Selling a home in Boston is both an art and a science. Most real estate professionals say the most stressful conversations with their clients involve the asking price and the way the home is presented for sale. Although we never work for sellers or list homes for sale, as exclusive buyer’s agents, we can help you by referring you to the most qualified listing agents in the marketplace, due to our experience in working with these agents over the years. Even though we always only work for buyers and never for the sellers, we offer these tips to potential home sellers as assistance in the home selling process. This article will focus more on the factors that make the biggest impact on prospective purchasers.
Selling a Home in Boston – Following “Stage Coaches”
For most home sellers, personal possessions are important parts of who they are and what their home means to them. To potential buyers, however, they mean virtually nothing. They’re not interested in your children’s photos, your bowling trophies or the handmade quilt your late grandmother gave you several Christmases ago. Real estate agents worth their salt advise their sellers to tidy up, clean out and pack up most personal items. The reason? Prospective home owners need to clearly imagine themselves and their family in every room in your house. If they look around and see nothing but constant reminders of the seller and their family, they may quickly lose interest. In addition, people’s tastes vary – what you like may not necessarily represent the likes of potential buyers.
That’s one reason selling a home in Boston often includes staging the home for the best presentation possible. Today, home staging is more popular than ever – even in a seller’s market. According to a leading national real estate sales firm, staged homes spend half as much time on the market than non-staged homes. In addition, homes that are staged sell for over 6% above the asking price.
Staging can also help the buyers envision how the house will appear once they move in, even though the majority of people don’t have professional decorators at their disposal. Savvy agents refer to staging as being responsible for “aspirational selling.” Buyers imagine living in the house the way it’s set up and decorated for the best sales presentation.
One real estate agent – who is obviously bullish on home staging – says staging homes for sale is a key to her success. “When I put a house on the market, it’s going to look nice. It benefits both me and the seller. They refer me to other people, so it’s an investment I make in my business.” The investment in home staging can range anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 depending on the home’s size and whether or not furniture needs to be replaced. Renovation and staging websites often include rental items like furniture, furnishings, rugs, paint, window treatments, accessories and other props.
Selling a Home in Boston – Online Staging
Real estate agents who coach their sellers into staging their homes readily admit one of the advantages of selling a home in Boston by staging is for taking photographs as much as anything else. Even though there will be dozens of people walking through the home, an even larger number of prospects routinely search online, viewing interior photos of the homes they plan to visit. Attractive photos will draw more buyers.
Most real estate professionals say a common problem in trying to stage a home the seller is currently occupying is getting them to understand the philosophy and purpose of staging. Diplomacy is an important attribute of agents dealing with sellers during the “hand-holding” phase. In addition, a key to staging is to give small rooms the appearance of being larger than they really are. That way, buyers start the mental process of envisioning where their furniture – or new furniture – can be placed to best showcase the rooms in the home.
As an example, an eat-in kitchen would naturally have a table in it. A smaller-sized bedroom that appears to be too small for a bed should have a bed in the room. Professional stagers work to position the home to sell to the prospective purchaser. A young couple with children, for example, needs to be able to imagine the rooms as they will best appeal to them, using the type furnishings they can envision. That often involves removing antiques or artwork from an older seller’s home. It may also mean depersonalizing the home so the potential buyers don’t identify too much with the existing homeowners.
Some home stagers go so far as to re-organize closets and kitchen cabinets in an effort to remove any items that may dissuade prospective buyers. While not all rooms require staging, it’s always best to keep all rooms clean and uncluttered. Sometimes giving the potential home buyers an “empty canvas” to use their imagination is a good idea.
One last thing about selling a home in Boston: There are no formal or steadfast rules for what should and shouldn’t occur during the home staging. However, as in most personal or business relationships, first impressions are important. As an example, the front porch, doorway, foyer or entryway are all equally important. Make sure they are appealing to visitors that enter the home with a passing interest and leave it with the home high on their list.
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