, if the agent truly believes the home is gorgeous, well staged, priced fairly, and will sell quickly, then the agent should put his/her money where their mouth is… by investing in the marketing and selling of the home. Do I hire a professional photographer for every home? No, but most of the time I do; especially if I believe the owner is doing their part. Do I put every listing in the newspaper? No, most of them don’t need it and most buyers search online anyway. The point is, agents need to meet their sellers in the middle and make some investments into the listing. The Realtor is telling the sellers they are going to market the property to the fullest extent and should prove it… This goes beyond cost factors as well and extends to time. Often times it is free to do the additional online marketing. There are hundreds of additional websites which buyers search besides the local MLS. Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, Craigslist, Niche websites like relocation services, and too many more. The point is, agents can add the listing to these sites, most of the time for free; or pay for software (which I do) which automatically sends your listing to hundreds of sites with one input. Other things Realtors can do include: Virtual Tours, QR Codes on signs or flyers (which once scanned give listing information and picture slideshows), additional front yard signs which give ‘eye-catching’ info e.g. “Newly Remodeled”, “Oversized-Lot”, etc., hold open houses, inner office announcements before the listing goes on MLS (I have seen this work several times), announce it on social media outlets, and for goodness sake, answer their phones, call buyers and agents back ASAP, and be available to show the house when needed. There are plenty of other tactics agents can utilize but the moral of the story is that agents have a duty to do their part in the sale process.
You Decide… Cell Phone Picture vs Professional Photo:
Don’t Just Show — Entice:
Often times buyers have been looking at many homes before arriving at yours; often times this in the same day… they are tired and ready to end their day. However, your home could be the one that changes the monotony of home shopping, and gives them the impression they were looking for all along. How is this accomplished? The easy answer is going the extra mile. While most homeowners and agents will feel satisfied with simply snapping some pictures, putting the home on MLS, and waiting for an offer; the few that actually appeal to the buyers will see better and faster results. For instance, if you are selling your home in BonBrook Plantation of Rosenberg, you are not alone – there are plenty of properties for potential buyers to choose from (as with most neighborhoods); they are competing against your house and like any competition you have to do more to win. A powerful way to sell your home is by appealing to the senses as soon as they walk in the door. Let’s review how:
Whether it is fresh flowers carefully placed throughout the home or freshly baked cookies in the kitchen; buyers will instantly get a warm feeling and begin to slow down and enjoy the showing of the home. If there is no time for flowers, fresh cookies, etc. then carefully place glade or scentsy devices throughout the home (but choose carefully what smells you choose). For instance, cinnamon roll smells are best suited for the kitchen, fresh linen in the laundry room, and so on; or simply choose a pleasant neutral smell for the entire home.
Pleasant neutral music played near the entrance, kitchen, or living room will change the ambiance of the showing. Classical music or a light jazz instrumental played on low volume can change the buyers attitude and get them back into the vibe of enjoying your home.
Like all of these tips, there are several routes to take on this one. For instance, if you are baking cookies for the smell reason, why not leave them out for your buyers? Other ideas include setting up a Keurig with a variety pack and cups for buyers to sip their favorite tea or coffee; thus, slowing down and walking around the home like it is theirs (which is ultimately the goal, right?). The more comfortable the buyer becomes and the longer they stay in the house, the more they wish they didn’t have to leave.
This has essentially been covered but let’s expand on some other visual aides. If your home already has added touch-ups and details to the staging, then let’s knock the home run out of the park. As mentioned previously, fresh flowers add an appeal to smell but they also add a visual appeal as well (talk about bang for your buck). Even if you are not taking this route, the point is add some color to the place. Seasonal fruits such as apples, strawberries, etc. placed in a nice clear jar, or colorful bowl, etc. add a vibrant feel to the eyes. This again, removes the monotony which buyers begin to feel as they view home after home. People like seeing colorful effects like this, yet, likewise, many will not appreciate a colorful wall; and will only imagine themselves ruining a Saturday repainting walls.
Yes, as much as sellers don’t like to hear it, buyer will be touching things throughout the house (and if we are all honest, we probably did the same thing when we shopped). However, buyers will be more inclined to touch the nice looking, fluffy fabrics throughout the home, and avoid the opposites. What you don’t want is a buyer using a rough hand towel, and then viewing your gorgeous master bath with a feeling of irritation or still keeping the cheap towel feeling in the back of their mind. Unfortunately, we humans can be petty and will take one small flaw and let it ruin the entire package. This sounds bad but keep in mind you can use it to your advantage. In the opposite situation, a buyer touches a fluffy robe in the master bath and gets the sensation of a luxury hotel. It is easy to see which impression is the better one.
Following these tips and other more in-depth guides will help your home stand out among the crowd, bring buyers in, tempt them, and get an offer on the table better than if you put an empty or cluttered house on display. May your Ft Bend home sell quickly and for every bit of its value.
Thanks for reading.. feel free to post or email any questions, arguments, or requests for more information on a specific topic or point.
Thanks & Keep Winning at Real Estate
Realtor at Keller Williams SW Houston
Sugar Land, TX
Notices and Disclosures:
Broker and its affiliates are real estate service entities. Any estimates of repairs, holding costs, sellers net profit, roi, etc. are for the convenience of real estate investors. Real estate investors are encouraged to verify all estimated numbers independently. For legal matters, lease to own options, tax advice, estate and business planning, and other matter beyond the scope of normal real estate transactions, please contact an attorney, cpa, appraiser, or certified financial adviser. Broker and its affiliates assume no liability either expressed or implied for the accuracy of any price opinions or estimates given.
Posted on March 31, 2013 at 3:41 pm by Jaymes McKenzie