This is an excellent blog by fellow Active Rain Realtor Jim Frimmer. He goes through room to room and gives excellent suggestions for setting the room up for showings. It really is a "stage". If you think about it, people love to visit model homes, furniture stores, and home decor shows because they're set up so beautifully. They love to watch the home transformations on tv. A seller's home needs to scream "BUY ME" in this Show. I showed several properties one day this week. The wife Loved each and every home that was staged. Those sellers and their agent did a great job getting the house ready for the market and their efforts will go a long way with helping the home sell quicker.
I must also point out home prices need to be "Set" correctly as well. Regardless of how beautiful it is, if it is priced too high, there's a very good it won't sell and will even sell less than it would have had it been priced correctly to begin with.
Thanks Jim for a great blog!
All the home's a stage, and look what's showing!
Just like at the theatre, when you're selling your home and want hundreds or thousands of people to see the show, you want the stage set up properly. Let's go through a complete stage production of "Sell my home!"
- Act 1 — Set at the street curb and front door.
Make sure everything from the street curb to the front door is beautiful. It's called curb appeal. Your curb appeal is your marquee announcing to the world, "Look what's showing today!"
- Act 2 — Set at the paint store.
Paint colors can be critical. A home with neutral colors is best, but you don't have to paint all the walls in light sand. Warm colors, muted colors, soft colors work best. Avoid all white because your home will look like a sterile hospital. If the master bedroom is bright red to match your little red Corvette, time to repait. If the girl's room is flamingo pink, time to repait.
- Act 3 — Set in the living room and family room.
You want these two rooms to look as large as possible. Remove some furniture. Once you've done that, remove some more. Make sure they are not empty because then they seem sterile. Focus the furniture around a fireplace, or the view window, or the entertainment center wall. Photos of the family? Nude sculptures from Greece? You're trying to appeal to the masses! Put them in storage while your home is a stage.
- Act 4 — Set in the master bedroom.
This is where things can really get personal.... ceiling mirrors.... leather sling.... wedding photos.... Again, too personal for the masses. This is the time to learn how to make your bed each and every day.
- Act 5 — Set in the closets.
Closing the closet doors doesn't mean that no one is going to open them. Closed doors are just an invitation for people to look behind them to see how much storage space your stage has. If the closets are crammed full, your prospective buyers will see it as a lack of storage.
- Act 6 — Set in the office.
I was at the beginning of the generation where mom, dad, and every child had a car. Now everyone has a cell phone, a computer, a laser printer, cable television. That's okay for the children, but mom and/or dad need their own office in order to separate business from pleasure. If you have more than three bedrooms, consider setting one up as an office. Make sure the office is clean and that personal documents are put away in a locked drawer or closet.
- Act 7 — Set in the children's bedrooms.
There is nothing wrong with actually having children who spend a lot of time in their rooms. However, this might be the time to teach your children to clean up after themselves, to make their own beds, and to put their toys away. A nice, uncluttered room makes it look like a nice, spacious room, and no agent making an appointment to show your home wants to hear, "Not today. The kids' rooms are too messy."
- Act 8 — Set in bathrooms.
These are often the second most critical rooms in a house, so get up ten minutes earlier and clean up your bathroom when you're finished.... spotless countertops, spotless mirrors. Update the bathroom fixtures, like the cabinet handles, towel bars, and light fixtures. Be sure to lock up drugs, especially prescription drugs, that you normally keep in the medicine cabinet.
- Act 9 — Set in the kitchen.
Clean off the refigerator! No first-grader drawings, no magnets from Disco 54, no to-do lists, no calendars, no bills to be paid.... If you're cabinet hardware matches the bathrooms, time to upgrade them here, too. Keep the countertops clean and add a bowl of fruit or flowers; if you use fresh fruit and cut flowers, make sure you change them before they go bad.
- Act 10 — Set in the stager's office.
Once you've done all the little things, hire a professional stager to come in and really make your stage shine. The cost of a stager is far less than your first price reduction from your home sitting on the market too long!
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