I write a monthly home column for Cornelius Today newspaper. This column was published at the end of March and thought I would share its content with readers of my blog. I hope you find the content useful.
March 2013: As I write this column, recent news headlines have been very encouraging with respect to jobs, the stock market, and even real estate. In spite of very low inventories of homes for sale in the Charlotte and Lake Norman region, some Realtors say the market is still soft with some neighborhoods more soft than others. Having your home ready to market before listing has always been important, even before the real estate crash. In down markets, properly prepared and staged homes will sell, if priced correctly. In hot markets, these homes will often fetch multiple offers above list price.
So how does a seller know which investments to make before selling their home? My answer is to consult a professional such as a Realtor® or an Accredited Home Staging Professional. These professionals will guide the seller through the process and save him or her money by avoiding costly mistakes such as selecting poor paint colors, installing the wrong type of flooring or not doing anything at all.
I would like to walk you through a true story about two home owners in Charlotte. House A and House B are two different homes on the same street with the exact same floor plan. House A is already for sale and the owner of House B also needs to sell. The owner of house B is not sure what improvements or changes to make to his home so he brings in a professional Realtor to assist with the process. The home owner chooses to hire Sherry Baynes, with Wilkinson & Associates in Cornelius. Sherry looks at the comps (neighborhood comparables) and recommends that the seller not only install new hardwood floors throughout the main level to match the competition down the street, but also recommends hiring a home staging professional to make recommendations throughout the home. These room by room recommendations touch on de-cluttering, furniture placement, and neutral color schemes. The seller listens to the expert advice and hires a hardwood flooring company and outsources the staging completely.
What is the ending of this story you ask? As of today, House A is still for sale for over fourteen weeks. House B made the proper enhancements both inside and out resulting in THREE showings the first week, and all THREE parties came with offers. The agreed price was approximately 99% of list price.
The point of this story is that you should always hire a professional to guide you through processes or tasks that are not your particular area of expertise. Putting your trust in the experts will give you the upper-hand and increase your odds of the most desirable outcome.
Before & After Photos of this Staging: