If you are selling your home this spring, you are probably aware that there is a lot more emphasis placed on a home’s appearance than ever before. Home buyers searching online for their next property are drawn to pictures of properties that look updated and have a modern design aesthetic. Properties that look great online and in person are drawing record numbers of visitors and getting, in many cases, multiple offers. These days there is a direct correlation between a home’s appearance and how fast – and well – it sells!
So what if your home isn’t getting rave reviews? What if you aren’t getting the buyer traffic you anticipated or the offers you feel your home deserves? Odds are it’s going to come down to one of 2 things: price or presentation. Now when it comes to price, any good agent will tell you that price is the defining factor in getting a home to either sit or sell. That is true however now more than ever, presentation plays a big role in getting a home sold at or above market value as buyers have proven time and again that they are willing to pay more money for a house that is updated, modern and turn-key. If your presentation isn’t stellar then it’s a price game and it may take one (or more) price reductions to get buyers interested enough to purchase the property.
Everyone wants to sell their homes for the most possible money. However if buyers aren’t sold on your home, here are some of the most common reasons why your presentation may be falling flat:
Your Home is in ‘As-Is’ Condition
Your home hasn’t been updated, you have left repairs for your prospective buyers to take care of and/or your home reflects your own personal design tastes. You love your home exactly the way it is and you believe that your buyers will appreciate it too and/or be able to see past all its flaws.
Reality is that it’s a Price War and a Beauty Pageant out there! Buyers are consistently paying MORE money for homes that have been well maintained, updated and professionally staged. If you don’t want to lose valuable equity through price reduction(s) then it’s time to invest in your home & give your buyers a better looking property they can see value in. Bottom line is if you leave your home ‘as-is’ only 1 out of 10 buyers can see past the appearance and imagine it as it could, or should be. This means waiting for that right buyer will cost you both in terms of time on the market and a loss of equity in the home.
You ignored the Advice of your Stager (or you opted against staging altogether)
While this echoes some of the above information, this also merits its own point. A lot of home owners decide they simply aren’t going to follow the advice of their staging professional or they decide they don’t even want to consult with one. Why? A lot of the time, sellers feel they know best and either don’t put any credibility in staging at all (or don’t understand the process) or they have watched a kazillion episodes of HGTV and figure it’s just de-cluttering, cleaning and de-personalizing at most. So why do more than that? Staging is just decorating right? No one actually cares if your furniture is set up properly, if the paint is a certain color or if the bedroom looks like a hotel room. Right?!
Wrong! Staging is marketing, not decorating. While a professional stager will use the tenants of interior design to make rooms appealing, the majority of staging professionals will make recommendations based on how to maximize the function, flow and marketability of a property so that buyers see each room in the best possible light. We take the house and turn it into a highly desirable product that generates both online interest & offers. Staging is powerful real estate marketing tool which targets your buyers so the most people possible visualize themselves living there. If you aren’t staging then you are leaving money on the table.
You staged your Home Yourself (or your realtor staged for you)
Well meaning home owners and agents who stage on their own properties often miss the mark – sometimes in a very bad way. From color palettes gone awry to weird vignettes and strange furniture set ups, we see homes everyday where the ‘staging’ missed the mark. Trying to save money on staging by doing it yourself or working with an agent who offers ‘free staging’ often results in a presentation that detracts from the value of a home rather than adding to it.
There is a lot that goes into a professional stager’s recommendations which are based on how to best market the product (your home), not just on making it look nice. A professional will recommend the right paint colors, finishes & fixtures with your target buyers in mind, thereby maximizing any investment you make in updating your property. Beyond that, the furniture, artwork and decor that a professional brings in will be tailored to the style of the home and key into the prospective buyer demographics to increase the property’s overall marketability. Most home owners and realtors don’t have the skills or expertise to adequately achieve the presentation that a professional can. Your home is your single biggest investment so why leave the presentation to chance? Investing in professional staging gives a property the WOW factor and typically increases a property’s value between 5 – 20% so that home owners easily recoup their investment and sell their home fast for market value – and above!
We live in a highly visual world with over 95% of buyers shopping online so it always mystifies us when we see listings with one photo or poor quality photos. Pictures of your home are the clincher to getting buyers in the door (we call it a first date) so if your listing doesn’t feature high quality, professional pictures then you are really missing the mark with your potential buyers who want to see high-resolution pictures of staged spaces that showcase the lifestyle they aspire to have. Again, it comes down to marketing and poor quality pictures just don’t cut it anymore!
You used tired Staging Gimmicks
If you staged yourself or you opted not to stage but thought some cute staging gimmicks would pique buyers interest, think again. Baking cookies, adding trays on the bed with flowers, using glade plug-ins or sprinkling flower petals in the tub don’t help sell your home. They are silly staging tricks that won’t distract buyers from noticing a home’s overall presentation/condition or keep them from shopping elsewhere. We often see these in homes where the seller staged themselves or the agent offered ‘free staging’ (see above). These types of gimmicks diminish a property’s marketability and overall value. Better to have your home be memorable for the right reasons: great finishes, fixtures and presentation than have buyers remembering your home for the wrong ones.
Your Home is Empty
Empty homes are difficult to market and sell because today’s buyers are inherently visual. They value having rooms set up with appropriate furnishings because this allows them to see themselves living there and to imagine how their furniture would fit. Again, it’s all about marketing. If you want your prospective buyers to want to buy your product you have to wrap it up in an appealing way. Empty rooms just tell a tale of sadness and neglect to buyers and this is often the reason they linger on the market and rarely sell for market value. The reality is, if you want buyers to aspire to have a home, it needs to showcase a lifestyle they want to have.
If your Kitchener-Waterloo home isn’t impressing buyers, give our experienced & award-winning team a call. Rooms in Bloom Home Staging & Design Inc. is the Tri-Cities leading home staging provider and we offer everything from comprehensive consultations to complete staging solutions. Visit our website, follow us on Facebook and find us on Twitter for more information on our services and some of our latest projects. To contact us directly, call us at (519) 804-STAGE.