Even in this still-hot seller’s market, home staging is a must

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Sixty-two percent of sellers said staging their home decreased the amount of time it spent on the market.

By Patricia Nugent

The shortage of homes on the market, which isn’t keeping up with the number of interested buyers, might lead homeowners to think they don’t need to do much to their home besides putting the for-sale sign in the front yard.

But in reality, the answer to the question, “to stage or not to stage,” is more complicated.

I caught up with Denise and Mark Zervos, who’ve spent decades successfully running The Neighborhood Experts at Platinum Real Estate, for some sound advice.

“Many of our buyers are families with two working parents who do not have much time on their hands,” she says. “When they see things like wallpaper and rooms that need to be repainted, it affects their judgment when it comes to the time of sale.”

When (and What) to Stage
The illustration (right) from the National Association of Realtors offers a few takeaways about the importance of staging according to buyers’ and sellers’ agents:

• More showings, more money. Nearly half of buyers were more willing to visit a home that had been staged, and when the bids came in, they were up to 10% higher.
• Less time on the market. Sixty-two percent of sellers said staging their home decreased the amount of time it spent on the market.

Denise says that when she walks through a home, the first things that strike her to change are wall colors and furniture arrangement.

“Anything décor-specific needs to be changed to a blank slate so a potential home buyer can see themselves living in the home,” she explains. “To best depersonalize your home, get rid of any keepsakes or family photos on the walls. Best to paint walls pale, neutral shades and pare down the furniture in every room.”

The kitchen deserves special attention, clearing counters of any clutter or appliances and making sure cabinetry looks like new.

Denise also mentions the importance of making a great first impression with a home’s front entry. “Add a welcome mat and potted flowers,” she says. “Is the paint on your front door in great shape? Is your landscaping immaculately trimmed and lawn pristine?”

Another condition that can strongly affect a home sale is how clean it is.

“It needs to be deep cleaned by a professional beyond what a homeowner does on an everyday basis,” says Denise, who hires a professional company called Eco Cleaning Ohio to tailor packages to home sellers.

She Already Has a Buyer for You
Interested in selling your home before it even hits the MLS?

Denise is working with two very interested buyers. Does your home fit these criteria?

Buyer One is a husband and wife moving into the Cleveland area with a parent and would like to purchase a home in Chesterland, Kirtland, Kirtland Hills, Willoughby or Willoughby Hills that either has an in-law suite or space over a garage to build one. He’s looking for a home value of up to $500,000.

Buyer Two is a young married couple interested in Willoughby, Willoughby Hills, Concord, Mentor or Painesville Township and would like a three-bedroom home in a neighborhood development that costs $300,000-$325,000. They’ve been renting for years and are ready to find their dream home in Lake County. Both buyers can be flexible with terms of a move-in date, whatever suits the seller.

Opportunity seldom knocks twice. Give Denise a call if you’d like to make a quick sale to either of these buyers. She can also help you find the ideal next home to best fit your lifestyle.

Headquartered within The Platinum Center, at 7200 Mentor Street in Mentor, Platinum Real Estate has offices in Northeast Ohio, Columbus, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and Mexico. To get more information, call 216-990-2100 or 440-974-SALE or visit NeighborhoodExperts.com.

Categories: Professional Services