Do you remember being a first time home buyer? If you did, then you may remember wondering if you should even take this big step and being responsible for something so huge. Who are you going to call when the dishwasher breaks or a bathroom floods? All these things will worry first time home buyers and now they have to have better credit ratings and larger down payments! Debra Gould, The Staging Diva, reminded me of this during a conversation with another home stager. A real estate agent commented that they would not recommend staging a home under $800,000. While in the Virginia/DC market there are many homes in that range, there are certainly other homes well under that range that actually need help preparing their home for the real estate market. Those homes would more likely sell to first time home buyers who are just starting out and are either single or newly married and don’t have a large family yet.
Why not put those first time home buyers at ease and show a house that is clean, maintained and shows well by staging it in a place they can call home? To those of you who asked your real estate agent if you should stage your home and they said no, take matters into your own hands. Some real estate agents may not feel comfortable telling you what to change or don’t have the vision. Take a look at the competition. Your home may be in the price range that many first time home buyers are looking for but when they see the dead grass, the broken light fixture and a dirty kitchen they will change their mind. You want to entice them by coming in to your home, see the potential and have them imagine their new lives in your home.
Here is my advice for homeowners. Your home is going to go through a “blind date” every time someone comes into your home. You wouldn’t go on a blind date with greasy matted hair, dirty clothes or smell like you haven’t bathed in a few days, right? The same things go for your home. Prepare your house to sell by cleaning it, fixing that broken step and reducing the clutter. The blind date could be first time home buyers or home buyers that have bought several homes in their lives, you never know.
First time home buyers don’t be afraid to take the step of owning your own home. There are many perks but also a lot of responsibilities. Yes there is a lot of stress that goes along with owning your own home. But if you can imagine yourself living in “the” home, what would it look like? Would you go for the broken down, dirty cluttered home or the clean, well maintained home?
Homeowners, there are many things you can do set up your home to sell whether it is priced at $100,000 or $1,000,000. Just don’t forget the first time home buyers because you were there once too. Help them ease the stress in buying a new home and stage it to sell quickly. Both parties will benefit because they both can move on to the next chapter in their life.