“It’s The Economy, Stupid.”
Several years ago, that widely used phrase in American politics made an indelible mark on our cultural consciousness.
Now, unfortunately, it’s more true than ever.
You might think that selling a home in today’s market is about as close as you can get to a stacked deck against you. Is there any reason to think your house can be sold in this market except as a fire sale?
It’s a very competitive market. You need all the edge you can muster. You need to show your home to best advantage. This is where Home Staging comes to the rescue.
You can’t just put a “For Sale” sign in the front yard and keep your fingers crossed.
As far as your prospective buyer is concerned, that first viewing won’t be about “getting to know you” but rather, first impressions are everything and you only have one shot. It has to be “love at first sight”, or else.
The same effect is true when you have your home appraised. Stage it first, and your appraiser will more likely view your home as “better quality” than would have been the case if seen before you “spiffed it up”.
Check Out The Competition: Look online for other houses being sold in your neighborhood at a comparable price and compare them with yours. What kind of condition are these houses in? How are they being presented? What are the standard features of the houses in your price range? How does yours compare? Let’s say you see a house that has the kind of features that are usual and customary for the location and price range. All the repairs have been made, the old or worn components replaced, and it’s presented in an eye-catching manner. Guess which house is more likely to sell first at a higher price?
Now look at houses that are selling at the next price point up. What do those houses have that yours doesn’t? Would it be cost effective to consider these improvements?
If you were to write a sales ad for your home, what would you say? Naturally, you would write in glowing terms about the best features, and downplay the not-so-great aspects.
On a day-to-day basis, we tend not to notice the obvious details about where and how we live. A reliable countermeasure is to take pictures of your rooms, your backyard and the front of the house, then take a close look. What pops out? What’s an eyesore? Have you done everything to play up the best features, and disguise the worst? Make a list and assess how much work you want to do yourself to make improvements and how much you want to farm out? How much will repairs and upgrades cost? Answer these questions and you can determine an appropriate budget and a time-line for completion.
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.