Thursday, March 12, 2009

Staging a Home to Sell

When you’re trying to sell a home in a tough economy, home staging is critical. Home staging is defined as the act of preparing your home for sale with an emphasis on presentation and appearance.

In markets with high foreclosure rates and decreased prices, staging has particular importance because the process results in a higher sales price compared to an unstaged home, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Houston, TX, for example, had a 28 percent increase in foreclosure listings in 2008 compared to 2007, according to RealtyTrac. Median sales prices of single-family homes also decreased 11 percent, or $18,100, to $151,600 in that market between 2007 and 2008 according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

Here’s a rundown of what you can do to successfully stage a home to sell:

First and foremost, clearing out the clutter is key to staging a home. Make sure to avoid crowded kitchens and bathrooms, too much furniture and an overabundance of family photos and knickknacks. Now might be the time to donate items to charity or hold a garage sale.

Overflowing closets should also be avoided. You might try lining main closets with cedar, which is not only a great look, but it will also release a relaxing scent that will help create a good first impression. Cedar panels also protect the items that you store, and prevent insects from damaging clothing, books or important papers.

The rest of the home also needs to have a clean scent. If your client has pets, make sure they are bathed regularly, and deodorize and shampoo carpets that might be in their high-traffic areas. Clean drapes are also an important suggestion.

Also think about emptying trash cans and recycling bins. And, of course, a fresh coat of paint and neat landscaping will always help create curb and Web appeal.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

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