[photopress:Jackass_20Penguin.jpg,thumb,alignright]On Friday Fieldtrips, I have been going to properties that are already listed for sale and doing a 3 Step Staging Technique. Since the properties are already for sale and listed in the MLS, it is a shortened process that takes anywhere from two hours to most of the day. Getting a property ready for market that is not already listed often has more steps and takes much longer. This simple process will help to improve a property already on market.
It is also the method I use on a listing appointment to give the seller a few tips of what they might need to do before putting the home on market. These homes are occupied and already furnished.
1) WALK LIKE A PENGUIN
From the time you enter the front door, walk at a fairly rapid pace from the front door, through the main living areas and back to the front door. Keep your arms at your side with your hands about 8″ from your hip. In other words…Walk Like a Penguin.
Remember there are often three people walking through the property during a showing, the buyer(s) and their agent. Anytime they need to walk around a piece of furniture or get cornered inside the furniture or are just uncomfortably fitting through an opening, the house “feels too small” even if it is a 2,500 square foot home.
Make sure the walk path is as wide as possible. If one of your hands hits anything as you walk through, whatever you hit with your hand likely needs to be moved.
As you walk quickly like a penguin, keep your head straight and even with your shoulders. Don’t look up, down or sideways. When you get back to the front door, walk through again in the reverse direction.
2) HAPPY FACE :)? SAD FACE :(?
It really is quite that simple. When your hand hits something, you get a sad face. When you can move through freely and without impediment, you have a happy face. When you smell something bad, you have a sad face. When you see attractive things, you have a happy face. When you see unhappy things (I call them implements of destruction) you have a sad face. Remove knives, arrows, scary masks on the walls, anything that makes you grimace or feel uncomfortable for even a split second.
Now go back through the area slowly and look for your best items (mirrors, pictures, vases, etc…) that you DID NOT SEE while walking through like a penguin. Move those to the walk path so that you see your best pieces when walking through quickly.
Do you see something good out the window, or something bad out the window as you walk through quickly? Open all the blinds and window treatments and walk through again. Happy Face? Leave the window treatments open. Sad Face? Close the blinds or drapes if you see moving cars, trash cans or anything else that is not attractive.
If when you first walked through you had 3 happy faces and 14 sad faces and now you have 14 happy faces and 3 sad faces, you have improved the property showings. If a buyer feels good most of the time during the showing, they are more likely to buy the property, than if they had a sad face during most of the showing.
Pretty simple stuff.
3) SHOP AND UPDATE
If it is a newer property, I often don’t have to shop. One of the purposes of shopping for items is to have at least one item in every room that is CURRENT. Often the homeowners things are very nice, but from 15 years ago. If the house is 15-20 years old and all of their things are 15 to 20 years old, the house screams “needs updating”, and that means lower offer.
Seems silly, but I can tell you for fact that homes where buyers said, “It’s going to cost $100,000 to update this place”, sold after a bit of updating. The more people see something in the house that they may have seen recently while shopping, the more you have added current to needs updating.
By Shopping and adding currently popular items and colors, you can change your showing feedback from “too 80s!” to an offer.