Spectacular new listing in Apple Ridge, Wall Township!


The Price is Right, But is Your Home Staged to Sell?

If you are not getting many showings, or if you’ve had a number of people look at your property but no offers, your realtor needs to evaluate the situation. The first thing the listing agent should do is to re-run the comps . Are you sure you are priced competitively? Establishing the right price is key to selling a home. However, pricing is not an exact science so the listing needs to be continuously monitored.

While price is often the reason that a house won’t sell, there are also many other factors that come into play. A good realtor will have access to data that allows them to monitor a home’s activity and that lets them make proactive changes to get the most money for a home in the quickest amount of time.

Sometimes the listing can become stale:

The description may need some tweaking. Make sure your description adequately describes the main benefits of the property. Identify the positives of the property and be sure to accentuate those qualities in the listing. For example, “generous room sizes” or “wonderful outdoor space” are great words to throw into a listing – if they are true, of course. It’s also very important not to over-exaggerate a home’s qualities. If you make a home sound much better in the description than it truly is, people will be disappointed when they get to the home and find that “amazing water views” can only be achieved if you stretch your body and lean over the balcony at just the right angle without falling off. When the written description does not meet the buyers’ expectations, it will cause them to devalue the home more than they should.

Photos may need to be retaken. With a large percentage of homebuyers scouring the internet before calling their realtor, the right photos are of utmost importance. Photos will date a listing : for instance, if you originally listed the property after a big snowstorm but now it is three months later and Spring has sprung, be sure to take a new picture with the tulips adorning the front porch. If you change something important in the home, retake the photo of that room. You changed it up for a reason – make sure you document it in a photo. And DON’T include photos that are not flattering simply because you were told that the more pictures you have online, the better – remember, often less is more. No one needs to see photos of your toilet – unless it is some sort of state-of-the–art device, in which case refer to “The description may need some tweaking” above.

Listen to what buyers are saying about the home. A good realtor will get feedback after every showing. This feedback will help them give you advice on things you can do to make your home more appealing – sometimes making small changes makes all the difference. For example, I had a great listing: the home was in a great neighborhood, had a great floor plan, and was maintained exceptionally well by the original owners…but decoratively, it was a little dated. The feedback I was getting was that prospective buyers felt the home required too much work.

Now, I knew the home was in great move-in condition, in a great neighborhood. But I also knew the home did not have the decorative upgrades buyers might be looking for. There were no granite counters or stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. There was carpet where they might desire hardwood floors. The home was priced for the lack of decorative upgrades – if the home had all of these qualities, it would have been priced much higher. These were all easy, decorative fixes that did not entail “too much work.” To me, “too much work” means the kitchen needs to be gutted – not that some walls need to be painted a different color. So after listening to the feedback, I knew changes needed to be made so buyers’ perception met reality: We needed to “un-date” the home somehow.

This home has a large kitchen with a deep pantry, great counter space, and lots of cabinets – but I needed a visual of what it could look like with granite counters, stainless steel appliances, and white cabinets so I could show buyers what just a little bit of work would do. I had a kitchen remodeling company measure the space and give me a rendition of what it would look like with these simple decorative upgrades. Here’s what I now have to show prospective buyers:

There was a little too much clutter in the living room, so I removed many of the items that were dating the space and strategically replaced them with some updated items. I moved some furniture around, and then added a couple of mirrors to reflect light and give it some depth.

Finally, the one major project I felt the sellers really needed to invest in was removing the outdated flowered wallpaper from the dining room and replacing it with a neutral color. We picked a great shade, and they found a painter who did a fantastic job for $500. It completely transformed the look of the dining room.

Some other minor changes were made to two of the upstairs bedrooms. One of the rooms had a couple of large desks that were perceptually stunting the size of the room, so I asked the sellers to remove them. The buyers would now see that this was a large, bright bedroom.

The bed in one of the rooms had a flowered bedspread which made the room appear dark. I replaced it with crisp, white sheets, laid a blue comforter on top, and then added some artwork that complemented the colors in the comforter and the pillows. I also changed the peach lamp shades to pure white ones. The result was the beautiful, bright room that had been hiding under all the flowers.

So without a lot of money and without a lot of changes, we were able to transform the home from “too much work” to “could use some updating, but we can move right into this great home, on this great lot, in this great neighborhood, and make the decorative changes in our own time.”

I am happy to report that we received an accepted offer within days of making these changes.