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Archive for the ‘Series: Staging Your Home For Sale’ Category

The straightforward answer is yes, some form of prepping your house for sale is a must these days, if you want to get the optimum price for it. The market in 2013 is soft and the choices are many, so your house has to stand out from the crowd. It needs to scream “Pick me, Pick me!”

The reason is simple, people want a house that does not need work. They want it to be ‘move-in’ ready. Many people want a resale house to have the look of a subdivision show home – but for less money. Other people are out for a bargain and will knock substantial amounts of money off the list price when making their offer for each deficiency, even if the house is listed at a price that reflects these deficiencies. You want them to see what is right with your house, not what is wrong!

If you want to see the difference a thorough Staging makes, go to the MLS listings and go to some Open Houses. The difference between a fully prepped home and one that is not, is astounding. Also astounding is the difference in the asking price between two similar houses, one Staged and one just tidied and cleaned. Many thousands of dollars can be at stake here, so it is worth the money and effort.

This doesn’t mean you need make your house look like a Lottery Show Home. But unless your house is only a few of years old, it will need decluttering, refreshing and possibly updating. You may need to do a little or you may need to do a lot.  What you want to put into your house is, of course, up to you.

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Looking good

Classic, low cost staging project. See my post “Super Inexpensive Bedroom Makover”

What is Staging, anyway? Everyone has heard of Staging their home when selling it, but a lot of people really don’t know what that means. They watch various TV shows where the home owner and a designer/decorator magically redecorate or even partially renovate two or three rooms and it only costs $500 to $1000 dollars. This, of course is very misleading. That $500 is for (probably discounted) product only. Labour, which is the most expensive part, is ostensibly done by the homeowner. The decorator/designer and carpenter, plumber and electrician, never mind the drapers and seamstress,  the carpet layers and tile setters et al, appear to be donating their services out of the goodness of their hearts! And to top it all off, the entire project is completed from start to finish over the weekend. It just doesn’t work that way in real life.

Staging is simply making your house look its best to get the top price. The aim is to make it appear move-in ready. Often a Staging Professional is employed to give advice or do the entire process. This person could be a Certified Staging Professional, an Interior Decorator or even a Real Estate Agent who has taken Staging courses.

Prepping your house for sale doesn’t have to be a massive and expensive undertaking. It can be as simple as a thorough cleaning (especially the carpets), wallpaper removal,  a fresh coat of paint and generally de-cluttering as well as having a couple of garage sales and trips to the Thrift Store Donation Depot, something that you need to do before you move, anyway.

Most homes will need a little work to make them look their best. The extent of it is up to you. Staging can be a simple paint job and editing or can be as intensive and expensive as a totally redone kitchen and bath, or possibly new furnace and shingles, on top of the paint and new ‘decor’.

I prefer the phrase “prepping your house for sale” or even the 90s expression, “house fluffing”, to the word staging. Those expressions are not nearly as intimidating and do not imply spending large amounts of money.

As far as expense if concerned, putting the best face on your house will necessarily cost you a little money, but as long as your house is in reasonable condition, it should not be a major financial undertaking. If $1,000 dollars worth of paint and flooring saves you from a $10,000 low-ball offer, it is well worth the investment.

That being said, if the house has had nothing done to it since 1975, all bets are off.  You now have to decide if you are going to invest in making the house move in ready and therefore get a much better price for it, or selling it as is and accepting that it is not actually worth what you expected. If you want to get top price, in this case, making major repairs is essential, unless the market is so hot that anything sells at top dollar.

If you are really unsure about how to go about prepping your house for sale, I would advise having a consultation with a decorating or staging professional to get an idea about what to do. Then you can decide whether to hire a professional to do it all for you or just wing it!

Next: Is Staging Necessary?

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