Is Your Home A Site For Sore Eyes?
Why bother, you’re selling anyway, right?
Don’t hold your breath. A 2011 study by the Real Estate Staging Association completed several analyses of whether their staging efforts truly pay off for homeowners.
One study involved tracking the history of 126 vacant and occupied homes that had not be previously staged. They had all been on the market for 263 days on average. Those same homes were then staged and they all sold within an average of 60 days.
This is verifiable cost effective effort in action.
Sellers sometimes take a fairly laissez-faire attitude about the length of time their property remains on the market. They feel that eventually the right buyer will materialize one day and offer the current asking price envisioned by the optimistic homeowner. A major consideration however, are the monthly carrying costs of the mortgage plus the utilities for the length of time it takes for the property to sell.
Long on-the-market time equals several thousand dollars evaporating from your pocket because of a property you no longer want to keep.
What Is This Going To Cost? You can work with no budget or any budget, but the bottom line is that you want to do as little as possible to get the best results. Weigh costs against benefits. Repair whatever is broken, upgrade what is old or worn, but the resale value of major renovations such as putting in a swimming pool, is questionable.
Since kitchens and bathrooms are on the top of list of most important rooms, it’s worth it to replace counter tops and/or the floors if they are well past their prime. Can the floor tiles be repaired or should they be replaced? Can the carpet be shampooed to bring it up to snuff, or is it beyond salvation and must be replaced? However, don’t think in terms of leaving the purchase of a new water heater, for example, to the next owner. You’ll be asked to reduce the selling price significantly more to accommodate their purchase. In truth, it will be cheaper for you replace it yourself than give a reduction on price.
No budget to stage an entire house? Address the most important rooms and views. How does your house look from the outside? Is the entryway/foyer inviting? Kitchens and bathrooms are very important to everyone. What do yours look like? The living room and master bedroom are key rooms as well.
Present your home as “good to go”. No buyer wants to be faced with necessary repairs and upgrades that have to be done the minute after they move in. Whatever needs repair, do it now. If your budget isn’t large enough for full service staging, a consultation will give you the kind of practical advice you need for details that you might otherwise overlook.
The Bottom Line: Prepare for success. Though there will be some time, money and labor involved whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, you have nothing to lose but time and money the longer your house remains on the market. Take charge with Home Staging and take advantage the best marketing tools available.
(Home Staging Five Part Series)
The original version of this article was published on Hamptons.com. It’s represented here as a foundation for further topic discussion and updates.