4 “Kiss of Death” Phrases I Hear Home Sellers Use Before They Even List Their House

blog-kiss-of-deathThe vast majority of my home staging consultations are positive experiences. Even clients who are initially terrified hesitant about meeting with a home stager start to relax as we work through the process together, and they begin to understand that my goal is directly in line with theirs: sell the home fast and for more money! I meet with homeowners who are preparing for happy moves due to promotions or growing family, sad moves due to divorce or layoffs, and a hundred other reason in between, but almost all homeowners I meet are motivated to get the house sold, willing to put in a little effort, and open to diplomatic suggestions.

And then there are some who are not.

There are some who are still on the fence about selling. Some who are really out of touch with how the current real estate market operates. And, every once in awhile, someone who leaves me wondering why they even called me at all. These clients typically utter at least one of the following “kiss of death” phrases and will invariably sabotage their home sale before they ever get started…

  • “I’m going to sell it myself.” Maybe you don’t want to pay commission fees. Maybe you had a bad experience with a real estate agent in the past. Maybe you’re one of the statistical few who can make it work. But there are lots of GOOD, professional, qualified real estate brokers and agents out there who are worth every penny of their commission. They have access to services and market knowledge that you may not. Get recommendations, do your research, interview agents, and hire one who’s a good fit for your needs.
  • “I’m just going to leave this wallpaper/raggedy carpet/hot pink dining room like it is. Whoever buys the house will want to change it to their own style anyway.” After 15 years in marketing and PR and another 6 years as a professional home stager, I can tell you without hesitation that most people can’t really “see” beyond what’s in front of them. Only about 10% of home buyers can visualize the potential of a home. By leaving your home unstaged or failing to make simple updates and repairs before you go on the market, you leave the advantages of your home overlooked and left up to the buyer’s imagination. Not to mention the fact that most buyers drastically inflate what it will cost to make those changes or repairs…and will take it off their offer price.
  • “We’re going to price it high so that we have room to negotiate.” Listen: the same strategies that work at a garage sale or on an episode of “Pawn Stars” do not necessarily apply to real estate. Today’s buyers have access to a LOT of information. They know when something is priced well and when it’s not. They don’t care what you owe on it, or how much you invested, or how much you think it’s worth. Setting a price that’s inline with other comparable, recently sold homes in the neighborhood creates demand and interest and has buyers chasing YOU.
  • “Well, I don’t know if I want to make all these changes. If it doesn’t sell, then I’ll have to live with all this neutral paint/rehang my old curtains/put all the family photos back. Maybe I’ll just leave it like it is and see what happens.” No. Just…no. I can almost guarantee that if you go into a sale with this attitude it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Commit to the process and put in the prep work. If you’re not willing to do that, maybe you need to seriously re-examine whether or not you’re truly ready to sell your house (for some people, that emotional connection is still just too strong).

Preparing for a home sale is a BIG task — physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. Take some of the burden off your shoulders by going all in and surrounding yourself with a team of professionals who can help you make sure your house is accurately priced and staged “just right.” Need help getting started? Just give Three Bears Home Staging a call and we can point you in the right direction.

Title photo credit: Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay

How to Improve Curb Appeal When Selling Your Home

How to Improve Curb Appeal When Selling Your Home

How to Improve Curb Appeal When Selling Your HomeLet’s be honest — we don’t live in our front yard so we have a tendency to overlook the many cobwebs, grease stains and water stains that accumulate there. A buyer’s critical eye will not miss a detail, however, especially when they are standing on the front step waiting for the Realtor to open the door.

Curb appeal is literally the first impression and sets the tone for the way the buyer will view the rest of the house. When staging your home for sale, remember the goal for the exterior of the home is the same as the interior:  a clean, open, sunny and well-manicured look. Use these staging tips and tricks to maximize your curb appeal and make the best first impression:

  • Keep the yard green and trimmed.
    • Mow and edge regularly (weekly).  A lush, green, weed-free lawn gives the impression that the home is also well-cared for. An overgrown, dried out yard gives the opposite impression to potential buyers.
    • Trim bushes and hedges (no shagginess).
    • Add fresh bark or mulch to flower beds.
    • Remove or replace dead and dying shrubbery.
  • Declutter the yard.
    • Get kid toys, empty flower pots and garden equipment out of sight.
    • Hide trash cans. Roll up the hose or remove it entirely.
    • Keep the driveway clear of extra cars as much as possible (park down the street).
  • Clean, clean, clean!
    • Power wash the porch, sidewalks, driveway, front door and the siding if necessary (this makes a HUGE difference in many homes, making them look fresher and, thus, newer).
    • Remove mildew and cobwebs from eaves.
    • Clean and shine all windows and light fixtures.
  • Make investments in updates that have high impact.
    • Freshen up the front door and garage door with a new coat of paint.
    • Add two to three flowerpots of matching color to help dramatize your entrances. Don’t overcrowd the entry way, but give it just enough warmth by adding something everyone loves–flowers.
    • Replace any outdated brass light fixtures in the front of the house. Use iron, black, rust or brown.
    • Invest in a new oversized, natural bristle doormat. This is an inexpensive way to give the doorway a larger, cleaner feel.
    • Add a bench, rocker or bistro table and chairs to help buyers imagine themselves relaxing out front.
    • Replace or update the mailbox if necessary.
    • Update or add house address numbers under lighting. This also helps to ensure buyers and Realtors can find the house!
Curb Appeal - Before

Curb Appeal – Before

Standing in front of your home with critical “buyers’ eyes” is always difficult for any home seller, but it’s critical in the success of the sale. Don’t take it personally! This is business–try to think of your house as a product that you must market in the best possible way. How do you think your house compares to others in the neighborhood? How about in home decorating magazines? Drive around the neighborhood to assess and compare the competition.

Curb Appeal - After

Curb Appeal – After

Still need help getting your home market ready? Give Three Bears Home Staging a call at (832) 377-0785 to schedule a consultation. We can help get your home market ready!