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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Messes Send Messages - What Does Your House or Listing Say?

Messes Send Messages©
What does your house or listing say?
by Jennie Norris, ASP Master, IAHSP-Premier
Owner, Sensational Home Staging
Denver Region's Premier Home Staging Resource


In life 90% of communication is non-verbal.  Body language, tone, expressions - they all convey our message more than what we actually say.

Houses send messages too.  They communicate with us whether we are living in, buying or selling them.  Some messages are of sadness.  Some are of depression.  Some of joy.  Whatever the situation, we can tell when people living in a house have had issues because the house looks neglected.  And for good reason - when life takes an unexpected turn, the last thing we make a priority is making sure our house looks fabulous.

Mess Causes Stress©.  Some of these homeowners don't realize that by living in disarray they are actually creating stress for themselves and stress can lead to a myriad of health issues.  The elimination of "stuff" actually helps de-stress not only the house but the person living IN the house.

When a house is for sale, what message is it giving to the buying public?  Messes Send Messages.  A house communicates and elicits emotions for a buyer who either loves what they see and feels a connection to the house or not.  When they feel that connection the house becomes a must have.  No connection means it is a must leave.  A messy house says, "No one cares about me," or "Don't buy me because you are going to find other issues with maintenance."  A house also send messages about the Sellers such as, "We have given up." or "We don't care about getting the most for our house."  And a house that has too much on display also sends the message that there is not enough storage in this house. That simple message can be enough to deter a potential buyer.
Look at any messy house photo and you just feel stressed looking at it.   Because "Mess causes Stress" when the house is not prepared for sale the buyer literally FEELS stressed standing among the chaos.  They can just look at a photo online and get that feeling of stress.  Is it any wonder these houses don't sell? 

It's so easy to address this issue when selling a house and yet the big question I have is why are so many houses in poor shape when listed for sale?  It's not like the Realtor doesn't see the mess.  At least I would hope they notice because it's right in front of our faces.  We can give the Seller a little break because when we LIVE with a mess we get used to it and don't see it for how bad it really is.  But anyone coming in from the outside who works in this industry HAS to know the house is a mess.  And when it's our job to get the seller the MOST money when selling a house, it is up to US to tell the Seller what they need to do.  

So why do so many houses for sale still look messy?
Is it because the Sellers don't "get it" that they need to address the issue?  Do they not see the value in making changes? Do they resist because it's overwhelming to them?  Or do they just not care.  I think it could be a combination of all of those reasons.

There are ways to get a Seller to cooperate - especially when they see the benefit for THEM.  They will get a better offer when their house shows its best, and their house will sell faster - which means they get to move on to the next phase of their life and into their new home - wherever that is.  As professionals serving sellers we need to be equipped with what to say and how to say it so that the Seller is compelled to make changes.  We also have to be ready to help them.  As a professional Stager, my team and I can and have transformed a house in a matter of hours.  It is a very cost-affordable investment with a high rate of return.  This takes the pressure off the Seller who may be overwhelmed with the move, with life and is unable to make decisions about what to do.  It's a wonderful service we offer - and it makes the Realtor's role a lot easier too because we are the ones doing the heavy lifting, packing, sweating, and setting the scene room by room.  The Realtor can be working on paperwork or meeting with a new prospective client and leave the Staging to us.

In all of this process, the key ingredient is to make sure the seller knows we care and this effort is being done FOR them.  When they know we care and want the very best for them, my belief is that they will get on board.  It might require hand-holding and helping them through a stressful time but in the end they are grateful for the results.  Their house can be presented as a stress-free environment for buyers looking for a connection to a place they can call home.


For help in the Denver area getting your house or listing de-stressed and ready to buy, give Jennie a call.  Her Sensational Home Staging stage crew can make a big impact in a short time to help the house sell faster and at the best price.  303-717-7918©2013 Jennie Norris and Sensational Home Staging.