Staging Your Home To Sell In A Distressed Market

22 03 2011

When planning on selling your home in today’s distressed market, bear in mind that you’re competing with short sales and/or bank-owned properties that will be in conditions ranging from poor to decent. The big thing to remember is that these types of properties can’t compete with even a decently staged home, much less a well staged home. However, since these properties sell at a discount to the market, it is important to keep your staging costs to a minimum to avoid driving up the price of your home.

The staging rule of thumb to keep in mind: You are trying to help potential buyers feel right away that your home can become their castle. To do this, just remember the five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.

Sight – Light, bright homes with neutral tones and a few colorful accents appeal to more buyers. Bold, vivid colors may be more “you,” but remember that you’re trying to provide more of a blank canvas that a potential buyer finds attractive now, but can also visualize making their own.

Sound – Ever heard the expression “the silence was deafening” or “quiet as a tomb”? Well, walking into a totally silent home can be like that—possibly eerie or oppressive, but rarely welcoming. Leave some soft, light music playing to help provide a tranquil, inviting ambiance.

Smell – Make sure to avoid any strong aromas. Of course it makes sense to make sure noxious smells like pet odors, last night’s fish dinner or poker-game cigars are not the first thing to hit a potential buyer as they enter your home—but don’t forget that exotic incense, heavy florals and even cleanser smells can be offensive to many. Make sure your home is aired out well, and then provide simple, clean, subtle aromas with the restrained use of potpourri or air fresheners.

Taste – Could a plate of fresh-baked cookies entice a buyer? Maybe, maybe not—but it would certainly make your home more memorable.

Touch – Physical comfort is important. Remember that “Ahhhh!” feeling you get when you walk into a cool building, getting out of the heat of summer? Any Realtor showing your home—and any potential buyer—is going to be much more comfortable in your home if your AC is set appropriately. Be careful not to over-cool (or over-heat!) but do try to make your home feel comfortable to visitors.

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