Don’t believe all the doom and gloom. Homes are selling in the Portland, Oregon real estate market. Some real estate agents are thriving and their clients are reaping the rewards. Numerous homes I have staged for sale this year have sold in three weeks or less.
This fall I staged a home for Matt Mahaffy from Georgetown Realty with amazing results! His client received a job offer and was moving to Arizona. We made some significant changes to the home before placing it on the market. In three weeks we changed the dated 1970’s lighting throughout the home, called in a professional to paint the walls a beautiful warm oatmeal (previously gray tinted builder white), and we installed WilsonArt’s HD “granite” countertops in the kitchen. This is a great look without the slab granite price. We also dropped attractive pendant lights at the island peninsula in the kitchen, painted the front door a colorful autumn red, and had a contractor re-tile the bathroom countertops. Professionally cleaning the carpets and windows were the finishing touch. The home was listed on a Saturday and we had a written offer by close of business Wednesday. I received a fun text message from the client the day of the offer. It read, “You may have broken your record. We got an offer. Wow! Thanks!”
US Housing Urban Development reports that a staged home will sell, on average, 17% higher than an un-staged home. Last year, the New York Village Voice discovered the number of days an un-staged home is on the market is 30.9 versus 13.9 for a staged home. Best yet, in 2007 a Home Gain survey of 2000 realtors found sellers who typically spent $500 on staging services recovered 343% of the cost in the sale of their home
10 tips to follow prior to placing your home on the market:
Matt Mahaffy said recently, “For a home to move quickly and get top dollar in this market, it needs to do two things: Win the beauty contest and the price war.” I couldn’t have said it better.
1.) Take a good look at the outside of your home. Freshen up the flower beds with mulch and tidy up any shrubs. Clean up any moss on your home or on your driveway and sidewalks. Pay special attention to clutter in your yard and around the entrance.
2.) Take care of cosmetic details. Paint the interior and exterior of your home where needed. Finish all repairs you have been putting off. Tighten up loose hardware and clean carpets, floors, window treatments, cabinets and windows.
3.) Consolidate and eliminate clutter. You want buyers to focus on your home, not your belongings. Countertops should be clear and clean. (Put your Kleenex, toaster, salt and pepper shakers, hair brush, toothpaste, and lotion bottles away.)
4.) Pack away in storage personal items, especially those with religious or political themes. If someone doesn’t share your beliefs (and many won’t) they won’t see themselves living in your home.
5.) Consider furniture placement that highlights the buying attributes of the room. Remove or rearrange furniture so that selling features like built-ins, fireplaces and wonderful views are highlighted.
6.) Make decorating decisions including color and accessories that appeal to the most buyers touring the home and the demographic you are targeting for purchasing your home.
7.) You don’t live in a home the same way you sell it. Your home should be ready for a professional photograph each day your home is on the market. Store away mail, remote controls and excessive magazines.
8.) This one is tough for me because I have two lovely dogs. Roughly 60% of the population have a pet in their home, 40% do not. 20% of the population has known pet allergies. Eliminate evidence of pets and pet odor. If you need a litter box, kitty scratches, and water bowls, keep them in an industrial area of the home – in most cases not the kitchen or the bathroom. The best alternative is to remove your pet before showings and during open houses.
9,) Lighting sells. Open all blinds and soft window treatments and turn on all your lights before any showings.
10.) Prior to placing your home on the market, consider hiring a professional stager with fresh eyes for your home. You will certainly re-coup the cost: a staged home sells for a higher price and is on the market for half the time.