This is an updated post from 7 years ago.
We moved out of that home that same year. We got more money than we ever imagined. However, after all the work we did, the inspector pointed out so much more, honestly we should have walked away. The people wanted our home so badly and had written a contract that would escalate with competing bids. But once you get an inspection, that becomes part of your disclosures to new buyers and even though much of it was minor, it looked like so much! So just another reason to keep up your maintenance.
Believe it or not, we are ready to list again and the market is even hotter than before probably for most homes, but ours is lake front and that brings a premium price and is not always easy to find.
I will be doing a staging video at that home upcoming on my new YouTube Channel, Your Home Your Happy Place, I would love for you to join me there, subscribe, like, share and comment!
Share any experiences you have had in listing, good or bad and ask. away if you have questions, I love to be of help.
We are Staging Our Home to sell…in 6 years. Key 1 – 5 explains why.
Yes, that sounds crazy but I can support this idea with my advantages listed below. Check them out.
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Advantages to Staging Your Home To Sell NOW
1. Key – Calculate the Cost To Wait
When someone decides to sell their home and a Realtor comes through to price it, they give them an honest appraisal of what needs to be done before it is listed. The dollar signs start ringing up like a cash register…cha-ching, cha-ching~
On the other hand, if your home is already in the best possible condition with both maintenance and updated decor, you will be listed at the highest price available for your market…rather than having to be possibly $10,000 less because the house does not show well compared to the competition on the market.
You’re ready to move, but WAIT! Suddenly, the things you have walked by knowing they need attention but kind of putting it off, can no longer be ignored. Maintenance needs to be kept up to keep your costs at bay when you list.
You’ve lived there for 15 – 30 years and you still have the same paint, wallpaper, and furnishings because they are fine and you like them. Unfortunately you are competing with new construction that may have some great features that you do not have or updated older homes that show like a newer home. Most people listing these days take updating their home seriously. People are not uniformed with the success of shows on HGTV. So the cost comes in having done all of the maintenance and updating as you are able to pay for it on an ongoing basis verses looking at listing your home and suddenly having to pay for remodeling, maintenance, painting and repairs before you put the sign in the yard.
I just witnessed this with a neighbor. They had 3 – 4 trades people working at their home for nearly 6 months. Then the sign went up. I can’t imagine how much they invested just to list.
2. Key – Increased Value To You To Do It Now
There is nothing sadder for me than to see people putting out all of this money to improve their home for sale and FINALLY getting things just the way they had dreamed. After the work is completed, they walk into a room and “ooh” and “ahh” and maybe wonder do they really even want to sell if they are just moving to get a better place. They question themselves why did we wait until now to do what we always dreamed of. Updating a bath is an excellent investment. Always a high dollar project, so we put it off and put it off and then it is time to sell and we know that 30 year old bath is going to be a negative for a prospective buyer. If you make a plan from day one or even just NOW and work it, you can enjoy that new bath yourself for a few years, instead of making it gorgeous at the last minute and leaving it for someone else to enjoy.
If you keep up with all of it, you are going to love your home and be proud of it. You will enjoy entertaining and just living in your home because you made it as lovely as it could be.
Also, should you for some reason wish to refinance or get a home equity loan, your home will be professionally appraised and these updates add real value to your home, to your assets and can relate to more dollars for you when you need a loan. We replaced an 18 year old deck years ago. The average life of a cedar deck is 15 years. I would say we made a mistake since we spent an outrageous amount of money on it and yet because it is made of Brazilian Hardwood, it will never again need to be replaced and it is huge and includes a gazebo and the framing of our below deck patio (so maybe that was not a mistake after all). We needed to take out a first mortgage on our home to purchase some property we would not be able to get a loan for and because we had done improvements like that, we were appraised out at a higher value and able to take a significant dollar amount for the loan.
3. Key – Decreased Stress For You
They say there are a few things in life that are extreme stressors. A family death, getting married and/or divorced, and moving! Selling your home is stressful anyway. You have to keep everything in place and clean for the entire process and it is hard to live that way. So Key #3 proves you will stay more relaxed through the selling process because you were prepared.
Selling your home at the highest possible price is what you desire. At the time you list, the last thing you want to spend any money on is the house you are selling because it comes right off the top and you can’t be certain you will get it back. Figuring the dollars you will walk away with is also stressful because you not only want top dollar but you are paying the commission fees and in most markets, you don’t even get asking price. So let’s say you hope to list at $400,000.00. A buyer may come in at $392,000.00 you may go back and forth and end up somewhere in the middle. So at $396,000.00 and that’s a great offer. You now have to pay commission that can be anywhere from 5 – 10%! On the high side, that could be nearly $40, 000.00! Now your home is bringing you $356,000.00 NOT $400,000.00. If then you find out you need a lot of work done on your home just to list it at that price? Well it can easily be $10,000 but based on that price of home and depending on age and maintenance deferred it could be far greater. If you need a new bath, paint, carpet, etc you can see how everything starts to add up…along with the stress~
So having your home in turnkey presentation from the first visit of the Realtor will give you the best price for your home and the least amount of stress. Your Realtor will be confident listing at the highest side of the market value because they know your home is competitive and going to show well. They also will be fairly confident in a quick sale for you!
4. Key – Put Time on Your Side
If you are on a time frame to sell or to move and most people are by the time that sign is going in the yard, you don’t have a year to wait for things to get done. Staging NOW VS. LATER puts Time on YOUR side.
A simple kitchen cabinet painting job by a professional is likely to take up to 3 – 4 weeks to get done. Tick-Tock goes the clock!
If flooring has to be addressed, it may need to be ordered and again could be as long as 6 weeks until it is accomplished. Tick-Tock goes the clock!
A master bath redo is going to take 5 – 6 weeks minimum. Tick-Tock goes the clock!
If you are painting all of your rooms and changing floors, you can’t do them at the same time. Tick-Tock goes the clock!We started Staging our Home to Sell over 2 years ago! We are still not done. Although at the moment we are on a break from it because we need to save up for the next big item which is a master bath remodel. In those two years, we replaced every floor in our two story 25 year old home. We painted every room. We painted all of our wood stained doors and window frames and replaced all of our floor moldings with white baseboards that we created ourselves that are taller and have more character. We painted our kitchen cabinets and remodeled a Jack and Jill bath. Also updated a shower in our basement. While I said we took a break, we actually refocused on maintenance. We had our super large patio, that also surrounds our pool, power washed and sealed. Power washed our home. Updated all of our home theater equipment and outdoor sound system. Replaced some trees and shrubs that had died and were essential parts of our privacy and landscape. We hope that in 6 years these trees will again have a strong presence in the landscape.
5. Key – So Where Should You Start?
- Contact a Realtor
But I’m not selling yet! I don’t want to be pressured.
Don’t worry. Just tell them you want to be prepared and would like to get some professional input on what your home needs done to be ready to list. Most Realtors realize that if they give you that time, there is a great chance you are going to come to them when it is time to list. If they aren’t interested, you wouldn’t want them anyway. Be prepared, they will definitely ask when you are thinking of listing. Just be honest and say you don’t know but it could happen anytime and you would like to know the market value of your home and how you can get the best price for it.
2. Which Realtor should I choose?
Someone in your neighborhood! “Oh but I don’t want them knowing what my house is going to sell for.” Look, EVERYONE knows what your house is going to sell for. Once that sign is in your yard, anyone can look up your address and see the price, see what you paid for it when you bought it, and see every picture that your Realtor has put on the listing. So get over worrying about it and choose the neighborhood Realtor. Why?
A person who owns a home in your neighborhood is invested literally in getting you the most money for your home. Your selling price affects the price of every other home in the neighborhood (including theirs!) because of market analysis which is what an appraiser will look at when someone else sells. They look at the home most like yours, the price it sold for and then the price you are selling for and if they aren’t in sync, well the bank is not going to loan money to a buyer.
As a Realtor and a Stager and Decorator, I can say with authority that all Realtors are not trained or talented in staging your home. But they do know fair market value which is pricing your home in its current condition. They also should be able to give you a basic plan of things that should be addressed regarding updates and repair.
Let me leave you with one last thought….in case you are someone who never plans to move. There will come that time when your home will be sold after you have passed. A grieving family has to pack up or give away many possessions following a family death in a home that will need to be sold. Leaving maintenance and a home that just won’t show well leaves them with the decision of what to do. They may not have the funds to repair long overdue issues and may not have the time to deal with updates that would bring a good price to the sale of your home. So again, staying on top of your home’s maintenance and decor is a gift you leave to your family.
I sincerely hope this had helpful information for you and leave me any questions or comments and I will answer them all!
See one of my Staging Tips in Create Color Flow in Your Home.