Staging - Rule Number One - It's Not Your Home Anymore!

If you are getting ready to sell, or you've already tried without success, it's time to look at your home with fresh eyes. Better yet, not your eyes at all. As soon as you decide to sell your home, you must change the way you view it. It is no longer just the place you live, it is now a commodity that you are trying to sell quickly, and for the highest amount that the market will bear.

I can hear some of you already... "But I have to live here and feel at home,", or "Everyone already says that my home shows beautifully." I know, I know. Trust me. I get it, and I've heard it all, but believe me when I tell you, it's the seller that says, "Tell me what I need to do" that will meet with success.

So what do you need to do?

  1. Stop going to your friends for advice. About 95% of your friends and family wouldn't dream of criticizing your taste. As a matter of fact, we often hang out with people that have similar tastes. That doesn't mean you and your friends necessarily have the taste that will appeal to the broadest spectrum of buyers.

  2. Pay attention to the advice of your agent. They are working with consumers every day. They know what turns a buyer off, and what is most appealing. Caution - be wary of the agent that says that it's fine and they wouldn't change a thing. That's rarely the case. There are always improvements that you could make.

  3. Change your mind set. We live in a home differently than when we have it for sale. Remember, if you are looking for your home to sell, understand the market conditions, competing properties and the inventory. You're vying for buyer attention. You must be willing to let go of the personal things that may make you feel most at home.

  4. Do the work. Whether it means painting, removing wall paper, clean up the clutter, remove items from the kitchen and bathroom counters, remove bulky furniture, or freshen the yard, get to it! As soon as you start having a mental argument with your agent about the necessity of ripping down this expensive wallpaper, stop yourself and remember that you won't be living there once it's sold. Appeal to the greatest number of buyers. This is the goal.

  5. Whenever possible, hire a pro. The best results and return on investment are from a full staging company. However, if cash is not readily available, you can hire them just for a consultation. Don't allow yourself to fight them regarding their suggestions. You are trying to create the emotional appeal that makes a buyer feel a sense of urgency about writing an offer. This is what a good stager is best at, and this is what you are hiring them for. You are looking for the kind of advice that your friends are afraid or are unwilling to give you. Take it. You'll be thanking them later.