A Proven Real Estate Strategy When Selling Your Home
Staging is Important
Our hands-on experience tells us that staging your Marin home is more important than ever to assist us in efficiently selling your home. Here are some of the reasons:
- The Internet provides the first showing of your property. Online viewers want to see an immediate WOW. If a property is empty or unattractive, buyers are inclined to skip over it quickly. Staged and attractive rooms make a much better impression for these buyers, and more often they place the house on their list to see in person.
- In a buyers’ market, potential buyers are more particular than ever about the appearance of properties. They have more to choose from and can take their time.
- In a sellers’ market, staged home attracts more buyers, increasing the potential sales price.
- Staging defines spaces in a home and shows buyers how they might use these spaces for varied uses.
- Staging neutralizes a home so buyers can see themselves in the home, and not the sellers. For example, removing personal photos or your favorite wall covering neutralizes a home.
- Buyers stay longer in a staged home. They have somewhere to sit down and relax, look around the room, chat with their families, and imagine themselves living in the different rooms in the house.
- Staged homes focus the buyer’s attention on the positive aspects of the home, allowing any possible flaws to fade into the background.
- Buyers perceive that the seller has carefully attended to the overall care and maintenance of the home, since it is staged and well presented.
- Staged homes net the seller a higher sales price, with fewer days on the market. Typically, the longer properties are on the market, the lower the sale price.
What is Staging?
Staging involves different tasks from remodeling to organizing. Madeline Schaider Real Estate can facilitate sellers in identifying which level of service is needed:
- Extensive remodel. In the Mill Valley house shown to the left (top of column), we supervised for our seller a massive clean out, painting, carpeting, created better living spaces, replaced appliances and light fixtures, repaired plumbing and installed new kitchen counter tops and custom flooring. We have found that this type of remodel can return 2 to 5-fold on investment!
- Cosmetic remodel. Painting and flooring (carpeting or refinishing wood) are important and of relatively low cost. Painting may be required inside and out. These two improvements are the two most inexpensive items that a seller can do with the highest visual impact and return. We have found that this type of remodel can return 2 to 5-fold on investment!
- Landscape maintenance. Street appeal is important for selling a house, as this provides the buyers’ first impression of a house. In most listings, we recommend and oversee yard cleanup, lawn renovation or replacement, planting flowers and shrubs, repairing and refinishing decks, and more.
- Repair of water and pest damage. We always recommend a pre-sale inspection for pests (termites, etc.) and rotted wood. As buyers often require repair or compensation for “section 1” damage, getting this done up front can reassure buyers that the house has been well cared for. This inspection, which costs a few hundred dollars, along with any related repairs if fianances permit, often guarantees less negotiating later on in the sales process and a greater profit for the seller.
- Furnishing an empty house. We engage a professional stager to bring furniture, artwork, and accessories into a vacant home. It is most important to have the entry level furnished as this gives buyers their first impression. In some houses, it is also important to stage bedrooms, and more. When it is time to stage your home for sale, Madeline Schaider Real Estate can introduce you to the appropriate stagers and supervise the process.
- Re-organizing a very presentable house. Buyers respond best to a simple and uncluttered house. We often help sellers simplify their home by packing up or reorganizing their possession. Even valuable artwork or collections of fine artifacts can overwhelm buyers and prevent them form seeing the possibilities of living in a house. A “neutral” house is more appealing to buyers.
Robert Ross, the Structure and Design Consultant for Madeline Schaider Real Estate, provides guidance on these changes, free to our clients. See our web site for more about Robert Ross.
What happens if you pass up staging?
A Marin home that is not staged will very likely attract fewer buyers and no offers. And, the longer it is on the market unsold (“Days on market”), the lower the final sale price.
Sale prices typically decrease 8-9% for houses that take 3-4 months to sell (data from the Marin MLS). For a $1M house, this loss may be $80,000 to $90,000. This is a great deal more than the price of staging! Investing $2,500 to $25,000 to prepare a house for sale can more than pay for itself.
When it is time to stage your Marin home for sale, Madeline Schaider Real Estate can introduce you to the appropriate stagers. Please contact Madeline for more information.