Come Fall in Love with My House!

Most readers have heard of “speed dating”.  An event where singles meet each other for three to five minutes, get an idea of if this person is interesting, and then move on to the next person to see how they compare.  Those of us lacking quick wit or knock-out looks may be intimidated by this dating process.  Nerves may take over and all of a sudden we’re a wall flower at the junior high dance again.  Talk about pressure!

Selling your home in 2011 is a whole lot like speed dating.

Selling Oregon Real Estate QuicklyThis past month our daughter was looking for a property and sent us a list of 45 potential homes to tour.  “Which ones should I see?” In less than an hour my dear hubby had cut the list to five, these were toured and an offer made that day.

Lesson one:  If rooms look cluttered or dated or your photos aren’t great quality you aren’t ready to sell.  Never mind that everyone’s mom told them not to judge a book by it’s cover — they will.  You wouldn’t show up at for a speed date in your duds from 1995 – looks matter.

Declutter, update and have great photos. (Over 90% of home buyers shop on line).  May sound basic, but if you do, you’ll already be beating out 85% of the competition.  2010 studies showed that listings with great photos sold for more than listings with point and click camera photos.

Lesson two: If you aren’t fascinating, they’re going to move on. People shop for homes with logic – but a home that shows a desirable lifestyle and is easy to “fall in love” with will get more attention.

You may think looking good is enough, but there’s got to be more to hold home buyer’s attention.  Little known factoid:  The average length of a home showing is three to six minutes.

Never mind that you spent more time getting ready for the showing than most women spend giving birth to their first child.  They’re going to be zooming in and out unless you stand out as the best AND tug on their heart strings too.

Lesson Three:  You better have them at hello. Curb appeal, first impressions, call it what you want — but it is key.  Home buying decisions are made within the first 20 seconds of entering a property.

If the outside shows repair issues or is mossy and dirty, a subconscious image of poor maintenance is already forming.  Walk in the front door and I tell my clients this viewpoint is the “big wow”.  If it isn’t that way, we better make it that way.  More important than breath mints on a first date, your first impression needs to be memorable.

Lesson Four: Professional help is affordable and worthwhile. Sometimes we need that older sister to give us a few dating pointers, and maybe your home needs a professional stager who knows the ropes.

return on investment for home staging

A recent survey by Homegain shows a huge return on investment for $$ spent utilizing a stager’s expertise.

Thinking your home can’t stand the pace of a speed date?  A professional home stager has the expertise to transform ordinary to extraordinary.

If you are selling your home in 2011 — you can’t change the market, the competition or your location.  You CAN create a better presentation and your home will attract the attention it deserves!

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.   Need more tips to help your home become more “lovable”?   Contact Margaret at or 503-881-0886!