Also known as home staging.
We stage homes to show at their best. Even in a sellers market, properly staging a home can cause the house to sell for more money, faster. You would not go on a first date dressed in yesterdays gym clothes, or on a job interview wearing every piece of clothing that you own. So why let your house, which you want to be attractive to other people, be dirty and smelly, or over crowded with possessions?
It helps to bring in another person. Your REALTOR, for example. When you are immersed in a situation for any length of time the surroundings become normal and expected. This makes it difficult to step back and see what a new set of eyes will see. Bringing in a new set of eyes, that are not planning on buying your house, and understand what buyers will see can be one of the most valuable contributions to selling a house.
Proper home staging can be many things.Home staging is not buying brand new furniture from a trendy shop and painting the walls the latest color scheme. In reality it is much more practical then that.
Imagine you walk into your house after a long day at work. You pat the family dog on the head. Your kids are out back playing with their toys in the yard. You like to relax by reading one of the books that you have collected from rummage sales will you wait on dinner. Your spouse tells you about her day at work and all the things she has accomplished since she has been home. Which include baking enough cupcakes for the kids in you child's classes, and finishing up both of the school play costumes.
Pretty normal scenario.
Now picture walking into this house through the eyes of a buyer:
When you walk in the door the first thing you notice is the odor of dog and dog food mingling in the air. As you walk through the house you see that the master bedroom is jammed full of unidentifiable stuff (looks vaguely like a pirate hat on top of a pile of rags, but you don't take the time to look, that smell is getting to you). Into the kitchen. You can tell they straightened up by pushing everything against the back splash of the counters, which you can not imagine could hold your household items, since you see so little available space. Looking into the kids rooms you can see all the dings and crayon marks that are going to be a pain to paint over. When you try to go into the finished basement and through to the garage, you have to stop at the foot of the stairs and just look because there is no way you can walk through that mess with out spraining an ankle.
Is this house attractive to you?
Now if the sellers had just taken the time to do a good cleaning and get some air freshener the dog smell would go. They could box of a few possessions, donate some of the items they have not used in years and properly store the rest in closets and attractive chests or a storage unit. In the kitchen just remove all but one or two things from the counter tops. The rest can go in a cabinet until needed.
None of these tasks are expensive, or difficult. Just a little time and forethought, and your house will sell in no time, and your wallet will be a little heavier too.