Home Selling in Santa Cruz>Question Details

Robert Mclain, Both Buyer and Seller in 95060

I'm not a total slob. How important is staging a house to get it sold at a good price?

Asked by Robert Mclain, 95060 Wed Oct 28, 2009

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Hi Robert,
When you make a decision to put your house on a market - you're no longer just an owner. You have to see yourself as the Seller of a special and valuable property. And there's nothing more important as a good and lasting first impression.
Step outside and evaluate a curb appeal of your house: exterior, landscaping and any trash that needs to be removed. Inside: get rid of clutter, fix lighting if necessary, remove some pieces of furniture - it can greatly improve the look and make rooms to appear more spacious, decorate with plants and fresh cut flowers and hire a professional cleaning service - clean homes give Buyers an impression of being well cared for.
Invite a real estate professional to give you an advise and a second opinion if you feel that staging would help to sell for a higher price.
Your goal is to sell, so do it right by being critical and putting yourself in the shoes of a potential Buyer. In many cases just few inexpensive improvements can enhance the appeal of a home. Prepare your house for sale - and you will be rewarded by a good price and a timely period to get it sold!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 29, 2011
Total slob or not, you need to present your catbox as the catbird seat. What did Lori Jakubowski write? Brush your teeth before you go to the dentist? How about before you go on a date?

Buyers come into your crib, baby, they're discounting every time they move their eyes. Dirty fireplace, five thousand off. Dishes in the sink? Two thousand. Sofa with dog hair on it? Three thousand.

Paint, clean, and refurnish. Otherwise, sell at . . . what's the opposite of "a good price?"

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 2, 2009
Staging is very important. "De-clutter" is the key word. Too much clutter in the homes I see is the most common problem. Remove the clutter whether it is on the kitchen counter, bathroom counters, walls,
closets, shelves, and so on. Less is better, Minimize. Cleaning is the next problem I see frequently.
The top of the refrigerator, the ceiling fans, the windows, carpets, baths, shower stalls, etc.. First impressions are lasting the curb appeal of the home in also important. No junk cars on the driveway, no blue tarps covering up property. Clean up the front and rear yards. Use of potted plant and flowers is a great idea. Paint the front door, put down a new "welcome mat". No hyper anilmals coming at prospecctive buyers or Realtor when the come to show or preview you home. Put them in the garage in possible while showing. Post notices on the doors. No dog food and water bowls in the walkways.
Paint and new floor covering is the best investment for preparing your home for sale.
I have a vidoe I give to my clients for more on this. Call me, Mike Castle, Real Estate Broker, License # 00620895 at (831) 588-1988 or visit my web site. Thanks and good luck.
Web Reference: http://www.mikecastle.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 22, 2010
I agree with Bobbie. Staging is about helping the buyer see your house in it's best light. Usually you brush your teeth before your go to the dentist, well the same is true with your house. If you have your house staged and you still live in it like a slob, it won't show well. Homes that look clean, are free of clutter show better. That does not cost you as the seller a cent...just some elblow grease. The problem I see with sellers is they dont' see their homes from the prespective of the buyer. I took a staging course and the one thing that was said over and over was"the way your live in a house and the way you sell a house are two different things" Buyers are not always that creative, so if you use your dining room as a play area for your kids and have toys and baby buggies scattered about. Buyers will come in and see that, be distracted and not know how to use the space. Staging shows them how each room can be utilized in a simple way...that adds, not detracts from the house. It helps buyers see how their own things might fit into the space. Just by removing a few items, re-arranging things, cleaning up and minimalizing you can a really change a buyers perspective of the home. There are statistics out there that staging a home will get your home sold quicker and for more money. Just watch HGTV and see "Designed to Sell". They make simple changes that make huge differences. Know your market and ask your listing agent to take you into the homes in the area that are your direct competition and see how your home fairs.

Clean, simple and furniture in each room that makes sense for the room. Best of luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 2, 2009
Bobbie's answer is great. Staging has nothing to do with whether you're a slob. And so one of the other answers below demonstrates a lack of understanding on what staging is and isn't.

Sure, cleanliness is part of it. But the real purpose of staging is to present the home so that potential buyers can envision themselves living there. So it involves removing clutter. It often involves rearranging furniture, and possibly substituting some for others. It involves "neutralizing" the home--minimizing personal effects and distractions. And it involves the judicious placement of items--a plant here, a table setting there--to help the buyer envision living there.

Here's another point that some people miss: Staging is deliberately artificial. Now, it's not supposed to look artificial or fake to the buyer. But you may do some things in staging that you'd never do in real life--once you actually live there. The word is "staging"--as in a theater stage. When you go to a theater, you're presented with one or more "sets." Unless it's theater in the round, notice how all the furniture and items are positioned for viewing by the audience? It suggests the way a home might look, but it's certainly not the way a real home (from whatever era) actually would be set up. It's exactly the same with home staging. You're creating an effect. Just as in a theater, you want the theater-goer/buyer to imagine themselves in that setting, and to image the life that accompanies the setting.

Staging is very, very important.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 31, 2009
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Adequately preparing a house to sell in the current market is critical. Buyers have high expections! You are likely competing with multiple properties in your geographic area and price range. Your house needs to stand out in buyer's minds and look better than your competition--staging can help you accomplish that. Having a professional objectively evaluate your property is key.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 31, 2009
To compete with all of the foreclosures and short sales you must show buyers your home is ready to move into without much, if any, work. A fresh coat of paint, updated light fixtures and clean/new carpets are ways to set your home apart from the competition. Be sure to have sparkling clean bathrooms and kitchen. Clear the countertops to give the feel of a larger kitchen and polish the cabinets so they shine. Anything less lumps you in with the average home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009

I think it is critical. I’ve attached a link that gives my rationale.

How To “Play” Against REOs With Your “Normal” Sale – A Critical Factor Required To Win

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
The Best way to stage a house is just clean up everything and tidy everything. Its not so much going out and buying staging items as it is cleanliness. Buyers want to be able to walk around your home without having to walkover anything or see anything unslightly. A good way to start would be put all clothes away and keep closet doors closed. Any personal hygene items put away in bathroom and not in the open. Make sure all dishes are put awa and also make sure are the beds are made. Another thing would be to have all mirrors clean and windows as well. Last thing would be to have the floors vaccumed and make the couches look nice( put the pillows up and fluff them a bit). Also a nice nice touch would be to Febreeze all the fabric in the house and maybe pick up some candles. Another tip is to ahev all this curtains open when potential clients are viewing your property.

John & Sarena Villaescusa
Cell- 562-818-2671
Email- Johnv@kw.com
Website- http://www.VGroupHomes.com
Web Reference: http://www.VGroupHomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
It can make a huge difference. For example, one real estate agent told me that Staging increased the sale price by $20k on a small 3/1 in Watsonville that I recently closed.

The property was listed at 269k, I set up a bidding war and sold it for $321,500. The same agent said that by setting up the bidding war, I probably got another $10k for my clients.

How you present the product is very important. Do not miss out on getting the top dollar for you property!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
Hello Robert and thanks for your post.

As Bobbie noted below, staging can be very helpful in seling your home. But before you invest in a staging company, talk with a qualified real estate professional for tips, cues and information that will help you sell your home. A good Realtor will be able to tell you what you need to do to increase the value of your "curb appeal" as well as beautify the interior of the home. Sometimes staging is required, and sometimes the money is better spent on some minor repairs and cleaning.

Consulting with a Realtor will go a long way to getting your home "show ready" for buyers!

Good luck!
Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
Tel 408-426-1616
Email: GraceAreaProRealty@att.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
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