home staging services in Cincinnati, Ohio

Monday, August 27, 2007

Stage a Star featured in the Cincinnati Enquirer Home Section

Sellers pressed to make homes sparkle

Success in selling your home hinges on how you package and present your property.

Over the past year, the real estate market has been correcting itself in just about every region of the country. Although the Greater Cincinnati market has not seen the drastic correction of many metro areas, we do have a larger-than-normal home-for-sale inventory.

And true to the basic law of supply and demand, this extra inventory has created a buyer's market. Home buyers are realizing there's a lot more to choose from, and instinctively they're shopping longer and considering more choices.

Some Realtors are advising prospective sellers to postpone selling until the inventory adjusts to a more moderate level. But many sellers have no choice.

For these folks, Realtors have an invaluable piece of advice: Make sure your home is in tip-top shape, inside and out, before putting it on the market.

If you're thinking about selling, take a good, long, unbiased look at your home.

"When you decide to sell your house, you need to realize that you're not selling your home; you're marketing a product," says Julia Wesselkamper, Realtor and accredited staging professional with Coldwell Banker/West Shell in Montgomery.

"And like any product, the way you package and present it can make or break your success. Remember the old adage, 'the first impression is the lasting impression.' When it comes to real estate, it couldn't be truer."

It's imperative that you focus on the cosmetics: cleaning, painting, refinishing and making minor repairs. These cost the least time and money, but have the biggest impact on your success.

It's also a good idea to purchase a pre-sell inspection to help identify the minor repairs that need to be done, along with major issues that need to be addressed prior to putting your home on the market.

Teresa Meyer, an accredited staging designer and president of Stage a Star in Liberty Township, says, "Buyers are buying a dream. They visualize a new and refreshing lifestyle in their new home. And anything about the home that creates a dissonance with that visualization - crowded space, dirty appliances, stained carpets, outdated fixtures, drab paint colors or disrepair - will be a turn-off.

"People tend to buy with their hearts and rationalize the purchase decision with their heads," Wesselkamper says. ... "If there's anything about the home that causes them to fall out of love with it, you won't make the sale.


Clean the yard and trim grass, shrubs and trees.

Touch up wooden accents with paint.

Beautify the front entrance, the "gateway" to your home.


Clean, clean, clean. Pay extra attention to the kitchen and bathrooms.

If you have carpeting, have it shampooed to remove stains and odors. If that doesn't help, get rid of it.

Remove clutter. Buyers do not expect closets to be empty, but they're looking for storage space for their things. The rule of thumb is to take everything out of your closet, and put only half it back. Find a new home for the rest.

Increase surface space. Clear off all horizontal surfaces, kitchen counters and bathroom countertops. Remove any magazines, knick-knacks or any items that add to a cluttered appearance.

Make space. Clear out excess furniture and accessories as much as possible. If a piece of furniture is too big for the room, or is crowding the room, put it in storage.

Eliminate odors. Your home must smell pleasant. Get rid of pet odors, stale cooking/food smells and cigarette smoke. Scrub the house, clean the air vents and replace old carpeting.

Lighten up. Open draperies and blinds, turn on all the lights, add lights to darker rooms.

Lighten colors, too. Go with neutrals. White, beige, and cream may seem pretty boring, but they are best for marketing a home. They reflect the most light, making rooms appear larger.

Repair plumbing and electrical problems.

Properly "stage" your home, Set a mood to romance the buyer. Hire a staging professional who can bring objectivity and expertise to the situation.

Fresh flowers will give a healthy, clean and bright look.

Clean windows until they sparkle. Use a razor blade to scrape off paint splatters. Replace cracked window panes.

Tom Steele is president of the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors, the region's largest trade association representing more than 5,000 members involved in the real estate industry.

Ready to make your house sparkle and show like a model? Stage a Star staging services are cost effective, saves you time, and the stress of getting your home ready for the market. Call us today or visit our website at www.stageastar.com for more information.

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