This guest blog post was written by Patti Stern, Principal, Interior Decorator/Accredited Home Stager, PJ & Company Home Styling, LLC
Spring real estate has gotten off to an early start this year. Market indicators show that we’re finally experiencing a real housing recovery with recent sales of homes rising at the fastest pace since November 2009, when sales got a boost from the home buyer tax credit. Increased consumer confidence, steadier hiring numbers, and low mortgage rates are driving more buyers to the market. However, today’s buyer continues to be more sophisticated and demanding than ever before. A real opportunity exists for “smart” sellers who update and stage their home for sale to capture this educated buyer and finally make the move into a new home.
Selling a home in today’s market is different than it was during the housing boom. Buyer behavior and expectations have changed and turning a home into highly marketable real estate through staging and inexpensive updating has become critical to attracting a broad base of buyers.
Internet usage for home searches has skyrocketed, creating a new “digital house hunting” environment that didn’t exist seven years ago. According to a National Association of REALTORS® Google study, 9 out of 10 home buyers rely on the internet as one of their primary research tools and more than 90% of home buyers search online before they even make it through a front door – making it more important today for listing photos of your home to portray a model home look. As the single largest investment for most families, buyers also have a sense of entitlement about the quality of home they expect for their dollar. Younger buyers in particular expect a move-in ready home with up-to-date décor and details.
In Connecticut, we partnered with Toll Brothers to help the Company’s buyers sell their existing home for top dollar and in record time (this home staging program is available in many Toll Brothers regions). Buyers who have signed an agreement of sale will have an opportunity to meet with an accredited home staging team. After completing an in-home evaluation, a room-by-room staging plan is created to recommend the necessary updates to get the home sold. Then, the full service staging team transforms the home – often in just one day. Choosing the right real estate agent, who joins in the process and has a solid pricing strategy, is also important to ensuring the home is marketed to its fullest potential.
To date, PJ & Company Home Styling has staged over 17 homes for Toll Brothers buyers through this program. 93% of our staged homes sell on average in 34 days, while nationally non-staged homes can sit on the market 145 days or longer.
This home we recently staged for a Toll Brothers buyer moving to Rivington in Danbury, CT, received an offer in three days after updating and staging.
Often times, simple changes can make a home more attractive to prospective buyers. This may include decluttering, painting, making repairs, and cleaning the home inside and out. A day of staging may include rearranging and removing furniture to maximize the space in each room and showcasing architectural details, as well as other décor changes including updating outdated window treatments, light fixtures, and cabinet hardware to make the home more attractive to buyers.
In this Newtown, CT home pictured above, we selected a neutral paint color, updated window treatments, and added modern accessories to transform this spacious living room for any buyer. The master bathroom was completely transformed by staining the vanity a modern espresso color, adding updated light fixtures, removing the wallpaper and painting a neutral color, and adding elegant bath accessories.
Even in a seller’s market, home staging will be essential to give your home a competitive edge, get buyers to your door, and get the maximum value out of it.
PJ & Company Home Styling, LLC, is an interior decorating and accredited home staging firm based in Connecticut. Patti Stern, PJ & Company’s principal, and her team work closely with homeowners to redecorate, renovate or simply refresh their home décor. She also offers comprehensive, turnkey staging services to help homeowners sell their home quickly and for top dollar. Clients include homeowners and realtors across Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts. Patti has also been featured in Connecticut Magazine, the Hartford Courant and Danbury News-Times, and on NBC Connecticut and FOX TV.
For more information, please contact Patti Stern at 203-640-3762 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pjandcompanyhomestyling or Twitter at www.twitter.com/pjhomestyling