what makes a home look great to potential buyers?

My job as a professional home stager takes me into over a dozen homes a week and I meet some fantastically creative people along the way.   It is amazing to me the unique things people do, create and collect – a fun part of my job.

All too often I have to tell these clients that their hobbies are going to prevent them from getting a good price for their home.

  • The doll collector, whose guest room housed hundreds of dolls,
  • the former antique dealer who can’t let go of so many beautiful antique pieces,
  • the rock collector – whose every flat surface contained rocks, crystals or agates,
  • the quilter, whose fabric collection would be the envy of many small shops
  • and the scrapbooker whose papers, punches and cute items have taken over not only the desk, but cabinets, storage bins and more.
  • yes – I’ve worked with them all in the past few months and each and every one of them is killing their own home sale.

Sound extreme? If you can answer yes to any of these questions – your hobby (or lifestyle) is killing your home’s quick sale!

Do you have furniture pieces in rooms where they don’t belong?  Desks in the dining room?  File cabinets in the master bedroom?  Collectible cabinets in the guest bedrooms?  Is your bedroom, family room and dining room places of serenity where people can enjoy the space without viewing lots of “________”  (file in your vice – books, model cars, fabric, work piles, etc).

How much is your hobby costing you? If your home remains on the market more than 60 days your agent will probably recommend a price reduction of at least $10,000.  Are you sure you can’t live without your “stuff”?

Spacious rooms are desirable to home buyers Home buyers are buying space.

Collections and hobbies take up a lot of space and usually don’t photograph well.

Keep your “stuff” and I guarantee your home will remain on the market longer than necessary.

Time and time again I see that those who pack up their hobbies and get ready to move are able to do so. Their homes sell. Others who drag their feet and tell me they “can’t live” without these things for a few months have homes who remain on the market month after month.

When you’re selling your home, you’re selling a lifestyle too.

And don’t just stuff everything in your garage.  Get a storage unit, pack it off to a friend’s garage, or to mom’s attic.  Potential buyers want to think there is enough storage for all their stuff along with room for their cars in the garage.

The quickest selling homes in 2011 are:

  • Priced accurately
  • Prepared beautifully
  • Presented (marketed) well

Pack it up, and get ready to move.  Take a break or reduce your hobby to a small space.  It will save you time, energy and get it sold!

Margaret Oscilia is a Professional Home Stager with Creative Concepts – Home Staging and Contracting serving Salem Oregon and surrounding areas who specializing in helping home sellers stage to sell or re-design to live well.

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