This is perhaps the most important of all considerations in presenting a home for sale. Staging your house for sale and staging your house for architectural digest are two totally different things.
The buyer coming to your house is really not interested in your personal art or objects. Although they may be beautiful and very valuable, they are only interested in where they can place their own things and how they will work within your home.
Surfaces need to be minimalized and very few photographs need to be displayed. Cleanliness and color are very important. Remember, you never get a second change at a first impression. Try to keep your home witha neutral palette. Allow the buyer to imagine their own colors. Carpets should be cleaned and never try to disuse those things that you do not with the buyer to see - they will become more obvious. Drapes open and shutters open - let the faults be seen. That is what they are. Let the buyer decide what to do with them.
All excess clothing should be removed from closets. Every buyer believes they have more “stuff” than the seller and is looking for as much space as they can find, even if, in truth, they do not need it.
I believe that every house should be shown by the listing agent. He is the person who knows the most about the house and should be the one who can present it best to a prospective buyer. The listing agent should know everything about the house and also the neighborhood. Buyers also like to know about the area where they are contemplating moving.
Honesty is the most important virtue for a listing agent. Do not overprice the home in order to attain the listing. Be honest. Explain how you came to value the home where you did. You cannot fool the market. You may be able to lower the price until the correct price is reached or the seller will have to accept a lower price than he had expected and will lose faith in the agent.
The web has made the buying experience much easier for the representing agent. However, what the buyer has seen on the web may not be to his liking in reality. It is at this time that the agent has an opportunity to show his knowledge and experience. Should he have listened, he would know, more or less, exactly the needs of the buyer not only where the home is concerned but schools, shopping, restaurants, and religious preferences. All of these things comprise of giving the buyer an enjoyable and comfortable lifestyle.
When it comes to finding the right home, the agent must be able to truly assess the value of the home, advise the buyer, write a valid contract, and have the skill to bring about a meeting of the minds between the buyer and seller. Contract agreement is only the first part of the transaction. Then there is the home inspection. This brings with it many unknown problems that may or may not exist within the home. This situation has to be resolved to the satisfaction of both the buyer and seller and will require the agent to exercise all his negotiating skill and experience.