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Styled, Staged, aaaaaand Sold!

Beauty, indeed, is in the eye of the beholder. Styling and staging may be one of the last things on your mind when you think of selling your home; however, styling and staging your home is essential in today’s market. Staging aids in turning a potential negative into a positive, and it greatly improves your home’s “showability,” which helps your listing stand out significantly among the competition. Georgia’s Blue Ridge and surrounding areas offer a unique market, which includes a variety of traditional and cabin style homes for full-time living, mountain retreats, and rental investments, so staging your home is particularly important, as buyers must be able to visualize how your home will suit their needs.

 

So now you are probably thinking, “with the possibilities my home has to offer, where should I begin?” Think curb appeal. The exterior of your home is what welcomes buyers to the inside. Our first suggestion is to give the outside of your home a well-maintained look; this includes pressure washing and repairing the basics. In addition to giving the structure an overhaul, yard maintenance is of utmost importance. Overgrown grass and weeds make your home feel neglected from the moment buyers arrive and steer their thoughts in the wrong directions prior to even entering your home. Upon completion of the exterior basics, you can freshen your look with items such as modern front door wreath, potted plants & flowers, and you may even consider a front porch bench with an accent pillow or throw.

The next step in staging your home is to enter your dwelling from the front door, as buyers will be when previewing your home. Take a look around. What way will you move first? Is the path you would take obvious? Are you able to move easily through each room throughout your home? Does it appear spacious? Does it look clean? Does it look clear? Are your eyes drawn where they should be?

 

“Decluttering” is one of the most basic steps in preparing your interior for a speedy sale. Removing clutter maximizes space without making structural changes to your home. This step is one of the most important, as it enhances your home’s features such as closet space, counters, cabinets, flooring, and more. Window treatments should be solid colors or basic patters that enhance, not distract from, the view. The less distractions caused by personal items, the better.

 

Now, let’s identify the purpose of each room. Buyers must be able to visualize how your home will accommodate their lifestyle. It is your job to help determine how a room should function. This may include rearranging existing furniture to improve the flow of each room; any rooms that you may have transformed to fit your lifestyle may need to be converted so that your home doesn’t appear to look empty or deficient.

Once you have cleared your home of unnecessary decorations and defined each room, it is time to freshen walls and modernize accents. This step is a little more time consuming, but it is worth the investment. The best way to freshen walls is with a coat of paint. Light neutrals are a must, and the wallpaper must go. Neutral colors open each room and showcases what each room has to offer. Neutrals also allow buyers to visualize their own furnishings on a solid color such as beige, tan, or almond. This color scheme is not gender specific, so it appeals to both sexes. Solid modern pillows and throws may be used to accent outdated furniture or camouflage worn spots. Think big, bold, and universal.

 

Mountain cabins, this step is for you… stage your room around the view to draw eyes to the outside features. Situate a comfortable chair near the window so that buyers are able to envision themselves enjoying the view with a coffee table and throw conveniently positioned near the chair. Create a cozy environment where buyers can imagine themselves enjoying a book or cup of coffee while enjoying all that the mountain life has to offer.

The term “staging” may sound like quite the investment and may even leave you feeling overwhelmed when you think of hiring a professional interior designer and decorator, or completing the project on your own, but let Nathan Fitts & Team of RE/MAX Town & Country put your mind at ease, as staging is one of their many services offered.

 

The listing process typically includes three major steps: 1) the initial listing appointment 2) listing paperwork: comparative market analysis, listing agreement, disclosures, etc. completed in person or via email 3) professional photos. From this point, Nathan’s listing specialist creates your listing from multiple listing services, as well as for other marketing and advertising campaigns. It is very important to have your home staged and ready prior to the professional photos that Nathan Fitts & Team provides to market and advertise your listing. Your staging consultation can take place during your listing appointment to make the process flow more smoothly. Nathan and his team are not only able to offer suggestions, but they are also equipped to provide you with the necessities to polish your home.

 

Ready? It’s time to style, stage, and sell. (877)BUY-MTNS

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What Is a Listing Agent? Why a Home Sale Hinges on Agent’s Expertise

If you’re getting ready to sell your home, finding a listing agent should be at the top of your to-do list. But just what is a listing agent? You might have a vague mental image of someone who plants a “For Sale” sign on your front lawn and shows potential buyers around your place, but there’s plenty more to it.

Here’s a primer on what a listing agent does, how the agent makes or breaks your sale, and how to find the right agent for you.

How listing agents help you price your home

How much is your home worth? That’s a hard question to answer. You can get an estimated value by entering your address on realtor.com®, but from there you’ll want to do some fine-tuning—and that’s where a good listing agent can help.

And the stakes are high: Price your home too low, and you could lose out on a lot of money. Price it too high, however, and the picture isn’t pretty either. While it may be tempting to work with an agent who says he can fetch a fortune for your home, overpricing may mean your home languishes on the market for months or even years—making buyers wonder if something’s wrong with your home and lowball you anyway.

“Listing agents have many duties and responsibilities, but at the top of the list is to properly price your home,” says Janine Acquafredda, a Realtor® with House-n-Key Realty.

To do this, a listing agent will analyze the sales prices of comparable homes, or “comps,” in your area to see where yours should fit in, and advise you accordingly.

How listing agents help you sell your home

After you determine an asking price, a listing agent should provide you with a comprehensive marketing plan detailing how she’ll get your property sold. This plan should include the following:

  • Recommendations for home improvements or home staging, if necessary. Yes, these alterations will cost you time and money, but they will improve your chances of a faster sale and higher asking price.
  • Taking photos or hiring a photographer who will be able to highlight your home’s best features.
  • Adding your home to the multiple listing service, where home buyers and their agents can view your property and decide if they’d like to come visit for a closer look.
  • Advertising and holding open houses.
  • Coordinating showings with prospective buyers.

How listings agents negotiate with buyers

Once you get an offer on your home, it’s the listing agent’s job to present it to you and advise if any haggling needs to be done. For instance, if you get an offer way below asking price, your knee-jerk reaction may be to refuse in a huff. But a listing agent might be able to negotiate with the buyers and bring that price up to a decent level—or, if the buyers truly can’t budge much, find other ways to sweeten the deal like a faster closing date or waived contingencies. These compromises can actually save you tens of thousands of dollars.

How to choose a listing agent

If you’re looking for a listing agent, you can find ones in your area at realtor.com/realestateagents, where you’ll find such details as their years of experience, number of homes sold, clients’ reviews, and more. Don’t just move forward with the first agent you meet. Choose at least a few and ask them some questions to assess whether they’re right for you.

Here are some questions to ask a prospective listing agent:

  • How many homes have you sold in this area, and how long did it take?
  • In what price range do you sell most of your homes?
  • Do you have advice for me about the condition of my home, and what could be improved to glean a higher sales price?
  • What is your marketing plan?
  • Can you recommend contractors, photographers, moving companies, etc.?
  • Are you a member of the National Association of Realtors®? (Realtors must abide by the group’s code of ethics.)
  • Is this your full-time job? (A part-time agent is not a problem, but you will want to gauge her availability during off-hours.)
  • How often will you touch base with me?
  • Are you planning any vacations, and if so, who will back you up?

How much listing agents get paid

Listing agents don’t receive a dime unless your home gets sold. If it does, the typical agent commission is 6% of the price of your home (which is typically split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent). This price may seem substantial, but consider this: For every hour an agent spends with you, he will spend an average of nine hours behind the scenes working on your behalf. In other words, listings agents work hard to earn that commission and get your home sold.

Credit: | Sep 14, 2016
Michele Lerner contributed to this report.