Derrick Green's Blog
Experienced, knowledgeable real estate agents are experts in attracting potential buyers to home showings.
When you initially meet with prospective real estate agents to determine which one would be the best fit for your needs, you can get a pretty good sense of how marketing-savvy they are.
Since marketing is one of the most important parts of their job description, a well-trained, motivated real estate agent will know how to effectively use the Internet, their network of personal contacts, and a variety of other techniques to draw in qualified prospects.
Is there anything that you, as the homeowner, can do to help market your home?
Although it's your real estate agent's role to advertise, promote, and publicize your real estate listing to targeted groups and the general public, there is one huge thing you can do to help: Try to keep your house and property looking impeccable at all times. While that goal may be easier said than done, it's worth some extra time and effort to make your home as inviting and appealing to house hunters as possible.
Here are two ways you can increase your home's marketability and help spark more interest among prospective buyers:
- Meticulous neatness and cleanliness gives your home instant appeal. On the other hand, a messy, disorganized home or yard will send the wrong message to people touring your house. While it may be counterproductive to have your house reeking from ammonia and harsh cleaning chemicals, keeping countertops, floors, and walls clean will help your real estate agent present your home in its best possible light. Hopefully, you'll be able to enlist the help of everyone in the family (except pets) to clean up after themselves and keep their rooms and play areas looking civilized!
- Help maintain curb appeal! As the cliché goes (or was it an old mouthwash commercial?): "You don't get a second chance to make a great first impression!" For that reason, it's vitally important for your lawn to look well manicured and your house to be free from peeling paint and yard clutter. Another eyesore that detracts from first impressions is the sight of weeds growing out of cracks in your driveway or walkway. The cracks, themselves, are a problem you might want to address, but the weeds (or grass) poking through them is like adding insult to injury! If you don't want to spray them with some toxic, store-bought weed killer, then research natural ways to kill weeds.
Sellers who are eager to attract serious buyers and maximize the value of their home often utilize home staging as a way to leave a good impression.
Homes that are skillfully staged look better in photos online, creating more leads, showings, and ultimately, offers. Furthermore, prospective buyers want to be able to envision themselves living in a home. Staging makes it easier for them to understand what it would look like and how spacious it will feel once it has been furnished.
Home staging by the numbers
You don’t, however, have to take my word for it. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases an annual report which collects and analyzes survey data from nearly 2,000 agents regarding their experience with home staging.
In their findings, they note that 62 percent of agents agree that staging a home lessens the time the property is for sale. Furthermore, 77 percent of agents said home staging makes it easier to visualize living in a home that would otherwise be empty.
Which rooms should be staged?
Staging an entire home takes an enormous amount of time and money. One way to simplify the process is to stage a select few rooms. In the NAR’s study, they asked agents which rooms they typically staged when selling a home. The results:
83% Living Room
69% Master Bedroom
66% Dining Room
31% Yard Space
25% Children’s Bedroom
21% Guest Bedroom
From these results, we can ascertain that it’s important to stage the main rooms of your home. Lesser used a multi-purpose rooms (like offices and guest rooms) aren’t as important to stage.
Can staging your home increase the sale price?
It’s difficult to say with certainty if, and by how much, home staging affects the sale price of a home. However, if staging your home is successful at getting the attention at a greater number of prospective buyers, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to go with the highest bidder.
When the NAR asked agents if staging increases the amount buyer’s offer on a home, their responses were somewhat mixed.
29% of respondents thought it increases the offer by one to five percent
21% of respondents say it increases the offer by six to ten percent
8% said it increases the offer from between eleven to twenty percent
14% said it had no impact on the dollar value of the home
27% were unsure if it had an impact on the dollar value
In general, it would seem that most agents feel that staging a home not only improves a buyer’s opinion of a home, but also increases its sale value. If you’re planning on selling in the near future, staging at least part of your home could be something to consider to give your property a competitive edge.