Why Vacant Listings Take Up To 50% Longer To Sell.
- Vacant rooms aren’t really very appealing to prospective buyers. Listing photos that show only empty space just don’t spark the imagination of prospective buyers the same way that well-staged rooms do and without that spark of interest, potential buyers may not be inclined to have a closer look.
- Vacant rooms don’t give potential buyers any reference points they can use to help them judge the size of a space, leaving them to wonder if the living room is large enough to fit their sofa or the second bedroom is too small for a double bed. Staging rooms increases buyer interest.
- Vacant rooms fail to tell potential buyers what purpose they have. Is this space with two windows the dining room or a bedroom? It’s always best to make it easy for potential buyers to imagine themselves living in a space and having a dining room with a table, chairs and some art on the walls makes it much easier for them to do so.
- When a potential buyer tours a vacant home the only thing they can really focus on is the flaws! Every little mark on walls and floors stands out and out-dated fixtures become focal points. It is very hard for buyers to make a positive emotional connection to a space that just feels empty and cold.
You may have to borrow furniture or even rent a few pieces but the cost of carrying a property for months on end is far more expensive than the cost of staging. Most stagers can give you a very detailed “do-it-yourself” staging plan that will help you get your property ready for listing so that it can sell quickly and for the most money possible.
It’s sunny here in the Ottawa area, a perfect day to be celebrating “Family Day”. As a result of this wonderful sunshine, I’ve decided to share some tips for adding light to your home when selling.
Top 5 Lighting Tips
- If you are showing your home during the day, be sure to open all curtains to let the maximum amount of natural light enter the home. Remember to turn on all interior lights when showing your home in both daytime and evenings. Realtors will turn on any lights operated by a wall switch but will not turn on table lamps so, turn them on before you leave for a showing.
- Wash the inside and outside of windows – nothing diminishes the quality of light more than dirty windows.
- Be sure all fixtures have the maximum wattage allowed AND that the fixtures are clean. This is particularly important for fixtures with glass panes or panels.
- Try to avoid dark areas in the house. If you have, them try adding a small table lamp and if that isn’t an option, consider adding a ceiling fixture. Often, if there is already a fixture you can change it out to one “track” light option. These have become very inexpensive and new designs will blend with most home styles can be found at any good hardware store.
- Keep all flat surfaces (table tops, counters and the like) clear of excess decorative items and polish surfaces to reflect light.
In my next post I’ll be covering some tips to stage individual rooms in the house. Enjoy.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged DIY, home improvement, home selling, home staging, home staging tips, professional stagers, property styling, real estate, real estate staging, selling homes, top 5 tips
Some sellers are wondering; “with up to 90% of potential buyers being introduced to a property on-line, is curb appeal still important?” The answer is YES! Those people that found your property on-line will usually take at least one drive around the neighborhood to “get a feel” for the area and of course, they will attend either an open house event or a showing. Follow these tips to help ensure your property makes the best first impression possible;
- Look at your house from across the street; is it easy to see? Be sure to trim shrubs to provide a clear few and that your house numbers are clearly visible from the road.
- Is your pathway to the front door easy to find? Plant colourful planters or beds to draw the eye towards the front door.
- Trim all foundation planting to no higher than the base of the windows. Being able to see the windows helps the property seem more welcoming. Add a fresh layer of mulch to help clean-up and refresh the beds.
- Keep the walkway free of toys, snow, etc. and check the surface for chips, missing or un-level pavers (the last thing you want is to have a potential buyer trip!)
- If you have steps leading to your front door be sure they are in excellent shape, if not, repair or re-paint.
- Carefully check the condition of the front door, screen door and hardware. It should be clean and well kept (no ripped screens). If the door looks a little tired give it a coat of paint and try up-dating or replacing the hardware if it is not working properly or it’s very outdated.
- Replace all bulbs in outdoor fixtures with the highest wattage allowed and clean all glass so that the lights sparkle. If the fixtures are dated you can try giving them a coat of paint but if they are broken, replace. It is important that your outdoor fixtures match in style and colour. Be sure to clear away all cobwebs around the lights and front door.
- If you use blinds on your windows, get into the habit of having them all at the same height so that they look good from the outside.
- What do people see from the outside of your house looking in? Don’t keep lots of small plants or decorative items on your window sills as it just makes things look cluttered. Have your kids remove all stickers that they might have on their windows for the same reason. If you have curtains or drapes your stager might suggest you remove them, if there is a privacy issue, be sure your window coverings all show the same colour from the street (white linings).
- If you have an entry porch or landing at the front door, keep it free of toys and flyers. A new welcome mat is always a nice touch as is a planter of flowers(ONLY if you have enough room).
I hope you found these suggestions helpful. Look for a new blog entry every second week.
95% of home buyers are introduced to a property online!
Imagine, potential buyers are looking at your property online BEFORE they even consider an actual showing. Wow, you can certainly see why your MLS photos are so important! No matter how good the quality of your photos, if what potential buyers are seeing is cluttered rooms, unusual paint colours, inappropriate art or just poor layout, they are not going to be making arrangements to visit your property.
Today’s buyer knows what they want; bright, spacious rooms and move-in ready, so I recommend you do whatever needs to be done to bring your property up to that basic standard. Although kitchen and bathroom renovations can certainly provide a great return on investment, deep cleaning, painting, up-dated lighting, decluttering, and depersonalizing can give you a huge return on investment.
Seeking the help of a professional home stager can help you decide which items need up-dating, what paint colours are best for selling, how many books to have in the bookcase, what to do with all the excess stuff you’ve collected over the years and help you develop a plan which keeps your goals and budget in mind.
Most professional stagers offer a written consultation option which is a great investment whether you are an avid DIYer or want someone else to do the work for you. A professional staging consultation gives you a road-map of what to do and can save you thousands of dollars in costly mistakes and carrying costs. Your stager works closely with you and your realtor to make sure that your property makes the best first impression possible.
Home staging is all about selling your home faster and for more money so that you make the most money possible from the sale of your home and when that happens, you get to move forward to your next adventure.
With the huge popularity of HGTV design shows, design magazines and DIY books, it is no wonder that DIY home staging appeals to many home sellers who want all the benefits of a professionally staged property.
The issue with DIY staging is that novices often fail to take into account the psychological and sociological factors of their target buyer or, fail to understand who their target buyer actually is. Staging novices typically spend huge amounts of time developing a design plan and waste money on improvements and updates that do not give them the best return on their investment.
The best solution? Hire a staging professional to come in and do a consultation for you. You get the benefit of expert advice and planning guidance while giving you the opportunity to carry out the design in a way that works best with your budget and skills.
Home stagers will do as little or as much as you need. If you have little time it will probably be wise to take full advantage of your stager’s tradespeople, shopping services and accessory/furniture rental contacts. If you’re confident in some areas of home improvements and not in others, your home stager can help you find the help and expertise you need. If you are very confident in your DIY skills then eliminate costly mistakes by following the advice of an expert.