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I remember reading a child’s book awhile back called Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? by Eric Carle and it begins something like this “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?” and the response in the book goes something like this:  “I see a _____ (another animal) looking at me.” Different animals each page looking at Brown Bear, but so fun.  A very colorful and engaging book, I still think back on reading it and smile.

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Well, I have been thinking about the real estate market and how much has changed since the housing market crash of 2008, and with it currently being a “buyer’s market” along with the attraction of such t.v. shows such as HGTV, the home appeal desire list has affected everything with how we must view our homes in preparing them for the market.   With so many homes on the market, and so many choices for the buyer, the buyers hold the upper hand when shopping.  We must think along that line of “What do you SEE?” referring to the potential home buyer.  Homes need to stand out much more now than ever before in order for them to sell.

I often look online at the photos realtors post of the properties they are listing.   That is almost always the FIRST stop a buyer goes to when looking for a home.  Sometimes, I cringe when I view the photos, other times I laugh.  And occasionally, I may love the photographs and am drawn into that particular listing, wanting to see more.

 

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I recall one picture in a listing where there was a teddy bear and a few other soft items squished between
a nightstand and the bed in the Master Bedroom in the photo of one listing.  I’m thinking … okay …. hmmm.  Did the homeowners leave in a hurry before the photographer came?  Other things are just basic, but no one thinks about.  Being a certified  home stager, I often see gorgeous countertops in a kitchen, but instead of my eye being drawn to something enticing like place settings or a bowl of fruit, my eyes scan the countertops where there’s the toaster, the coffeemaker, the entire knife collection among other things.  Each room really needs a place for eyes to FOCUS on – a focal point.

 

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Beyond those first few photos buyers see is that first glance when one drives up to the location.  What does the front door look like?  The mailbox?  Is someone’s oil change stuff still in the driveway?  Is there a collection of shoes by the front door?  Does the lawn look alive or dead?

Venture on into the home.  Has someone lived there so long they don’t see all the clutter?  Even basic decluttering and storing about ½ of the furniture can be very helpful.   When someone looks at the first room or two, what do they SEE?  Dated fixtures?  Awful wallpaper or outdated décor?  Toys everywhere?  Personal photos? Most home buyers get the impression that if a home is tidy, organized and clean that the home has been well-maintained.  That’s at least a good start!

It is always better to spend 1-2 months preparing a home for the market before listing it than trying to sell it with all the junk still in it, needed repairs, and so on.  Most buyers today want a turn-key home where they do not need to do any maintenance.  If they want a fixer upper, they will look for the best bargain in town, so if you want to get top dollar for your home, rely on the professionals.  Get a realtor that knows how to market, and knows how to represent you, the seller, optimally.  A good realtor knows who to rely on professionally for his/her network, i.e., the right home inspectors, painters, etc.  Including a professional stager not only relieves the realtor from having to be the one trying to do too many things, it puts the realtor in a better light because the seller is getting valuable information, the home shows far better than it being unstaged and it helps get the home sold faster.  If handled with understanding, yet honesty, most homeowners will listen and invest their money in those things that will get them the most return for their investment.

In conclusion, anytime a home seller understands that advice is in their best interest for getting their home sold, along with statistics, photos of nicely marketed homes, and listing the home for the right price (sometimes you have to show them online the comparable homes that did sell and why), they are most inclined to listen.

For more tips on what homebuyers are looking for and what they don’t want, BankRate has a great article:  http://www.bankrate.com/finance/real-estate/10-ways-to-turn-off-a-homebuyer-1.aspx

 

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://homestagingbypatricia.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/PJ-PROFILE.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Patricia Justice, of Home Staging by Patricia is an accredited staging and redesign professional and published author. Home Staging by Patricia offers payment options such as Paypal and Credit Cards for those seeking to get their home marketed superbly. Homestagingbypatricia.com phone: 434-944-9686 [/author_info] [/author]

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