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Set Up the Sale

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A couple secrets to selling your home

Chris O’Shea

Selling a home is never exactly easy, even in a seller’s market. There’s a lot of stress and confusion about the best way to get your house marketed and into contract. Those hoping for a quick, financially exciting sale years ago sought to increase their house’s “curb appeal.” Now, thanks to the Internet, your best strategy for selling your house is to maximize its online appeal.

While in the past, buyers’ first impressions of your home came by actually walking up to the house, now people use sites like Zillow and Trulia to scope out the place without even getting in the car. That means the pictures of your home need to be perfect. Not “I have an iPhone I can do it” quality. You likely need to think about hiring a professional photographer. If you’re using a realtor, they’ve probably already suggested that. Before hiring a photographer, your realtor might even suggest hiring a stager. A stager will make suggestions on how to make your home as appealing as possible. They might bring in their own furniture to replace yours (don’t get offended! The goal is to get as much money as possible!) or simply shift some around to maximize space. While the cost of a stager varies by state and the size of your property, USA Today reports that a typical staging consultation will run you about $500. After they make their suggestions, you can either do them yourself or pay the stager to implement the plan. A couple common requests from stagers: Declutter and depersonalize. Getting rid of knick knacks will make the space feel bigger, and removing personal items will allow the buyer to better visualize themselves living there.

Once the stager is finished, the photographer takes over. They’ll take some amazing photos and you’ll likely be shocked at how good your house looks. That’s the goal, at least. If your house looks fantastic to you after living there for many years, there’s a good chance it’ll look irresistable to a buyer.