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Why Is My House NOT Selling?

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Staging your home is all about preparing your house before you put it on the market, to give it the best chance to sell for the top price and faster than the other homes on the market (something sellers appreciate when they live the stress of selling a house!) It is something I am passionate about and have now made a crucial part of my career.

I should warn you though – my advice is for serious sellers only. You need to be willing to roll your sleeves up and put a bit of effort in. If you’ve got a bit of a competitive spirit and the determination to sell quickly, then you will walk away with more money than the other houses that are for sale in your area. (It will be worth it!)

A house that’s not prepared properly will always struggle to achieve the price you want for it. Just look at the wealth of TV shows dedicated to the subject – HGTV has several to choose from! We’ve all seen at least one episode of this type of show, so most of us should know the basics of house presentation by now. Yet as a Realtor, I’m always stumbling across really badly presented houses for sale and I just don’t understand it.

“But I love my house,” I’m frequently told. I’m sure I will as well. But selling your home requires it to look and feel differently than how you live in a home. There is always something you can do to change the impression your house gives to a potential buyer. Look at these images – which photo are you more drawn to?  Which room “feels” more updated/modern, hence, more expensive?

Before and After Staging

Here are staging basic principles even if you feel you know them, you can always just read through them anyway to confirm what you know.

Deb’s Top Five Home Staging Tips:

1. Mentally move out. Understand that buyers don’t want to buy your home, they want to buy a house that could be their home. You need to turn your home back into a ‘blank canvas house’ for buyers to imagine themselves living there instead.

2. Get rid of about half of your stuff. Seriously. We all accumulate an inordinate amount of possessions and the fact is they just clutter up the house, distracting buyers and making everywhere look smaller, and trust me in house selling, size matters. Bin it, store it elsewhere, give it away. Just get it gone.

3. Clean like your life depends on it. Imagine the ONLY Buyer in your price point is coming, and if they find a speck of dust, a cobweb in the corner or a smear on the windows, they will question what else has not been taken care of? And doubt the house.

4. Avoid love or hate reactions. Stick with neutral décor, colors, and styling to avoid alienating buyers just because they don’t share your love of bright orange, or taxidermy. (I always walk through with my sellers and give the exact paint color needed for their house.)

5. Emotions/Feelings come into play for buyers. Remember you’re not just selling a building, you’re selling an aspirational lifestyle. Think about the sort of lifestyle your target market desires, and make them want your house by showing them that it can effortlessly give them that lifestyle.

This fantastically styled home hints strongly at the sort of current and modern lifestyle you could have if you lived there. The space is exactly the same as other homes nearby, but this home got way more interest and higher offers than the others did from the target market of young professionals because the sellers were presenting not just a home, but a really trendy “look.” (This home sold in 2 weeks (faster than the market average days on market AND for above market value - all while being next to a highway!)

Much of the work is in your head – once you’ve started to think of it as a ‘house for sale’ rather than ‘your home’ the rest will be so much easier. Again, I walk through each of my homeowners, room by room, to make sure we position your home to be the best option out there to buy. Home staging, done right, will always bring more money to seller at closing. Always.

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