Listing Courtesy of JACK LINGO LEWES
Staging is to an Lewes home what packaging is to a supermarket product: a vital element that can supersede all others. Product managers rely on advertising and marketing efforts to create awareness among consumers, just as homeowners use their Realtor’s marketing know-how (the listing, web page, signage and all their other advertising initiatives) to bring local prospects to the door. Then, just as well-designed, attractive packaging is what finally moves a product off the shelf, it is first-class staging that can transform casual lookers into Lewes home buyers.
The goal of staging is to draw observers in; to help them picture whether the property’s spaces have all the nuances of what in their own mind’s eye constitutes a welcoming home. Bottom-line studies continue to verify that, staged correctly, homes sell more quickly. Although there are few absolute staging dos and don’ts, (after all, staging is an art); we can point to a number of probably don’ts. They’re relatively easy to avoid:
Failing to Incorporate the Outside
No matter how beautiful a home is once you open the door, prospective home buyers want to be proud of their new Lewes digs. Even if it will be marketed as a fixer-upper, a welcoming exterior is always a welcome surprise. If, on the other hand, dirty windows, dry grass, and cracks in the sidewalk greet buyers, that first impression can be counted on to drive offer numbers in the wrong direction. Staging efforts need to encompass the whole enchilada!
Neglecting the Little Things
When it comes to staging, nothing is completely unimportant. Light fixtures, cabinet knobs, faucets, drawer pulls—even electric outlet covers—all contribute to the cumulative impression a local home conveys. It doesn’t mean that every tiny detail needs to be replaced; only those that are conspicuously damaged or dirty need to get attention.
Failing to Capitalize on Natural Light
As photographers know, "It’s always all about the light!" The fewer dim corners, the better. Staging a home to accentuate its rooms’ natural light is important, and where needed, boosting with lamps and overheads.
Forgetting the Nooks and Crannies
Assume that prospects see everything. Before a showing, a last quick walk-through of the whole home is a good idea. Check for stray items that are out of place, and be sure all is properly swept and neatened.
Opting Not to Use a Professional Stager
If the whole prospect of diligent staging isn’t appealing, it makes good business sense to hand it over to a staging professional. Pro stagers see every detail with a trained eye, and work to create a rich atmosphere—not just a collection of rooms.
From a buyer’s first glance at your listing to its ultimate sale, each step of the way is an opportunity to propel the process. The first one of those steps is choosing the Lewes Realtor® who will add energy and expertise to the campaign: I hope you’ll consider me!
For Sussex County renters who are beginning to investigate the possibility of buying a first house, the prospect can look like more than just a steep hill to climb—it can look more like a cliff! Just last month, the Daily Real Estate News cited recent research that indicates in most places (512 counties surveyed, in fact) it can take the average family more than twelve years to save up for a 20% down payment. When you consider the significant financial advantage that a first house brings its Sussex County owner, the situation seems like a Catch-22. How can you save any faster when that big tax advantage goes only to the existing homeowners?
If a decade-plus wait sounds unreasonable, there’s a lot you can do to trim the delay—
1) (Obvious) Cut excess spending
If you take notes for a month or so about how you really spend your money, you find that the little things really add up: morning coffee, daily lunches, planned and unplanned shopping expeditions all put serious dents in your wallet. Spot the expenditures, you can cut back on, then reduce or eliminate them as soon as possible.
2) (Less Obvious) Create a ‘First House’ account
Create a separate savings account with the single purpose of holding your first house down payment. Watching it grow month by month will more than make up for the inconveniences caused by scrimping on daily and other spending.
3) (Way Less Obvious) Pick up extra work
You may never have considered it, but sometimes moonlighting is a great way to add additional income that quickly build your First House account. If you have a hobby that lends itself to web sales, think of starting a store on sites like Etsy or Amazon.
4) Reduce your current bills
There are those bills that you can't quite get rid of -- cell phone, credit cards and other bills don't just go away because you're saving for a new Sussex County house. For some bills, though, there are options for slimming down your monthly payments. Try negotiating a lower APR or reducing your phone or cable plan.
5) Make (and stick to) a budget
Those notes you made up there on 1) can be the raw material for making a detailed budget that separates necessary expenditures from extras like gifts, trips and special nights out. Find creative ways to entertain yourself and get together with your friends. Hosting movie nights, finding free concerts, and moving cocktail hour to home are all surprisingly doable.
It may seem counterintuitive: why would you decrease the size of your current digs? If you can temporarily scale back, the lowered rent can materially boost your savings. If it’s at all practical, living with relatives might move the process along even more quickly!
The kind of scaling back that builds for a local first house down payment is a lot more fun if you can see quick progress. And the possibility of qualifying for a smaller than 20% down payment is also currently increasing. Give me a call for a realistic discussion of your own Sussex County first house purchase!