Thursday, May 22, 2014

What I Learned From My House Sale

It's been a bit of a whirlwind these past few weeks.....we put our house on the market the day after Easter and one week to the day it sold. It had only been seen by four families during that week and one of them bought it. And then two others wanted it. We never heard from the fourth family but 75% of the people who saw it wanted it was good enough for us. And we hadn't even started looking. So that's been what we've been doing for the past few weeks. I'm happy to say we found one and closing on everything will be mid-July.

So now that things are settling down a bit I've had a chance to reflect on what I learned from selling my home - or at least what I learned about staging.

First, sellers really do envision themselves living in the homes they see. According to our Realtor, what made the decision a definite was the buyer sitting in my office chair at my desk looking out the window - and seeing himself working there.

Second, stainless steel appliances really don't matter. And neither does granite. This is something I've often shared with my seller clients, but not always successfully. The goal of staging is to draw the potential buyers' eyes away from any concerns and towards the things that might sell the house. So with the focus on the view out the windows, the mantel in the great room, and the spaciousness and cleanliness of the kitchen, the buyers had little or no concern about the white appliances and Corian countertops.

And finally, condition really is important. We made sure everything was in tip-top shape, including the barely finished steps into the basement as well as the basement itself. We also had an inspection done prior to putting the house on the market to make sure we were right about the condition. And guess what? The buyers didn't even bother to get their own inspection (something I wouldn't really recommend) but simply asked to use ours!

I'll admit, I had a few moments of melt-down. (How can the buyers not see that the refrigerator doesn't fit neatly into its space but sticks out too far into the kitchen? I know people with kids won't like our less-than-level yard!) But one week and three potential buyers pretty much says it all. Now if only I can use my experience to convince my staging clients.