Listing Courtesy of LONG AND FOSTER-REHOBOTH
Staging is to an Bethany Beach home what packaging is to a supermarket product: a vital element that can supersede all others. Product managers rely on advertising and marketing efforts to create awareness among consumers, just as homeowners use their Realtor’s marketing know-how (the listing, web page, signage and all their other advertising initiatives) to bring local prospects to the door. Then, just as well-designed, attractive packaging is what finally moves a product off the shelf, it is first-class staging that can transform casual lookers into Bethany Beach home buyers.
The goal of staging is to draw observers in; to help them picture whether the property’s spaces have all the nuances of what in their own mind’s eye constitutes a welcoming home. Bottom-line studies continue to verify that, staged correctly, homes sell more quickly. Although there are few absolute staging dos and don’ts, (after all, staging is an art); we can point to a number of probably don’ts. They’re relatively easy to avoid:
Failing to Incorporate the Outside
No matter how beautiful a home is once you open the door, prospective home buyers want to be proud of their new Bethany Beach digs. Even if it will be marketed as a fixer-upper, a welcoming exterior is always a welcome surprise. If, on the other hand, dirty windows, dry grass, and cracks in the sidewalk greet buyers, that first impression can be counted on to drive offer numbers in the wrong direction. Staging efforts need to encompass the whole enchilada!
Neglecting the Little Things
When it comes to staging, nothing is completely unimportant. Light fixtures, cabinet knobs, faucets, drawer pulls—even electric outlet covers—all contribute to the cumulative impression a local home conveys. It doesn’t mean that every tiny detail needs to be replaced; only those that are conspicuously damaged or dirty need to get attention.
Failing to Capitalize on Natural Light
As photographers know, "It’s always all about the light!" The fewer dim corners, the better. Staging a home to accentuate its rooms’ natural light is important, and where needed, boosting with lamps and overheads.
Forgetting the Nooks and Crannies
Assume that prospects see everything. Before a showing, a last quick walk-through of the whole home is a good idea. Check for stray items that are out of place, and be sure all is properly swept and neatened.
Opting Not to Use a Professional Stager
If the whole prospect of diligent staging isn’t appealing, it makes good business sense to hand it over to a staging professional. Pro stagers see every detail with a trained eye, and work to create a rich atmosphere—not just a collection of rooms.
From a buyer’s first glance at your listing to its ultimate sale, each step of the way is an opportunity to propel the process. The first one of those steps is choosing the Bethany Beach Realtor® who will add energy and expertise to the campaign: I hope you’ll consider me!
Congrats! Your offer has been accepted and you are officially in escrow. Now what? Usually the first order of business is to arrange your Sussex County home inspection. When you were house hunting, you were weighing so many factors it was next to impossible to thoroughly examination of every nook and corner of every one of the serious contenders…in fact, it wasn’t necessary. But now that you’re moving forward to a purchase, you want to do more than kick the tires. It’s time to get under the hood!
Here is a taste of just some of the areas you and your inspector will be examining during your Sussex County home inspection:
You will be taking a close look at the tiles around the handles on the bath tub or shower. If they are a different color, it could indicate a plumbing problem. A look under the kitchen sink for stains beneath the pipes can also indicate leaks—something you’ll want to know more about from the seller.
HGTV’s home inspector Rick Yerger lists water as enemy #1. "Of the many homes I have inspected," he says, "water damage to the structure has been the most damaging and costly, causing foundation problems, rot and the dreaded mold." He recommends close examination of exterior grade for sloping (or draining) back toward the home; stucco issues where they’re applicable, and roofing materials.
Inspect the Yard
If there is a yard on the property, take the time to do a thorough walkover. Look at the condition of the shrubs, grass and flowers. Check the irrigation, the lighting. You should also look closely at the fencing and gating: they can be expensive to repair.
Exposed wires can result in a house fire or other devastating damage. Open splice wire (where wire is conjoined using only electrical tape and/or wire connectors) is a common do-it-yourself mistake often seen in attics, garages, and crawlspaces. Any issues found with the wiring should be corrected ASAP.
These are only a few of the many areas your Sussex County home inspection will cover, so when you are scheduling the day, don’t make other appointments that might rush the process. Of course you hope that everything will be found to be flawless, and if only minor problems are uncovered, the seller may simply volunteer to correct them. But if the home inspection reveals that a significant amount of work will have to be done to bring it up to an acceptable standard, you and your agent will probably be submitting additional terms reflecting the requirements. As always, if you’re looking for that agent—the one you will want by your side throughout the entire home-buying process—I hope you’ll give me the call!