First impressions are critical. Just like the view from the curb may prevent a buyer from getting out of the car, the view inside the house determines whether they make an offer. Buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living in your home, or perhaps more to the point, they need to envision your home as theirs. You can accomplish this by staging your home.
Home staging is the process of preparing your home for sale to make its best impression on prospective buyers. It can be as simple as cleaning the house and putting out fresh flowers or as complicated as hiring a consultant to determine what furnishings and decorations best suit your home while it’s on the market. Big budget or small, how you present your home to potential buyers can affect how quickly it sells.
Cleaning and decluttering are essential. The whole house should sparkle – especially kitchens and bathrooms. Clear off counters and organize cabinets and closets. Too much “stuff” is distracting and makes spaces feel cramped and small – definitely not a good impression. Remove furniture that blocks the natural traffic flow, being sure there is a clear walkway to all windows and that the windows and screens are clean.
Visual cues help buyers process your home’s features. Keeping room décor simple makes it easy to ascertain a room’s purpose. A bed and a dresser in a room with a closet are all it takes to show that a room can be used as a bedroom. A table with chairs identify a dining area, formal or otherwise. Staging rooms for their traditional purpose helps buyers understand your home. Whether the final buyer decides to use rooms the way you show them doesn’t matter.
There is a lot you can do yourself to get your home looking its best. Consult with your real estate professional before you start any projects to be sure that the payoff is worth the investment. Remember, once you decide to sell your home, it’s a good idea to behave as if it isn’t your “home,” anymore. Cutting the emotional ties makes it easier to get your “house” sold fast.
- Marketing Tips: How To Sell Your Home – If you want potential home buyers to fall in love with your house, they first have to know it’s for sale. This is where a strong marketing plan comes into play, which not only publicizes your property but gives people a preview of your home before they get there.
- A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words – Regardless of whether your home is to be featured online, in a REALTOR’S® publication or paid advertisement, quality photos are a must. You must capture your home’s best qualities in each image. Take a photo of the front and back of the home, along with interior photos of every room. Try various angles and lighting situations, which gives you the opportunity to choose the best shots.
When photographing any part of your home, make sure that it’s spotless. Home buyers, especially those with children or pets, would love to see a yard. If your house has a lot of room to run, showcase it in photos. If you live in a condominium or townhouse, emphasize nearby activities that offer family fun. This may include a swimming pool, recreation center, tennis court, etc. When you present your photos to the REALTOR®, he/she will use them to pique the interest of potential buyers. If a buyer likes the photos, their next step will be to schedule a tour of the home. Hence, the right photos are invaluable when selling real estate
Sign Here – Believe it or not, one of the best marketing strategies is free. By placing a sign in your yard, you will let anyone driving by know that your home is for sale. Even if you live in an area that does not get a lot of traffic, a passerby may notice the sign and tell someone they know who is in the market for a new home. Your REALTOR® will likely provide you with a sign, which should be placed in a visible area of your lawn. You can also place a sign in your window or on your front door. Be sure to check with your local community association, if applicable, regarding placement and permission for this type of sign.
- Paid Advertisements – Many REALTORS® advertise their listings in local real estate publications, their business Web site and even the occasional ad in the newspaper. Depending on the terms of your listing agreement, you may be able to continue advertising the home independently. Check with your REALTOR® about their commission policy if you sell the house yourself.
- Hold An Open House – If you want potential buyers to fall in love with your home, invite them in to see what it has to offer. An open house allows for anyone to simply drop in, with or without an appointment, to tour the home. In some cases, a successful open house may result in an offer or possibly multiple offers that same day. You can advertise an open house with signs in your yard, posting a notice on local bulletin boards and by utilizing free or paid ads online and/or in your local newspaper. In most cases, your REALTOR® will schedule the open house and will help answer questions from potential buyers. If you are still living in the home, the date and time should be convenient for you, but also a day that would be convenient for others. For most, the weekend is a good time and most open houses are an all-day event.
For the best approach at a successful marketing strategy, confer with your REALTOR®. Successful agents know their markets and what will likely be the best approach to selling your home. Don’t be afraid, though, to offer your input and ask questions as you develop your marketing plan.