What two things can you do when selling your home that will provide a 270% average return on investment and cause your home to sell 66% faster?
Over 90% of buyers will make a decision about viewing a home based on photos they've seen on the Internet, and most buyers will form an opinion about a home within the first 7-10 seconds of arriving. Making a strong first impression, both online and when the home is shown, is critical for attracting buyers and getting them to commit to writing up an offer.
In a HomeGain 2012 Survey of Realtors Nationwide, cleaning and de-cluttering provided the highest ROI at 403%, and staging provided a 196% ROI. Combining the two resulted in an average ROI of 270%. In controlled tests selling identical homes, professionally staged vs. those not staged, the Real Estate Staging Association found that non-staged homes sold in an average of 102 days, while the staged homes sold in 45 days. The staged homes sold 66% faster!
Home staging isn't just hype. Many sellers struggle to understand how investing a small amount of money in staging can have such a huge impact on the selling price and how fast the home sells. After all, it's still the same home whether it's staged or not, and the furnishings aren't going to be sold with the home. However, it comes down to buyer psychology. It is estimated that only 10% of home buyers can visualize the potential of the home, which means that 90% will not be able to see past the furniture, decorations, clutter, dirt, and other imperfections.
According to HomeGain.com, these are some of the top updates you can make to prepare your home for sale that will produce the greatest return on investment:
- Clean & De-Clutter: 403%
- Lighten & Brighten: 299%
- Electrical & Plumbing: $293%
- Landscaping: 215%
- Staging: 196%
- Carpet: 160%
- Floors: 110%
- Paint Interior: 107%
- Kitchen & Bathroom: 66%
- Paint Exterior: 55%
Even though staging is half way down the Top 10 list, it not only produces a good financial return, it will help your home sell faster.
Duke University conducted a survey to determine the importance people place on certain staging principles. They rated the principles on a scale of 1 to 7, from 1 = "Not at all important" to 7 = "Extremely important". These are just a few:
- Remove personal items: 6.5
- Use rooms for intended purposes: 6.49
- Remove evidence of pets: 6.48
- Turn on all the lights during showings: 6.39
- Show homes furnished (as opposed to empty): 6.39
- Remove personal photographs: 6.02
You may be surprised to find out that the lowest ranked items were:
- Have cookies baking in the oven during showings: 2.60
- Use scented candles, air fresheners, or potpourri: 3.63
While cookies baking in the oven may make the house feel warm and homey, it may seem too cliche. And having air fresheners and scented candles may lead buyers to believe that the seller is trying to cover up other bad smells.