For today's Real Estate Monday post, I want to take the opportunity to talk a little bit about staging your home in preparation for listing it.
In the Denver Metro housing market, we all know that things sell, and they sell quickly. Everyone has a friend or neighbor that has a story about a house that sold in a day, or in a few hours. But an agent should be focused on more than just getting your house sold — a seller's agent is there to make sure that you get the absolute best deal on your home possible.
To that end, it's important to remember why staging your home is so important.
One of my first real estate mentors told me once, "The way you live in a home, and the way you sell a home, are completely different." When you live in a home, you arrange your furniture to point at your TV. You keep things on your counter that you use every day — your coffee pot, your knife block, maybe a Kitchen Aid. Maybe you have a shoe rack next to the door, coats on the coat hanger you inherited from Grandma. You hang your pictures where you like them, keep your pillows in the spot where you like to sit, and your CD collection proudly displayed on the shelves in your living room next to your stereo. Maybe you have other collections — dolls, or figurines, or teapots. And these things, the art and possessions, they tell everyone that visits your home a little bit about who you are as a person.
But when you make the decision to sell your home, things necessarily have to change. When you are trying to attract a buyer, a home becomes less about showcasing the wonderful things in your life, and more about showing the world all the wonderful things about the home you've lived in. An agent — a good agent — should be able to help you display the house in a way that nets you the best price for it.
A great deal of what often needs to be done is decluttering. People want to see your countertops, not the things that you would normally keep on them. They want to see your floors, not the rug that covers them. Instead of furniture that faces a TV or a central position, it should be turned or moved out of a room to display its size, its features.
If a house is vacant, all its possessions already moved out into a new home, it's still important to do at least a little staging. Even just a piece of artwork can make a room feel homier, more attractive to potential buyers. Curb appeal should be kept up as well, even if the owner has moved out!
And these things don't have to cost a fortune. Artwork for staging can be found at a thrift store. Curb appeal doesn't have to mean fresh flowers in planter boxes every week — it can mean simply keeping the lawn mowed and the bushes trimmed. Indoors, even if you don't apply fresh paint to every wall, sometimes a good scrub will make walls look and feel brighter and cleaner.
All of this is important when trying to get the best price for your home. Any agent can list a house, but a good agent will help you decide what's important to help you fetch the best price possible.