Do you dream of buying something brand new or buying something different than you already have? Maybe you’ve spotted a property that you think would be IDEAL for you & your family.
I recommend giving a LOT of thought to what will REALLY make you happier. It may NOT mean selling & moving. If it does mean moving from your home, then you need to make that big decision to sell, bite the bullet and take action. Making plans to sell your home needs to be a well thought out decision and one that you’re absolutely sure about. You don’t want to have any regrets. Can you imagine moving into your next home & forever wishing you were “back there” again? Moving forward without any regrets is extremely gratifying, so take the time you need to mentally & emotionally prepare to let go and move on. Once you’re ready to sell, the rest is really just a lot of logistical detail that needs to be done in order to make it happen.
But don’t fret, there’s help available every step of the way. Once you’re ready to sell, interview several real estate agents and find out what they offer for marketing your home most effectively. One of my top recommendations is to ask if they offer staging services as part of their marketing package. That is actually one of the very best things a realtor can do to help home owners sell their home successfully. BUT, it’s crucial to get the process in the right order.
Here’s the right order in 3 basic steps:
1. Make a firm decision to sell. Let go emotionally & start seeing your home as a product to be marketed that’s competing with many other homes in your area. After all, you want top dollar for it, so it has to look better than most in order to be memorable. After buyers have seen 25 houses, will they even remember yours? Will it be in their top 3 list?
2. Interview at least 3 real estate agents and hire one. Ask them many questions & get familiar enough with them to get some assurance on who’s the best fit for you & who’ll do the best job for you. One of the questions should be whether they offer staging services or not. Staging services offer home sellers a BIG advantage, so this is a very important question to get answered.
3. Staging Occupied Homes vs. Vacant Homes…
Occupied Homes: If you’re living in the home while you’re selling, ask your agent for a DIY Staging Consultation as a minimum. This consultation generally takes 1.5 – 2.5 hours for a Property Stylist to come in to advise you on what to do in every room in your home. You can take notes and will have DIY homework to do later to implement all the recommendations. A DIY Staging Consultation gives you the biggest bang for the smallest buck in the selling process. You may also need to consider renting furniture & accessories from the Property Stylist to help show your home at its best. Working with your own furnishings, the Property Stylist can recommend which items you should consider renting and which of your items could stay in the home. It’s not uncommon to move furnishings & accessories from one room to another to create better visual appeal for selling. This is all a guided process with a Property Stylist who’ll take the sellers’ confusion & overwhelm out of the equation with this simple consultation. It’s an ideal service for home sellers, particularly if the real estate agent covers the cost for it instead of the home owner. Typically, the cost is around $150 – $250 in Greater Vancouver BC.
3. Vacant Homes: If the home will be vacant for selling, ask your real estate agent for a Staging Estimate to furnish it, either partially or completely, to give it show home status. Your professionally redesigned home may just be someone else’s dream come true. Homes that offer heightened perceived value translate into higher selling prices, faster sales, and often create bidding wars. Real Estate Statistics prove that staged homes sell faster & for higher prices than non-staged homes. It should have you laughing all the way to the bank. The price of staging a home is always less than the first price reduction & can eliminate price reductions altogether. The price range varies depending on how many rooms will be staged, so anywhere from $2500 and up is typical for staging vacant properties in Greater Vancouver BC. It’s an investment that generally offers BIG rewards.
A BIG WARNING: Ignoring the right order in Real Estate selling can cost you a lot of money. For example, some people decide that this order isn’t important, so they list their home for a few months to “wait & see” if it’ll sell without any staging or aesthetic improvements or design expertise put into it. They say they’ll consider staging if it doesn’t sell in a few months. There are several negative consequences for implementing this line of thinking…
First of all, this is a triple-whammy! New listings get almost ALL the attention from buyers looking intently for their dream home. When buyers see homes that have been on the market for several months that don’t have instant eye-appeal, those homes are quickly dismissed & bypassed in search for new listings that look “hot” & exciting. Not only will older listings be bypassed, the buyer wonders why it hasn’t sold and begins to think there’s something wrong with it that’s preventing it from selling. No buyer wants to buy the home that has problems associated with it. It may be an entirely incorrect assumption, but that’s buyer psychology at work.
To make things worse, older listings will get lower offers because of all of the above. If it hasn’t sold for several months, buyers will tend to think they can get away with low ball offers if they think the seller could be getting desperate to sell. Then the seller is forced to start implementing price reductions in order to get more buyer interest and the situation becomes a steady downhill spiral.
I see this happening like clockwork! It’s so predictable, it’s scary. Yet home sellers do it over & over & over again. So my advice is to make sure you get it all in the right order to give yourself the best chance of success:
Be absolutely sure you want to sell, hire the right realtor, get professional staging advice on marketing your home to its best advantage.
Ellie Hanson, NexTrendDesign.com