Deciding to put your house on the market? Recruiting an experienced Santa Barbara listing agent will give you a leg up on the competition. He or she will know where you need to spend money, and where you don’t.
A good example is dealing with staging – the ‘show biz’ of the real estate world. Complete staging is expensive and sometimes just is not practical. A great listing agent will help you decide whether staging is imperative for your home – and if it is not, will offer some basic fixes to help you work with what you have.
1. The first stage to set? The front yard. If the street view is untidy or the yard overgrown, you can lose your audience before the performance even begins. Of course, you will keep the lawn cut and fix the fences and gates – but also think creatively. People’s eyes are drawn to color, so adding a few cheerful annuals in pots and hanging baskets and placing them strategically can do wonders. If the front or garage doors are even a little bit chipped or flaking, sand and paint them. If trees or bushes are blocking sunlight from the front windows, take the trimming shears to them. All of this should take no longer than a weekend (and cost less than $150).
2. Buyers are not really just an audience: you want them to be participants. You want them to be able to visualize their furnishings in your space. Professional stagers have a simple arithmetic rule:
Subtracting Furniture = Adding Space
You add space by removing bulky, old or mismatched furniture. As your listing agent, I can help you walk through the house and decide what should stay and what should go into storage. Moving them can take about a weekend; cost will be the price of storage (or half of your garage – the next best option).
3. Have you ever walked into an expertly staged home and seen dirty socks hanging out in the bedroom? Didn’t think so. Nothing is quite as off-putting as evidence of personal hygiene. Kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms need special hospital-clean sparkle. Do laundry frequently, and why not use a stagers’ extra? Light candles, set air fresheners -- and open windows wherever you can.
The market has begun to show signs of new activity, but even so, similar homes are still competing for the same group of buyers. That’s why it is vital that you present your home as favorably as possible.
In case you have been thinking of buying or selling a Santa Barbara property, give us a call.
Year after year one of Santa Barbara’s top realtors, our office is here in Santa Barbara & Montecito to help with your Santa Barbara home search and Montecito home search.