By Melissa Dittmann Tracey
Styled, Staged & Sold caught up with real estate pro Cheryl Kirby, co-creator of a new instructional staging DVD for real estate professionals — “Get Ready, Get Set, Get Sold!” — to talk about the simple things you can do to spruce up a property, and when you might need to intervene to stop a seller’s messy ways.
Why did you produce the video “Get Ready, Get Set, Get Sold”?
KIRBY: My associate-Cari Gililland-and I are both REALTORS®. We always go on home tours and put our listings on home tours too. We’d go through some of these homes and go “oh my gosh, they really think they can sell this home with all of this dirty stuff all over the place! Don’t they understand what they need to do to sell a home?”
We kept talking about producing a video for real estate professionals because some get really uncomfortable saying to their clients: “Your house is dirty, and you really need to clean it.” So we wanted to be able to offer them a tool to give to their clients to show them here’s what you need to do to compete in the market.
How bad of a condition have you seen properties in?
KIRBY: I’ve seen homes that smell so bad you can’t even walk in, the carpet is stained, and the walls need touch ups. The garbage is overflowing, there’s laundry scattered on the floor in the bedroom, pet hair all over, and junk all in the yard. You name it, I’ve seen it!
So what are some of these important things that sellers can do to get a home ready to sell?
KIRBY: Smell is huge. Smoke, cooking certain foods, and garbage overflowing can really make a home smell bad. The minute a buyer opens the door: The smell is there and can be a quick turn off. Continue reading »
By Sandy Dixon, InteriorArrangements.com
Think of a house as a theatrical stage. When it is not being used and is void of props and scenery, it lacks interest and rarely warrants a second glance. However, after the set designers have worked their magic, the space comes alive and sets a “scene” for the onlookers.
Whether enticing, energizing or relaxing, the ultimate goal is to elicit an emotional reaction and connection to that particular space.
The same applies to homes that are on the market. Without furnishings, many houses lack interest and buyers have difficulty imagining how the space would look furnished, not to mention picturing themselves living there. Look at home builders who have known for years how buyers emotionally connect to model homes that have been beautifully furnished and accessorized.
Due to job transfers, divorce, tenants vacating or a distant move, it’s not always feasible (or economical) to keep a home furnished when it goes on the market. So here are some simple ways to improve the marketability of a vacant property and increase the chances of a swift sale:
1. Curb Appeal: Buyers like to drive by prospective properties and many won’t make an appointment to see the inside if curb appeal is lacking. Sellers need to have a plan for keeping the lawn mowed, shrubbery trimmed, flower beds weeded, and gutters and windows cleaned. Also, eliminate any items left behind in the yard that are not included with the house or that make the property appear unkempt.
2. Odors: Potential buyers are often greeted with a blast of stale or mildew-ladened air when they enter a vacant house. Deal with the mildew before the house is listed. Leaving the heat or air conditioning running while the house is on the market helps to reduce odors. It also makes the house more inviting and comfortable to be shown when the temperatures are extreme.
3. Cleanliness: Some sellers don’t bother to clean a house before they list it or if they do, the results don’t last if the house remains vacant and unsold for any length of time. Dust, cobwebs, and bugs tend to take over if routine cleaning isn’t maintained. Some buyers get the impression that a house will require repairs if it looks dirty, cluttered or abandoned—which can dramatically impact whether they make an offer and how much they offer.
4. Lighting: Bright, well lit rooms look bigger and create a more inviting atmosphere. Make certain all light bulbs are working and that light fixtures are clean. Any dated or outlandish light fixtures should be replaced with more modern and simple fixtures. If sellers take light fixtures with them, make sure a replacement is hung before a house goes on the market. Note: For closets, attics, or crawl spaces where there is no lighting, install battery operated light disks sold at all home improvement stores. Continue reading »