UPlifting Advice on Getting Your Property Sold, Anywhere

March 18, 2010

Before ASP Staging



This great RE-post is from 

Jennie Norris, ASP Master, IAHSP®, Owner, Sensational Home Staging in Denver, CO.  Jennie is the IAHSP president. 

Please visit Cape Cod Home Staging Co. to get your Cape or South Shore property staged!


1. If it’s cluttered – PACK IT UP

Clutter is a natural part of life and most of us do our best to stay on top of it. Things on surfaces, floors, walls, and in our yards – are all items we enjoy or have “plans for” – and that is life. However, when selling a house – the clutter that is part of daily lives actually cuts into our equity. As Barb Schwarz, the Creator of Home Staging®, says, “Clutter eats equity” and the more of it that is around, the harder it is for a buyer to look past and see the possibilities of the house and of living there as their home. When Selling – PACK IT UP – pack up the clutter and this actually gives the Seller a head start on moving – as when the Seller gets an offer they will already have packed up a lot of their smaller things and personal items – which will lessen the stress of having to move.

2. If it’s dated – SPRUCE IT UP

Not all houses are new. Not all buyers want new houses, and yet most all buyers want houses that are in move-in condition. This means that if your house or listing is dated, it might be worth the investment to paint or upgrade elements of the house so it stands up to the competition. Spruce it up – put in warm neutral paint colors on walls and paint over any custom colors that are too bright, too dark, or too dingy. Don’t be stubborn about painting – you are moving. You can paint your new house the colors you want but for Buyers – make the effort to help them mentally move in to the house you are selling by giving them a warm neutral palette.

Take down wall paper or paint over it – wall paper is too customized and individualized – make your house Buyer neutral. Replace worn carpeting if possible, and remove odd objects, funky art that is possibly distracting, and pack up controversial items. Replace dated fixtures – for about $25.00-$75.00 you can replace a faucet, ceiling fan or lighting fixture. That means for an entire house when you invest about $500 you can update a lot of elements that will help your house compete with newer houses for sale.

3. If it’s dirty, CLEAN IT UP!

Dirty houses are a turn off to Buyers. It sends the message, “I did not care for my house and you will probably find maintenance issues here.” It may also send the wrong message to the buyer that you are desperate or in some sort of sticky situation if you are not maintaining your house. That is the wrong message to send when selling. Dig in and do whatever you can to make your house really shine. If you are not able to do it yourself get help. Call in favors or get volunteers that can help you do what you need but do not put a dirty house on the market. If there are pets, get rid of the hair – and that means you need to vacuum UNDER the furniture too – and suck up those dust balls.

Get an objective opinion from someone that has high cleanliness standards – and LISTEN to their advice about your house and don’t take it personally. The things we do for buyers may be beyond what we do for ourselves, but remember this is all about the EQUITY in your house – and your desire to get the BEST offer in the SHORTEST time. Be willing to clean your windows and bathrooms until they sparkle. Buyers can tell how well you’ve cared for your house by looking at the small things – window tracks, bathroom or tile grout, fixtures. If you cannot afford to replace worn carpet, at least CLEAN it! It is an inexpensive investment to ensure your house looks the very best based on your timeframe and budget.

4. If it’s broken – FIX IT UP

Houses that are for sale need to be in good condition as well as show well. It would be worth it to have a home inspector go through your house for sale and find all the things that need repair or replacement so that when the house comes on the market it is ready to sell. A buyer does not like going through a house that has “issues” that need addressing – and anything that can be done up front will help the sale.  If you cannot afford a home inspection, go through your house with “Buyer’s Eyes” and see how your house stands up to the scrutiny you know it will go through with showings.  Make sure things are in working order, any cosmetic scuffs or knicks are repaired, and your house is ready for the public to come through.

5. If it’s overgrown – TRIM IT UP

The outside of the house makes the first impression and we have about 3-10 seconds to capture the attention . Curb appeal is extremely important and yet many Sellers fail to address that when their house comes on the market. Trees get bigger and overgrown, and shrubs grow wider and taller – and sometimes the house – that is the product – is hidden.  Take the time to trim trees and shrubs so that they don’t make the house feel crowded.  Add color to help with curb appeal – with annuals or perennials that highlight the yard and house and show up well in photos.  And don’t forget the side yards and back yard.  If there is a view – show it off.  If there is an eyesore – minimize it with strategically placed trees or lattice.  If there are unused pots or other yard items, box them up or get rid of them.  Minimize “yard art” as well – remember we want the focus on the house, not pink flamingos or a collection of cute bunnies.

6. If it’s not selling – LISTEN UP

Ultimately, Staging is a marketing tool and a financial tool to help the Seller and Staging will help a house sell faster and at the best price in any market. It is well worth it to invest in an objective opinion about your house by hiring a professional Stager to come and create a Staging plan for your house. Listen up to your Stager and do your best not to take things personally when you may be advised to pack, paint or perk up your house.

Staging works – however it is not a “magic wand” that allows a seller to price their house outside of where it will sell. It will help a house sell faster than the un-Staged competition. Statistics prove that fact – and yet Sellers – Listen UP to your Realtor and if your house is not selling and it is Staged properly for sale, then it is the price that is keeping a buyer from buying. This does not mean that the Staging did not work – it means that the house needs to meet the market conditions and other factors that could be impacting the sale – and it WILL sell before the competition that has NOT taken into account presentation and Staging as a marketing, listing and financial tool.

Follow this UPLIFTING advice and you should be receiving an offer on your house that will lift you up and make you glad that you invested the time and dollars in Staging. Whether you implement the suggestions provided to you by a professional Home Stager or you hire them to help you do the work, Staging is a proven way to get top dollar for your house in any market. And in today’s market and economy, we need every tool available to help put our best foot – or your case – house – forward and attract the positive attention that will get your house SOLD!


Inside Secrets to Selling Your Home – ABC News

March 1, 2010

Inside Secrets to Selling Your Home – ABC News.  “Price gets you interest. Sataging gets the offers,” Gary Keller.

Moving House in Zen Fashion

November 7, 2009

stones on the beach

Yes, there are Realtors and real estate agents who are clueless about the moving angst of their clients. Not me. I do everything possible, including delivering moving boxes and rolling up my sleeves.  Here’s a post about bringing the move down to a manageable stress level.

This is a guest post from Annabel Candy of Get In the Hot Spot via Zenhabits. Annabel’s remarks dovetail with your home Staging as a seller, too.

Did you know that moving house can be one of the most stressful times in your life? It’s right up there with losing your job, divorce or the death of a loved one, as one of the biggest causes of stress. I’ve been there. In 2007 my husband and I sold our house along with most of our belongings and moved from New Zealand to Panama with our three young kids. We ended up spending 18 months in Central America and lived in Costa Rica for over a year during which time we moved house three times. Moving house was easier in Costa Rica, because by then we’d got rid of most of our possessions and had less to cart around with us. We got good at giving things away, selling them or just chucking out all that rubbish that clutters up our lives. Moving out of our home in New Zealand was the big one. I certainly felt the stress could come but managed to change that pressure into a buzz so I could enjoy the excitement of change and new beginnings. In the end moving house and countries was a fun way to declutter our lives. Tips for a stress free move: 1. Get organised in advance. If you leave everything until the last minute it will be stressful. We sold our house five months before we left and then rented it back from the new owner. That way we could relax with the cash in our bank account and not worry about how we were going to finance the move.

2. Start selling non-essential items three months before you leave. Clutter and things you don’t use much build up in any house, especially if you have kids. You’ll find that there are plenty of things you can off-load two or three months before your move. Stuff like toys, tools, kitchen equipment, many clothes and everything that’s broken, or that you never use but have been saving for a rainy day.

3. Organise your personal belongings and paperwork. Get a concertina folder for essential documents like passports, birth certificates, and other certificates and keep them all together. Sort out your personal photos – put them in albums and chuck out all the blurred and boring ones. Give all the kids a memory box – a shoe box will be about the right size for them to keep all their school reports, photos, pictures and keep sakes in. Keep the box small – they will fill it!

4. Maximise this opportunity to minimalise. There’s no point in keeping too much stuff if you’re making a big move. Sending it overseas may cost more than replacing it and this is the ideal time to become more minimalist and get rid of all the possessions that are compromising your freedom. Make a list of everything you want to sell but need to keep until you leave: furniture and big electrical items such as the fridge, washing machine, stereo and dryer. Write an email with title, description and price. Just sell everything for half what you bought it for. Remember, you want to get rid of it. Now email this to all friends and colleagues who live nearby. I predict a feeding frenzy. Print out the email, ask people to commit to buying something and add their name by the item. Ask them to swing by on moving day and pick it up. Simple yet effective and your friends will be delighted.

5. Have a huge garage sale for smaller items. Think of it as being paid to clean out your house and declutter your life. Again, remember to sell everything for a low price because your main aim is to get rid of stuff. If you’re not comfortable making money from selling your old clothes, toys, crockery and books then mention in the garage sale ad that all proceeds will go to a worthy cause, like Guampedia or your favourite charity. By now your house, cupboards and garage should be looking nice and empty which will make cleaning easier. Don’t pack or store any breakables unless they have sentimental value or are not replaceable. Things like crockery and glasses can be picked up when you get there.

6. Packing. You can start packing up things you’re taking early too. Buy a big roll of bubble wrap, masking tape, cardboard corners for pictures and some tea-chests from removal company then pack a few things each night or blitz the lot in one day. Give the kids one small box each for toys they want to keep. This will focus them on not over-packing and on getting rid of everything they don’t need any more. Tell them you’ll use some of the proceeds from selling their old stuff to fund a great family outing from your new home.

7. Moving day. When your friends come round to collect all the stuff they bought offer them all the crockery and glasses you needed until the last moment. If they don’t want it ask them to drop it off at a charity shop for you. They’ll be so pleased with the great deals they got from you they’ll be happy to oblige. Finally have a good clean up or use some of your garage sale money to hire a cleaner. Boom! You’re out of there. With less clutter tying you down, the world is your oyster. Just imagine if you were really good and got rid of it all, you’d be free as a bird. If you’re like me you’ll enjoy the process of clearing out and moving house. Plus, it’s great knowing that your friends will think of you every time they open that beautiful old trunk you spent weeks restoring. So you thought moving would be stressful? No way. Just adopt these zen habits before making a move and debunk the myth that moving house is stressful forever.

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