Staging is preparing a home for sale so the buyer can mentally move in

We know from historical cycles that the best time to try and sell your home in Ahwatukee is in the spring.

The housing market valley-wide has seen significant recovery over the last 24 month, and 2017 is predicted by many sources to be a very good year for the Phoenix market.

If you’re thinking of selling next year, the time to start preparing is now. One of the best ways for your home to stand out from the competition is staging. 

What is staging? Barb Schwartz, president of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, says, “Staging is preparing a home for sale so the buyer can mentally move in.” 

The National Association of Realtors has completed national studies that show the top four reasons to stage your home are: 

  • You will make more money. Staged homes sell on average 6 percent above the asking price and spend half the amount of time on the market as a home that is not staged.

  • Your home will sell faster. The longer a home stays on the market, the price continues to lower. 

  • You will make your money back. The average money spent on staging is 1-3 percent of the homes asking price, which then generates an approximate return on that investment of 8-10 percent. Not too bad!

  • Your online photos will stand out. The  NAR survey shows that 90 percent of buyers search online first and many times the photos determine the short list. Visibility is a major key to attract buyers to your home.

Sandy Salazar, an Ahwatukee resident who owns Agave Staging Professional, has some tips on getting your home ready to sell.

Spring cleaning is the best way to start to prepare your home for sale,” She advises.  Pick a weekend to start and allow enough time to recruit family members to participate.

Plan ahead so that you will have ample supplies of boxes, trash bags, cleaning supplies, large clear tubs, decorative bins or baskets, tape, labels and markers. Be prepared to make a mess first.  

Start in the closets. Sort out everything from one end to the other. If you are storing luggage in the master closet, move it to the most appropriate storage place. Coat closets are for coats, and maybe a vacuum.

Pantries are for food and bulk storage. As you go from room to room, reorganize, clean and sort everything into the appropriate place using these three categories.

The first is Keep.  Keepers have two categories: need it now and put it back.  Use decorative tubs and bins for shelf storage, organize remaining items and leave some empty space. If you don’t need it for awhile, store it. Use clear plastic bins to store personal family photos, religious symbols, collectables, memorabilia, clear crystal, and small accessories.

If you are having trouble deciding, just ask yourself “Do I love it?”  If you don’t, then it goes to one of the other categories.

The second category is Sell/donate. Something you’re done with; someone else might like to have it. Take photos of these items and try posting items of value online to sell and if they haven’t sold in 30 days, then donate them.

Use the boxes for donations, and be sure to make a list for your taxes. Get these items out of the house.

The final category is Trash it. Use the bags for trash and disposal. If you haven’t used it in five years, and no one else would want it, toss it. Be sure to recycle and add a box for shredding.

If you deep clean as you go through these three categories, you are 90 percent ready to put your home on the market. At this point, you should consult with a home stager to visit your home and give you a valuable assessment of how to best present your home to the marketplace.

Today’s buyers want upgrades, if you don’t have many upgrades, you should do some.  If you have the upgrades, this will help you sell the home. Less is more when it comes to staging.  A professional can guide you to make the best investment for the maximum results.

From all of us at the Leading Luxury Experts Team: we hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a safe and happy new year.

-Bonny Holland, of Keller Williams, Sonoran Living in Ahwatukee Foothills, can be reached at 602-369-1085, or on Facebook and Twitter.

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