Samson Kimani's Blog
As recently as 20-25 years ago, most people thought “staging” was for the theater and model homes. The idea of professionally temporarily decorating a home to sell it was not on the average homeowner’s radar. All that changed with the advent of TLC, HGTV, and other networks dedicated to home buying/selling and renovating shows.
If you’re selling a home after years out of the housing market, you may balk at the idea of the added expense of hiring a stager, but last year’s National Association of Realtor’s report ‘Profile of Home Staging’ indicated that a massive 77 percent of buyers’ agents believe staging contributed to their client’s ultimate purchase.
Visualization is key
Living in a visual world means most people make snap judgments by what they can see. If buyers cannot “see” themselves living in the home, they’ll keep looking. First-time buyers, especially, may need that extra nudge to make the plunge. Staging for the online photos is even more important. Potential buyers indicated they were more likely to walk through a home that had staged online images.
Faster is better
While some studies completed in the past few years indicate that staging does not change a buyer’s perception of a home’s value, it does help the home sell more quickly. In the world of real estate, where the seller is balancing the mortgage on the current home with the new mortgage on the home they want, selling the home more quickly for a fair price pays for itself. After all, who wants to be carrying two mortgages?
More is also better
Ultimately, it comes down to the outcome. Yes, the house may sell more quickly when staged, but does it sell for a higher price? Is the cost of staging recouped? The evidence is less clear here, but in the same NAR study, 49 percent of agents believed staging got the seller a higher offer. And while most of those indicated the increase was in the one to five percent range of the sale price, that was more than enough to cover the cost of staging.
Is this a time for DIY?
Binge-watching renovation and real estate shows may give a seller a false sense of their own ability to effectively stage their home. Professional stagers and design professionals can cast that critical eye that allows them to minimize a home’s flaws while accentuating its features. They also have a plethora of furnishings to utilize. To do it yourself might not be worth it on balance for what you get with a professional.
The most important key is to be on the same page as your local agent. They know your local market and are aware of the comparable homes for sale in your area. They know the potential buyers and what they expect to see in your home’s price range. Put their knowledge to work for you.
If you're selling your home mostly as is, with carpet that's a few years old, you'll need to give it a complete and thorough cleaning before you show the home. Even if you recently installed new carpet, you may have had to continue living in the house with your pets before you put your home on the market.
Don't skimp on the carpet cleaning. A basic vacuum job is not going to be enough to remove any pet hair or dander tracked around by your dogs or cats. Hiring a carpet cleaning service will save you time but will require more of a monetary investment. If you want to clean the carpet yourself be very thorough and detail oriented.
First, make sure your vacuum is emptied and cleaned to remove any hair or dander inside. Vacuum all the large areas of the carpet before moving on to the edges around your baseboard. Move slowly around the baseboard with a narrow hose attachment and look closely to make sure you're removing all debris (especially stray kitty litter!). If you have multiple pets or full-time indoor pets, you will likely need to go over your carpets 2-3 times to completely remove hair from all the fibers. Don't take a shortcut, take the time to prepare the carpet for cleaning thoroughly.
Second, rent a carpet cleaner from your local hardware store or grocery store. In most cities carpet cleaners are readily available at large grocery and hardware chains for a daily rental fee. Rental companies typically provide the cleaning chemicals for purchase along with the rental. Consider purchasing a spot-treatment compound as well. When you start moving furniture you might find some unknown stains you'll need to remove. Spend the few extra dollars to rent the machine the night before you want to clean so you can start on your carpet early the next day.
Third, starting top down (if you have a multi-story home or unit) clear out furniture as much as possible from the initial rooms you want to clean. Be aware that the carpet will need time to dry so this project will take multiple days, depending on your home size. When working in bedrooms start early in the day to allow ample drying time so you can replace beds in each room and get a good night's sleep for the second day of cleaning. Before you start in with the machine check the carpet thoroughly for stains and apply the stain treatment before you clean the entire carpet, this will allow the chemicals time to penetrate the fibers and lift the stain for the best possible results. Once you treat the stains (following the directions on the chemical you purchased), begin carefully going over the carpet one row at a time. Make sure you overlap your rows and always move the machine in the same direction.
It will be difficult to see results before the carpet dries, but you should be able to gauge stain removal when the carpets are about 50% dry. Check the stains you treated and see if you need to apply a second treatment to minimize them further. If you expect your buyer to replace the carpet, it may not seem worth it to spend additional time on one stain. Even if they plan to renovate, many buyers have a difficult time imagining changes to their space without imagining themselves in it. A clean canvas can make the difference to whether or not someone sees themselves in your home.
Lastly, check your carpets for any areas that your pet (cat) has scratched up. If needed, trim a handful of fibers from an area of carpet that is unlikely to be seen such as the back of a bedroom closet. Trim the knap carefully, so you're only taking the top of the fiber and not creating a bald spot in a new place. Then take the trimmed strands and attached them to the damaged area with a hot-melt glue until you've covered all the scratches.
With fresh flooring, beautiful carpet and a clean canvas of walls and doors your home is ready for show. One last tip! If at all possible remove your pets from the house before you have prospective buyers over. While an animal in the yard is okay, the presence of animals inside may cause your buyers to worry about damage even if you have made the necessary repairs. Ask a friend or neighbor to house your cats and indoor pets during the open house, so you have the opportunity to best show off your home.
If you intend to sell your house, it pays to get expert support throughout the home selling journey. In fact, if you hire a real estate agent, you can put various home selling myths to rest.
Ultimately, there are many home selling myths that you may hear before you list your house. If you take these myths to heart, you may struggle to prepare for the home selling process.
Let's take a look at three common home selling myths, and the problems associated with these myths.
1. Selling a house is a quick, seamless process.
The process of selling a house often can be long and complicated, particularly for a first-time home seller. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can reduce the risk of encountering home selling hurdles.
A real estate agent will learn about you and your home selling goals. Then, this housing market professional will offer recommendations about how to promote your residence to the right groups of buyers and maximize your house's value.
Furthermore, a real estate agent is available to respond to questions at each stage of the home selling journey. He or she will guide you along each stage of this journey, and as such, help you identify and resolve problems before they escalate.
2. What you originally paid for your house matches what it is worth today.
The real estate market fluctuates constantly. Thus, what you initially paid for your house is unlikely to match what your residence is worth today.
A real estate agent can help you evaluate housing market data to better understand how your residence stacks up against the competition. That way, you'll be better equipped than ever before to establish a competitive price for your residence.
Also, a real estate agent may recommend that you complete a home appraisal. This appraisal will enable you to receive a property valuation to help you determine the optimal initial asking price for your home.
3. There is no need to make home improvements, because a buyer will make home upgrades after finalizing a purchase.
When it comes to selling a house, it pays to go above and beyond the call of duty. Therefore, if you complete myriad home improvements before listing your house, you can increase the likelihood that your home will stand out to potential buyers.
Take some time to examine your residence both inside and out. If you identify any major problems, you should fix these issues immediately. Because if you fail to do so, you may miss out on opportunities to stir up interest in your house.
A real estate agent generally can provide recommendations about home upgrades. This housing market professional may even be able to put you in touch with the best local contractors who can help you upgrade your residence in no time at all.
Don't fall victim to the aforementioned home selling myths. Instead, work with a real estate agent, and you can get the help you need to quickly and effortlessly navigate the home selling cycle.
Selling your home may seem like a relatively simple process. You hire an agent, let them take pictures and show the house to prospective buyers, accept an offer, and then close… right?
In reality, there’s a lot that goes into the selling process; especially if you want to have a smooth home sale.
Matters are further complicated by hr fact that most sellers are also in the process of buying, closing, and moving into their new home.
To make the most of your time in the weeks or months leading up to your sale, I’ve put together a list of tips that you can use to get ahead of the curve, making your sale as problem-free and simple as possible.
One of the most important lessons homeowners learn when they sell their first home is how quickly moving day creeps up on them. Make a list of all of the things you need to do before you hand over the keys, and set dates and reminders in your calendar for those tasks.
You can do this if you’re in the beginning stages of finding out when you want to sell by, or if you’re in the final stages of packing and moving your belongings to your new home. Regardless of where you are in the home sale process, you can always benefit from preparedness.
Find an agent
To get the ball rolling, reach out to a real estate agent sooner rather than later. They’ve been through this process several times before and will be able to give you advice that is catered to your specific situation.
Make sure your home is ready for sale
We all love our homes and value the time and effort we put into them. But, to get top dollar for your home and ensure a smooth sale, you’ll probably need to do some work.
This can include getting an inspection to ensure that the vital components of your home are working properly. Knowing this now can save you time and headaches if a buyer’s inspector finds an issue with your home that you weren’t aware of.
Similarly, you’ll want to make your home move-in ready by making small repairs, putting a fresh coat of paint, and cleaning up the exterior of the home.
Do your research when setting a price
Setting the price of a home is not a road you want to take shortcuts on. Research prices for comparable homes in your area, consider recent repairs you made, and value the home at what you think is a fair price.
However, don’t get too attached to one number and be prepared to adapt based on the offers you receive.
Have a moving day plan
Planning for moving day could be its own separate blog post. You’ll want to start packing things you don’t need early on in the process. Then, make arrangements for young children or pets, so that you can focus on the move rather than keeping track of everyone else.
As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to ensure your house impresses buyers. If your residence makes a positive impression on buyers, you could speed up the house selling process. Plus, you may be better equipped than ever before to maximize your house sale earnings.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you transform your home from drab to fab and ensure your residence garners lots of interest from potential buyers.
1. Upgrade Your House's Curb Appeal
Your house only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on buyers. Fortunately, if you enhance your home's curb appeal, you can make the most of this opportunity.
Completing assorted home exterior upgrades may help you make your residence stand out to buyers. For instance, mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges will help you quickly improve your house's front lawn. You also may want to repair any cracked or damaged home siding.
2. Eliminate Clutter
There may be no time like the present to remove unwanted items from your house. Because if you eliminate home clutter, you can show off the full size of your living space to potential buyers.
To cut down on home clutter, you may want to host a yard sale or list unwanted items online. This will allow you to simultaneously get rid of unwanted items and earn extra cash.
You can always donate unwanted items to a local charity, too. Or, you can give unwanted items to family members and friends.
3. Clean Each Room of Your House
An in-depth home cleaning is a must, particularly for an individual who wants to enjoy a seamless house selling experience.
When it comes to cleaning a home, there are lots of options at your disposal. For do-it-yourselfers, you can allocate time and energy to mop the floors, wipe down countertops and perform other house cleaning tasks. On the other hand, if you want extra help, you can hire a professional home cleaning company.
As you search for ways to stir up interest in your residence, you may want to employ a real estate agent as well. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to expedite the house selling journey.
A real estate agent knows the ins and out of the home selling journey and can help you plan accordingly. First, he or she will meet with you and learn about your home selling goals. A real estate agent then will put together a plan designed to help you achieve your goals without delay. And if you ever have concerns or questions as you navigate the home selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.
Want to get your house ready for the real estate market? Take advantage of the aforementioned home selling tips, and you could reap the benefits of a fast, profitable house selling experience.