In today's news headlines we are hearing everyday about a collapse in the housing market, especially in certain areas of the country. There are getting to be more and more houses that are being foreclosed on because they were financed with loans that they now can't afford. In some cities, the builders didn't stop building until there were too many houses on the market, which has caused too many homes to be on the market. That in turn has forced other home values down. In short, the housing market is not the boom market it was a few years ago.
If you are in the position now that you are trying to sell your house, you may be a little worried as to whether you will be able to get it sold quickly and for as much money as you hoped it would sell for. When it comes to selling houses these days the buzz word is "Home Staging". Is home staging right for you?
Recent stats show that homes that have been staged for sale receive 3-6% increase on their equity than unstaged homes. Also, on average, a staged home sells 2-3 times faster than unstaged homes. This can mean a lot to you financially if you are trying to sell your home. No one, wants to end up selling their house for thousands less than they had hoped to sell it for, and for sure no one wants to end up paying two mortgages because the house sits on the market for a lot longer than you planned on.
So what is home staging? Home staging is basically taking stock of what your house has to offer and doing the things that highlight the best features of the house. Home stagers make your house appeal to the broadest possible range of buyers. Their goal is to make it look the best that it can look, hopefully without spending a lot of money that you won't get back when you sell the house.
Home stagers generally charge, depending on your geographical area, $200 for their initial report of what they think should be done, and then $75 or more per hour to actually stage the area. This does not include the cost of materials or labor that may be needed.
Depending on your situation, you may not be able to afford to hire a professional home stager, but there is no reason why you can't learn to do some of the things that a home stager would do. There are a lot of things that you can do yourself that will help your house sell for more money and much quicker.
The first thing you need to do is to take stock of what your house has to offer. If you have been living in the house for a long time, you need to look at it with fresh eyes. Start with the outside. Does the pain on the trim need to be freshened up? Do the bushes need to be trimmed back so you can actually see the house?
Your house needs to be inviting on the outside or your potential buyers will never stop to come and see what you have to offer them inside. Cut the grass. Make sure the garbage bins are out of site. Touch up your trim paint if it needs it. Hose off the siding and knock down the cobwebs.
Once you have improved the looks of the outside of your home, you need to take stock of what you have on the inside. Have you ever taken a picture of your kids and when you looked at the picture realized that there is clutter behind them? We get so used to our surrounding that we get used to the clutter and the excess stuff we have around us. That stuff is fine if you and your family are living there, but if your house is on the market to sell, you need to reassess things. You need to clear off the counters, get rid of excess furniture and toys that are lying around.
You also need to do some deep cleaning. First off, if you smoke in your home, take it outside. You will also need to do whatever it takes to get rid of the smell. The smell of cigarette smoke will turn off a lot of people. Pets are also a problem. Remember, you are trying to appeal to the largest number of buyers. It may still be your home, but if you want to get it sold quickly and for a good price, you need to court the potential buyer.