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Staged for success


Staged for success

Home staging can distinguish your home from the rest
By AMY STUMPFL
For Brentwood Home Page
One of the joys of home ownership is personalizing your space – adding those special touches that reflect your unique style and personality. But when it comes to selling your home, local real estate professionals insist that “neutral” is the name of the game. Perhaps that’s why so many sellers are turning to home staging professionals to help market their properties.

“There’s no question about it,” says Amy B. Wyatt with Worth Properties. “Staged homes typically sell faster and for more money.”

In fact, according to stagedhomes.com, 94 percent of professionally staged homes sell in 29 days or less, as opposed to 145 days for non-staged homes. And in today’s competitive market, Wyatt says staging offers a distinct advantage – regardless of whether the house is occupied or vacant.

“I pick up the cost of the initial consultation as part of my listing services,” she says. “That’s how strongly I feel about it.”

As an accredited staging professional and president of Forsythe Home Staging in Brentwood, Mary Forsythe says it’s all about first impressions.

“As a seller, you can only control two things – the price and how the house looks. And with so many people using the internet to search for real estate, you have about 30 seconds to make a good impression. It’s critical to create an emotional impact for potential buyers.”

Home staging can distinguish your home from the rest
By AMY STUMPFL
For Brentwood Home Page
One of the joys of home ownership is personalizing your space – adding those special touches that reflect your unique style and personality. But when it comes to selling your home, local real estate professionals insist that “neutral” is the name of the game. Perhaps that’s why so many sellers are turning to home staging professionals to help market their properties.

 
 

“As a seller, you can only control two things – the price and how the house looks. And with so many people using the internet to search for real estate, you have about 30 seconds to make a good impression. It’s critical to create an emotional impact for potential buyers.”

Forsythe says that much of that impact can be found in a property’s so-called “money rooms.”

“Buyers want a house that’s in move-in condition. So you have to look which rooms are going to sell the property – generally the kitchen and the master bedroom.

“Everyone has a budget, of course, and we can do as little or as much as the client likes,” Forsythe adds. “My job is to help the client recognize where big-impact changes can be made.”

Of course, major renovations can be costly and time-consuming. But staging also may be tax deductible. And Forsythe says the return on investment can be significant.

“I like to remind clients that whatever investment they make up front is almost always going to be less than that first price reduction you have to make on the listing,” she says.

Home staging includes a vast range of services, including everything from furniture placement and lighting design to color consultation and personal shopping. Most staging professionals start with an initial consultation, moving room by room to offer creative ideas and suggestions. More formal written recommendations and action plans also are available. And while the process can be a bit overwhelming at first, most home owners quickly get on board.

“It can be scary to have someone come into your home and start rattling off all these ideas,” says Jeanie White, another Brentwood-based accredited staging professional and owner of Best Impressions Home Staging. “It’s up to me to build that trust and get them excited about staging. And the faster I can get the client to step back and really look at the property objectively, the better. You have to move from looking at it as your home, to just a house, and finally as a product that we’re going to market together.”

Key to that process is neutralizing the space and removing personal objects, such as family photos.

“Family photos can really distract potential buyers and stop them from visualizing the house as their own,” White says. “Instead of noticing all the crown molding and hardwood floors, they’re talking about how cute the kids are.”

White also encourages clients to consider putting excess furniture and belongings in storage before listing the home.

“Sometimes it’s as simple as getting rid of the clutter and moving furniture around to make the space look bigger and more inviting,” says White, who also is a certified Feng Shui professional.

“For others, it can be a much more extensive project. My job is to offer every suggestion I can think of to help improve and enhance the property, and then establish a plan to make it happen.

“Most people are amazed by the results. And when I see that look pride on their faces, I know I’ve done my job.”

 Do you have a real estate story idea for Brentwood Home Page? Send your idea to news@brentwoodhomepage.com, with REAL ESTATE in the subject line.

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