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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Best Foot Forward - Don't Sell Your Competition

Best Foot Forward
by Jennie Norris, ASP Master, IAHSP-Premier,
Owner, Sensational Home Staging
Helping Sellers & Realtors in the Denver Region



When I was looking for photos to include in this blog post and Googled "ugly feet" the images made me want to retch.  There are some UGLY and totally disgusting feet out there!  However, I wanted to use the analogy of "Best FOOT Forward" for how we want to sell houses so I am saving you the nasty images of what I saw (blech!) and instead chose one that gets the message across without grossing you out. 

The truth is in life we do only have one chance to make the best FIRST impression so we want to have, as they say, our BEST foot forward!  When a house is listed for sale and a buyer looks at it online or in person - the house either sells itself or sells the competition.  They either want to see more and make an offer or they walk on to the next option.

Buyers compare houses online and in person.  When one looks great and the other is not prepared for sale - dirty, dated, cluttered, too dark, smelly, etc. - a Buyer will naturally compare that house to the one that is ready to show and buy.  So your choice as a Seller or as a Listing Agent is simple.  You either Stage up front to get the positive attention and offers or you don't and you just SOLD your competition.

As a Listing Agent you have to ask yourself, "Why would I want to market an ugly foot?"  You invest a lot of your time, energy and dollars to get a house sold.  The house reflects on YOUR reputation.  When it does NOT sell you are often held responsible and blamed by the Seller - and word gets around the neighborhood.  Aren't you in this business to get referrals from happy clients?  Of course.  So YOUR best foot forward is to make it a requirement that all your listings are Staged BEFORE they are listed for sale.  Or else you just help sell YOUR competition because the neighborhood is watching who gets the pending sign out first and at what price the house sold.

Yes I know Sellers can resist change and it can be hard to tell them their house has warts or corns.  Yet you are not doing them (or yourself) any favors by marketing their house "as is."  I know there are special circumstances that can exist, but for the most part, a Seller wants ALL the money from the sale of their house. Not just some. 
Putting an ugly foot on the market guarantees they will not net the most from their house and it guarantees their house will be USED to sell the houses that put their BEST foot forward.  Even in a hot market, a Buyer does not want the hairy foot with warts and icky toenails when they have the option of buying the beautifully manicured foot with pretty color and jewelry.  Those two houses will NOT sell at the same price and the ugly foot will be used to sell the pretty one. 
The changes a Seller needs to make to get their foot from ugly to pretty are usually simple and very effective.  In most markets a Staging Consultation where the Seller is given a detailed summary of what to do room by room is an average of $250.  That small investment can yield thousands of dollars in return.  Anything a Seller can do UP FRONT to help their house show better should be recouped in the sale and help their house sell at the best price.

Best Foot Forward.  Get the house Staged by a professional Stager to ensure the house truly has the best opportunity to get the best price.  Then when the house closes at the BEST price, treat yourself to a manicure!  After all the running around we do for our clients we deserve it!


For  help putting your best foot forward in the greater Denver area, give Jennie a call 303-717-7918.