When you make a decision to sell your home you want to ensure that you get the highest price attainable and sell it as quickly as possible.  The last thing a homeowner wants to hear is a recommendation from their realtor to lower the asking price.  Before you put your home on the market, the best thing you can do to prevent this from happening is to have your home staged.  Staging is the process whereby the flaws in your home are eliminated or de-emphasized and the highlights are emphasized.

The way you present your home to family and guests while living in it, is distinctly different from the way you will present your home to potential buyers.  You want to accent the positive architectural and functional features of your home – not necessarily the contents.  If you are attached to how you have decorated your home, you may want to take some pictures for posterity or even have a remembrance party, but then it’s time to divorce yourself from your home so that you can maximize its selling potential.

There are a number of things that can be done to increase your home’s buyer appeal:

  • Ensure that both the exterior and interior are in excellent repair
  • Eliminate the clutter and personal items displayed
  • Choose neutral paint colours that will appeal to a broad buyer market
  • Make sure your home is spotless – for instance, you can’t show off a fabulous view through dirty windows!

Avoid these common mistakes made by home sellers:

  • Don’t neglect making necessary changes because you think that a buyer will want to make his or her own decorating choices anyway. In today’s market people are looking for ‘move-in ready’ homes. Buyers who can see a home’s value beyond the clutter, disrepair, and unique paint colours are few and far between – what most people will see is an overwhelming amount of work and expense to get the home up to their standards.
  • If you have to move out of your home before it sells, don’t leave an empty shell. Buyers want to envision their furnishings in your home and it’s easier to do that when they have a comparison point. Furnishings also help to define each room’s function and add that warm, welcoming factor to your home.

The cost of staging your home before putting it on the market will be minimal compared to receiving a lower property appraisal, and definitely less than that first price reduction if your home has been on the market for too long.  Bear in mind that not everyone is qualified to prepare your home for selling. To determine whether a stager has the necessary skills and credentials before hiring, ask to see a certificate ensuring completion of an accredited training course. Then start packing – it won’t be long before you’re enjoying your new home!

Written by Neila Morrison & Published in BEYOND 50 Magazine