35: Staged to Sell

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This is THE episode to give your sellers real constructive help while getting their home ready to sell. We talk through why it is so important that as an agent you are giving your sellers guidance on this topic. We share tons of practical tips, so you can send your sellers to listen to this episode too! It is vital that we remember staging isn’t just moving furniture around and adding cute pillows. Staging is all encompassing of the way you prepare and present your home. It includes maintenance, how you get ready for a showing, curb appeal, what your home smells and looks like. Come find out why each of us LOVES home staging!

The following is a rough transcript provided by Otter.ai.

Okay, Hi, YouTube. Oh, I’m sorry. We’re gonna clap first one. No, you just do it. Oh. We’re here how you do. Nice to see ya.

Hi y’all. Welcome to hustle humbly. It’s Alyssa and Katie and we are two top producing realtors in the Baton Rouge market. We

work for two different companies where we should be competitors. But we have chosen community over competition. The goal of our podcasts is to encourage you to find your own way in business. So stop comparing yourself and start embracing your strengths. Okay, so this episode is staging.

Yeah. Seller consultation, the whole the whole operation why they need your guidance. Yeah. And this is Alyssa.

Oh, hi, Alyssa. Hi, Katie. So nice to see you today. You’re still getting feedback that people are not sure. Yes, we just got a recent one. So Alyssa here this is Katie. I’m the staging on the I love my love of staging knows no bounds.

And I just love telling people what to do. Perfect. I love going into a house especially that’s just totally cluttered and lived in and just bringing light into the home. And I love

a before and after me too. I cannot meet enough. That’s the best part of every HGTV Show. Before and after. daging is that thing? Yeah, right in the blink of an eye. I know. It’s amazing. So I guess today we’re going to cover sort of what happens in a seller consults, even though we’ve covered a little bit. And then we’re going to really dive deep into some tips for staging so that if a home owner listens to the podcast, they can maybe take some practical tips and do some of the work to get their house ready to sell.

We have found that there are several agents out there that don’t feel comfortable. Like they don’t know how to properly communicate to a seller that your drapes need to go or that your art needs to go

there. There’s a lot of confrontation there in difficult messages involved in proper staging and home prep.

Yes. And you know, it’s hard telling people because they do take it personal sometimes they like the drapes. Yeah. And I always tell them if I was here for dinner, none of this would bother me back. I would love it. No. And I know what your house needs to look like when it’s for sale. And it’s just totally different. And I tell them to if I was going to sell my house, I wouldn’t eat a month. Yeah. Oh,

did you get it ready? Yeah, cuz you don’t live the way you do without houses for sale. So I use the same home stager for years and did seller consults with her. And I love them. They were great. And she would say it this way. And I thought it was so helpful. Design, like staging is not the same as design, how you have decorated your home and design your home cannot be wrong, right? Because it’s what you like. But staging has to appeal to a broader audience. Right? So you’re trying to neutralize you’re trying to appeal to more people. So your floral drapes have to go.

Yeah. And that’s too I tell them. I do work with buyers also. And I know what they’re saying. And if I don’t tell you the truth upfront, right, then you’re gonna hear it in the feedback of showings, right? If I better tell you before they do you absolutely. I

think as agents who may be timid about this topic and nervous to tell sellers things they don’t really want to hear, just know the amount of confidence you come out with it, we’ll we’ll get them into a place where they understand if you approach it without being mean, you’re you say, I love your collection of Penguin figurines. But you know, it’s a little distracting to a buyer or what I love just giving examples, if I tell them, all of your beautiful personal photos have to come down. I say listen, when I’m in a showing with a buyer, I can’t tell you how many times they stop looking at your photos. Maybe they say you’re a cute family. Maybe they say oh wait, my name is Mike. Yeah, Mike works in my sister’s office like it’s and then they’re completely distracted from your home. So there are reasons behind what the advice we give, but if you can back it up with a story, the seller is going to be like, Oh, I see. You’re not just telling me something that makes no sense. I don’t want to take down all the pictures of my family. They’re everywhere. And that’s hard work. That’s also something I want to say. It is work to get your house ready for sale. Oh yeah. Please do not let sellers believe that it is easy and that they can just throw a sign in the front yard and that the buyers are going to come swarming in because we all know because we just did that HGTV episode. Yep, buyers are savvy and buyers have high expectations. And buyers are not going to just look past your maroon painted dining room

walls. And I think because of HGTV and we live in a market where people are paying 1000s and 10s 1000s of dollars for professional staging, yeah, houses are looking better

and better. And then the expectations are getting higher and higher. I mean, your house

has to look good. Yeah. And a huge part of our job as a listing agent is to guide and direct the seller to do that. So you just have to find your voice and practice being comfortable

with it. You just have to Yes, and if you’re not yet comfortable with it, I mean, I did it with a home stager for years. I love and adore her but I don’t really need her anymore because I have the competence to say I know the right things to tell you. Right. I have an and I have an eye for design. Yes, please. If you know that you’re not super visual. If you don’t have an eye for design. If this makes no sense to you, and you’re like I didn’t think it looked bad with the fake floral. Hire stager. Yeah. hire another agent to help you get someone get an outside perspective of someone who is visual because yes, some of the buyers may not be visual, but some of them are going to be very visual. You know, what’s

funny is that I feel like I do a good job. Helping sellers get their home. Ready. Right. Then I have friends who call me and say I’m renovating my kitchen. Can you help me pick out colors? Yeah, no, no,

you’re like, I’m not.

I don’t have an eye for design. Yeah, I don’t have an eye for like picking things out and knowing what goes good together. But I know what house needs to look like to sell. Right? I know how to make it beautifully. Use

your editing. Yes,

I can edit. Yeah, I can’t build from scratch. I don’t know. Right. I always panic. I get this question all the time. People ask me what color they should paint their shutters? Oh, yeah. There’s so I just don’t know how to answer that question. Because it’s really different per house. It is different per house. But I just feel like I can do a good job helping them get their house ready app, but I wouldn’t be your designer. Right. So it’s interesting, different skill set.

Yeah, but it is interesting. But if you don’t have either of those skill sets, find someone that can help you. Yeah, doesn’t mean you can’t be a listing. When I

called you to help me do my bookshelves. I have a bookshelf.

That’s my favorite thing. And if you guys follow on my Instagram, I have a whole highlight button for selfies. Because I don’t be selfies because I love to do a bookshelf. It’s my literally my creative outlet. It’s just fun. Yeah, not everyone has that. So that’s okay. I want to also say that when I have my seller console, I am telling them what my goal is. And my goal is to help them prepare before they hit the market so that they can sell their home as fast as possible. And with the least amount of showings. Sure. So if you get your house fully staged and ready to go, you might only have a weekend’s worth of showings. Yeah, well, if you’ve got kids and pets and a life, this is a big deal to be able to cut down the amount of times you have to let someone in your house, right? Because if you’re having poorly Staged homes are gonna have to be shown over and over and over again. Because now we’re waiting for a buyer who can see past it, right? Have division. Yeah. And we don’t want to have to do that. So that’s always my goal. And you know, honestly, a lot of the staging stuff you do, it’s not even that expensive. A lot of its free, most of its cleaning and removal and decluttering. And it is free. It is time consuming. But it’s free.

So in our template course, you included our pre listing template, yes, that we send our sellers. Yes, that lets them know what to expect when they come to their house. And it includes the list the attachment of how to prepare your home for picture day. Yeah. And I like that dangerous way. Because, well, that evolved because what was happening is I wasn’t giving them that list ahead of time. Uh huh. And then I show up and they’re so excited for me to see their gorgeous home. And they’re so disappointed when I start saying like, Okay, well, we need to put this away, and we need to remove your drapes and we need to flip your bedspread over to the solid side. And we need then they’re like feeling self conscious. Like he hates our house.

Yeah. Because most sellers when they know you’re coming, they put their house in its best

condition. And then you come and like pick it apart. So I was trying to figure out how can I prevent this from happening? Yeah, so I decided to send them my checklist early. I explained to them that this is a checklist that we made with my photographer. Yep. And other real estate professionals. And this is what your house looks like when it’s for sale. Yeah. And it’s different than when you’re just living in it. And that way when they’re reading it, yep, they go. Oh, oh, yeah. Oh, they experienced this surprise in private. Yep. And then when I get there, there’s there’s no hard feeling right. There’s pre delivered the message. Yes. They know that. I’m not just picking on them. I like that. It’s just gone so much smoother. Sometimes I have people say, can we reschedule for next week? Because we do want to work on some of these things. Yeah, before and then I started telling people look, I encourage you to have as much done on the list as possible. All right, so that when I come, we’re just working on the details. It’s it goes a lot easier for everyone if the house is majority ready, yeah. Because I don’t need to get there and tell you to powerwash and read and do things. So it has helped with how long the appointments, take the listing appointments are extremely cut back. Yeah. Because they already knew what I needed and what we were going to talk about. And all of it’s almost done. And then I don’t have to go back to the house multiple times to check on their progress, right? Because it’s done. Yeah,

done. Yeah. I think I also always tell them, if you’ve got to shoot me a text with a photo, yes. And a question, I’m here and I’m ready. But you’re, some things are hard to do, unless you’ve seen the house. So even if I gave them the whole list, you’re just not going to know what their situation is. And remember, these people are living in their home. So it’s just like anything, things are happening around them that they don’t even realize it builds up slowly over time. She’s watching a kid grow, that’s yours, versus someone sees it every six months, like oh, this kid’s so huge. Yeah, the house had maintenance issues, or a buildup of clutter or whatever it was over time, right? So they may not even notice it anymore. It just ended up there. So you have to keep that in mind. I also wanted to say that I have taught a class at our Board of Realtors a couple of times that is on occupied staging. Yes. So I’m just kind of looking at the slides as we go through. But there’s a couple of things that we cover in the class that I think are important. And one is staging also includes the condition of your home. Oh 100%. So if there’s maintenance to be done a stain on the ceiling, or rotten wood on the shutter or anything visual, of course, if your carpets are dirty, they may need to be changed or for sure clean and if the stain still there after you clean them. You might have to replace them. I know. I have taken a staging class before that I thought was great. Because one of their seller questions is what is your budget to sell? So like what how much money do you have to get the house ready? Right? What unit because it’s good, it kind of turns on the light bulb for them like oh, I might have to spend a little bit right so and you might only have to spend 500 You might need to spend 3000 But it’s gonna make you 10 Extra your sale? Yes.

What’s $3,000 When you have a $300,000 house, right

even a $200,000 house painting and carpet I think are two of the things that you might have a large ticket item, but you need to do and you’re gonna get all the money back. Yes, I mean, assuming that you’ve got the right equity in your house, but I mean, it’s going to make a big difference. So deferred maintenance needs to be addressed pre listing. You need to do the maintenance and do those changes do not offer an allowance. No allowance is not going to cut it allowances are not well received. No they’re hard to do with the lender. Lenders are frowning upon allowances just cut it just complicates everything. We’re back on our HGTV buyers. They think they’re walking in with their toothbrush on their clothes. They’re not they don’t have the time I’ll have to do with things. Here’s the deal people it is time consuming and work to move. Yeah, so no one wants to add on top of that paint the dining room. You know, replant the garden, do all the stuff that needs to be done. So you want to you want to do that don’t do an allowance. Also, you’ll get sellers who say well, I don’t want to pick the wrong thing. Like what if you’re not gonna like the tan paint? I pick? They won’t know the difference because it won’t be maroon Yeah, so it’ll be fun. It’s fine. It’s gonna it’s gonna be neutral. It’s gonna be fine. If you need help picking something get an agent to help you or get a stager to help you get get help. Yeah. I have repairs and updates they’re gonna dis buyers will discount you more than those things cost so let’s say you don’t change the carpet and you’re like I’m gonna just wing it and dominoes show the house the way it is. Buyer company listed at market value buyer comes in and they’re like, Okay, I really love this house, but it needs new carpet. That’s gonna cost $5,000 Yeah, right. It’s never right. Oh,

no, like, right at three, maybe 2700. It really depends on how big the rooms are. But you’re gonna pay more, because you’re paying for them to have to do it too. Yeah, like it’s a convenience thing. Yeah.

So you can’t you can’t depend on buyers knowing what the cost of new granite is or how much it costs to paint a dining room is just not going to work. And then we’ve talked about this before in vacant homes. That can the condition requirements are amplified

your when there is nothing in your house. All they have to focus on is the flaws.

There’s nowhere to hide. There’s nowhere to hide. So you have got to get that thing. You know, touch up paint and all that stuff done.

It needs to look good exterior. Landscaping and yeah, regular power washing. I mean, it needs to feel fresh. Yeah,

for sure. Okay, and then I had good showings so we got to have good condition we got to have good showings so when you’re preparing for showing turn on those lights and lamps and we’ve gone over like the things you do to show but remember that’s part of staging too.

Yeah, absolutely. Daily doesn’t end after pictures are taken no. And like, how should your house look when there’s art of it? Right? You

got to stage it. And then you got to get professional photos so that it looks good on mine. And I have you know, it’s hard to do a podcast or you know, something auditory on a very visual topic. So it’s difficult. I have lots of visual aids and photos of you know, befores and afters we can match on our Instagram this week, maybe so that would be fun. But I have one where a client, my clients bought a house that just was ugly paint, really. And they got it for a discount of $56,000. Like she really awful list price. So they bought it for 318. I’m going to tell you how many years past that was they bought it in 2011. Okay, they sold it in 2018. So seven years. They painted it. That’s it. That is all they did. Okay, painted, didn’t change out anything else. And they sold it for 415. Yeah.

Oh my gosh, the interior. That’s amazing.

And a lot of the interior, they didn’t paint until like the main living area was kind of a old 2011. Tan. They didn’t paint until I went to go list it and like you got to paint this living room. That’s it. Yeah, that’s $100,000. Almost. Wow. It’s just crazy. So the Power of Paint is unbelievable. Yeah. Unbelievable. Okay, so we talked about the difference between decorating and interior design. Let’s talk about this term styles specific. Hmm. If you want to be kind to your clients, while you’re telling them to remove things, try the terminology styles specific, they have good, they have a style, that is not necessarily the style that every buyer is going to be appealing to. So there you go. When you stage, what you take away is more important than what you add. Yeah, that’s your editing.

And I tell people when you’re getting your house ready to sell, it is phase one of moving. Yeah, if it’s not coming with you to the next house, I clean out your closets. Make your closets feel bigger. Yeah, if if there are pieces of furniture that aren’t really doing anything and aren’t coming with you get rid of them now. And then when you get a purchase agreement, you’re living off of the bare minimum. Yeah. So you don’t have a lot that you have to purge at that time. Right?

Well, I think that’s true. And I think that it’s good to get them in the right mindset to move, start packing in into boxes, then you’re coming because sometimes people are so emotional, yes. That they it’s hard to let go of the house, right. And if you’ve already started packing, and you’ve taken down your personal photos, typically when I go back after the photos have come down, they’re like it doesn’t feel like our house anymore. And I’m like Perfect, great. That’s where you need to be to negotiate what is essentially a business transaction. Yes. Like we need you to not be thinking about you bringing your babies home from the hospital, right? We need you to be thinking about the next place we are detaching, gotta detach, and I think it’s hugely helpful to do that. I also remind my clients that their competition is new construction yes, there’s likely something somewhat nearby similarly sized, maybe only a little bit more expensive, that’s new construction and that’s how they’re gonna get maybe it’s the same and that’s what they’re gonna go look at and you’ve got to be able to stand your ground against that right. And then curb appeal. That’s really step one a staging. I mean, everyone knows the term curb appeal. You know, your bushes and your grass and your you know, sidewalks they all need to look good at front door. Oh my gosh, holy smokes. Wipe that thing down. Get a fresh coat of paint the people are going to be stopping at your door while the realtor is getting the key out. This is the time they’re looking around and like thinking about this house and you know if they can see themselves there you better have a good look in front door. Yeah. And then that first impression when you open the front door if you cannot find a way to stage every room of your house that main area Yeah better be on point. Good greeting you gotta Yeah, you want you know I love a good foyer. Yeah, before you should have a table and a layup. How does it smell? Oh my gosh. How does it smell shoot some of the smellies houses this weekend really? Yes. It was so strong a couple of houses recently that were smoky and and some more than others but it’s really interesting because I don’t think in either case they were smoking in the house. Sure. And one of them was like a really high end property. And I’m just like, you know that that goes with you carry with you especially if there’s any carpet around Yeah, bedding curtains that all holds that smell. Yeah, smells Yeah, definitely want your smells to be taken care of. I’m

kind of lost right now on what smell to go with because I feel like sometimes I walk into a house and it’s like air freshener hits you in the face. Yeah. But especially the vacant ones. I still kind of struggle.

I like those little sachets. Yeah, the Kirklands. Yeah, get Paris and Venice are the good scents are some of the good sense. And you put it in a closet, okay, or a cabinet. You don’t want it like out where it’s knocking you over when you walk in, right? Where it’s just gently, there, maybe two. Okay, I’ll tell you where I also think is a problem. And if I’m the buyer’s agent, I’m having red flags go off for me. If there is an air freshener plugged in to every room of the house, yeah, this is not a good sign. Something smells, something’s up. So you don’t want to go over. Yeah, it’s a fine line. Don’t go overboard and make sure it smells good, right. Also, what is the purpose of a room I say this one we’re on for years and the first impression. So many floor plans in our market, especially older ones have that old formal dining room or not even an old floor plan. If there’s a formal dining room at the entrance of your home, and you now use it as the playroom or your office? Or maybe even a library I could get on board with, you’re likely going to need to make that look like a dining room. Hmm, it just it needs to make sense. Yeah, your buyers have to walk in and be like, Oh, I get it. This is the dining room. I come in, and it’s a playroom and I don’t have kids. I’m like, Why do I need this space? Sure. You know, and look, I know formal dining rooms really. And a lot of new floor plans don’t even exist, right? But no matter what the room is, if you changed a bedroom into an office, you may want to consider putting a twin bed back in there if there’s space so that they can see what size bed fits in the room. I mean, you don’t want I showed a house the other day that they moved the master bedroom upstairs into a spare room because all the kids rooms were upstairs. Okay, young children, and they had converted the master bedroom into a den like oh, so that like a second in it had a TV and like that’s weird. See what I’m saying? Yeah, that’s weird. So if you’re using your room for a purpose that it wasn’t originally intended, consider changing it back. Hello, friends.

Hi, all our template course has launched out there and we have been getting some really positive feedback.

Yes, I have some great feedback I wanted to share with you guys. We had one purchaser say thank you for these templates as a new agent, I feel it would have taken me years to create these on my own. That’s awesome. I know it’s so great. And then I had these are so incredibly helpful. What a great investment. Thank you for your time and efforts putting these together. I think that you guys this is the answer to saving yourself time it helps

you put systems in place it keeps you professional it keeps you consistent. It just makes everything run so much smoother,

much smoother. You’re never going to forget to tell somebody something no this over there. It’s all there and you’re going to edit it to make it sound like your voice if you’d like and it’s going to be perfect for your business.

Yeah, so go check out our template course yes at

a soul humbly podcast.com Perfect. Enjoy enjoy by

now, second tip on the formal dining room if you have a formal dining room and you also have a nice size breakfast or eating kitchen area where a good table can fit and you can make the dining formal dining room look like a nicely put together office not a disaster. Okay with that we only need one place to eat right but just be mindful. And again that’s going to set the tone for your house how you walk into that foyer is important Yeah. Also have to remind sellers that your furniture goes with you but buyers are looking at your property as a whole so if you have furniture and poor condition could scratched up if it’s old leather sofa and it’s flaking off and yeah, you need to either find a way to fix it covered with a blanket not like weirdly but

buyers are so emotion driven. Yeah, how they feel inside of a house really matters. Yes.

Hmm. So you gotta like take that into account? Yeah. The Old English scratch cover is one of my tips. For staging it’s $6 Okay, you get it at the Home Depot or the Lowe’s or the sun. It’s either no not for leather. Oh, any type of stained furniture or cabinetry. Oh, okay, I’ve even had a client wood Yeah, well okay, anything wood and there’s a couple of tones to it dark and light. Get what you need. But I’ve had clients fully freshen up their cabinets in their kitchen like stained cabinets $6 Oh my god and a rag and they were like, Oh, I know why have a stain these and it’s gonna be 1000s of dollars. Yes, if you re stain them and not if you just clean them up sellers use that on a exterior door, their back door. I mean the before and after blow your mind. That’s amazing. But you can also my point is you can also use it on your furniture. So if you’ve got a big scratch in your in table or your coffee table, try it you know make that stuff look better. Okay, so you want to work from the main living area out when you stage, if you have a bedroom that you just can’t possibly make a bedroom again, I am not going to fuss about it as your agent. I want your master to look good. Yeah, same living room, kitchen, dining room, you know, make it all make sense. But some of the spare bedrooms, I’ve been

telling people if we need to designate maybe the smallest bedroom that we don’t take a picture of, yeah, and you want to use it for storage, all these things I’m making you pack up. People know you’re moving, I do that as long as they can walk in and open the closet, in the closet. They know that you’re moving and that it doesn’t offend them to see one room full of boxes or whatever.

I do the same thing about the garage, if you’ve got to take out the extra toys and what big things, put them in the garage, just make sure you can walk all the way around. I mean, it’s not realistic to have your home looking like a model home. But you still have to try and you have to consolidate the clutter. Like every room can’t have Yeah, clutter. Yeah, for sure. I have some tips on when you take down your personal photos too. Okay. Okay, if you if it’s going to be difficult, or your wall is going to be completely bare, you can leave the photo in there but replace something in front of it like a decorative piece of paper, a print of a landscape or animals or something neutral. Yes, in front so that later when you move, you can just slip it right back out. Right. And then you’ve got your friend feather you don’t have to worry about like the whole being there. Yeah, okay, exactly. You can wait and touch it up and patch it in when you move instead of before you list. Okay, it’s actual hole from the picture. Yeah. You can even do pretty fabric, anything. You can put anything in this frames. Also, big names on the wall. Yeah. Or initials that are now or family. Oh, this is Jonathan’s right family crests? All right. All those names need to get to come out.

You’re not going to be Jonathan’s room anymore. If you’re

and I’ve actually had clients who were confused by even a boy’s room painted blue when a girl’s room painted pink. Because they’re like, Well, I have two girls or I don’t have what you know, I can’t visualize I don’t understand. So just keep that in mind that it’s hard. Assume that the whoever’s buying your house isn’t using it exactly the same way you did.

I had a listing that I was the second agent, okay. And they were referred to me by a previous clients. And I was thankful when I looked through their pictures because there was so much room for improvement. I love that the only things that we did, were took down red drapes and replace them with the cheapest white Walmart drapes that we could find. And then her son’s room was LSU. themed. Yeah. And she said, I told everybody that we would paint I told all the buyers, we will paint this room, guess what? Nobody cares, because all they see is this bright purple Yellow Room. Right? I said we have to paint it. And you could tell they thought it’s I’m being silly. Like this doesn’t matter. Right? We that house had been on the market six months. Yeah. We made those two changes. And it sold like within a week. That’s amazing. It’s just crazy.

Where they like thank you. Yeah, here’s the thing. The seller whether they think you’re crazy or not, in the beginning is going to thank you. Yeah, when it works, they’re going to see the results like Oh, thank you so much. I had a similar situation. I had a seller call me their home was vacant, they had moved out of state. This is a really sad story. Actually. They had it listed with another agent. And they got it under contract. And they went ahead and moved to another state okay to be close to their grandchildren, and the transaction fell apart. So now their house was lived in when they listed it but now it was vacant, as it was vacant. Time went on. No showings or whatever no offers, they have to reduce the price, reduce the price, reduce the price, reduce the price. Well, they came back when their listing was expiring to find out that like the weeds were overgrown, and the yard didn’t maybe didn’t know, they thought that their agent would be like, telling them yeah, they would check it or they would get feedback from the showings and then tell them hey, you know, they want to be addressed. So she had me come over and I did my my console. They had some style specific colored painted walls. Yeah. And the house was great. It was on a lake. It was a nice neighborhood. It wasn’t a good price point. I’m like I think that your price changes are too low. Yeah, I think you’ve gone too low and I’m like but you need to paint this and she’s like really? I’m like yes, it’s a non negotiable. The kitchen was red with stained cabinets. It was really style specific. And I’m like look, go get the ballet. Why you guys Benjamin Moore ballet white. I have never known a house that it didn’t work in but you know get a sample or Sherwin Williams alabaster. Yeah, the two similar colors. These work yeah, they work with almost any trim color and if they weren’t, they just weren’t good, bright neutral and they painted the main area and I think the masks her bedroom and bath had been green. So they painted the Okay. That’s we did that painting there outside they had the hit of pay almost $2,000 to freshen up their landscape because it a galaxy. far you have to it had gotten so out of hand. They freshen it all up. They did a power washing. And they did painting. Wow. That’s it. It’s so multiple offers first couple of days on the market. Oh,

were they just like? Well, they

were like, Why didn’t my agent tell me though, man? And it’s like, oh my gosh, I don’t know. I don’t know. They were like we had they had the means. Do you know what I mean? Like somebody could have done something they just needed to add the means that I get it if you don’t have the money to paint every room in your house. But they had the means they were sitting on two mortgages, they would rather pay the $3,000 to paint and landscape. Yeah, and then sell it right. It’s just crazy. So you have to remember to say it that way to people. So they understand. Well, if you pay it up front, then you you’re not sitting on this house. Yeah. Yeah, so that was a really good success story. But that’s not an isolated event. No, I have a lot of stories happens all the time. Okay, so what other things do you find you tell sellers a lot like repeatedly. Oh, my gosh, there’s so many things in your before photos. Yeah. Tell the story because you said it in another episode in case someone missed it. Of the fake floral in the feedback with it. The male agent who was yes,

whenever I had the showing where we walk in a new construction home, it’s only like one year old. And these people are living here now. And it literally felt like a jungle. They had the old plastic green vine above all the cabinets in the kitchen and the fake tree in the corner and fake flowers on every table, but not good fake fake flowers. You know, succulents these days are so good. Yeah, that you see people it’s like, Girl watered her fake succulent for two years and then realized it was like these things are they like it’s happening more and more, but the the fake floral from the 90s It’s time to go. Yeah. But when I left the feedback, the agent literally was like, what fake floral? I have no idea what you’re talking about. Um, go look at your pictures. It was everywhere. He said, Wow, I never even noticed that. Yeah. Hence, get a visual person to help you with. And I think the checklist is so good. Because it’s so it’s so broad. Yeah, that if you do one thing, if you just remove all the fake floral, that’s life changing. Yeah. If you just remove all the dark colors, all the patterns? Yeah, for sure. You know, it makes a big difference. So I agree. Do you want to just hear some of my general tips that everyone can use? Yeah. All right. I’m gonna just kind of speed through some of them. Okay. Okay. Replace the light bulbs in your home make sure they match make sure they match. If you need help picking a light bulb I know

there are a lot of them. Go towards warm light. Okay, not natural light. Okay, natural is when they end up looking kind of blue. Okay, like that. That fluorescent light. Warm is more like an old school incandescent. I know we can’t really buy a lot of incandescent anymore, which I’m fine with LEDs and CFLs lasts longer, but get the warm light. Don’t get the wrong light. And make them all match. Yes. And make sure they’re all working. Yeah. Lots of houses with missing bulbs. Okay, think about getting some lamps in some rooms or if you have lamps, make sure they have bulbs and photos at the very least turn that stuff on.

I love layups on the showing, oh, when I get to a house early, I tried to turn on all the layups,

I think it’s great. Get your stainless stainless steel appliances looking brand new soap and water, we’ll clean those things up and then you can polish them with stainless steel polish with baby oil. There’s all different ways you can polish up your stainless steel if you have it. We’ve already talked about the Old English scratch cover, use that it’s so cheap and so worth it. If you need to freshen up and older brown leather sofa or even any style older sofa, think about getting some light colored current pillows. So if it says print and you need to get neutrals, that’s fine. Just get solids, go to target, go to home goods, go buy something that’s currently available pillows and a throw Blinky and get one of those light nice soft throw blankets and you’re in business. If you purchase something, make sure it’s something you like and want to use in your new home. I think that’s important, because we’re not going to tell you to do a lot of purchasing. Okay, we’ve talked about the blanket remove your personal photos we’ve been here. Remove all the items from the surface of your refrigerator. Yeah. Oh my heavens. That means the tub and the front and the sides everywhere. Everywhere. Nothing on the fridge. Also remove off the tops of the kitchen cabinets. Yeah, I don’t know. You know, I know cabinets. tiles are different in different areas. We have a lot of those like different staggered cabinets where people love to put decor on top of it. Yeah. It takes away from the architectural details of your home. Because now you’re focused on the decor of there instead of the crown molding or the paint or the ceiling height or whatever. Sure. Okay. Clean off kitchen and bathroom counters. Yes, the emptier the surfaces are the larger they’ll appear in the master bath. You want it to feel like a spa roll the white towels, white towels, white towel, all the bathrooms need a white towel. White hand towel white towels. You don’t maybe a fake orchid, but you don’t want a lot? No, you don’t need a bunch of stuff. Certainly not all the soaps and all the toothbrushes. No. Whenever we come for photos, I’m always stash into hiding thing moving things around. And that kind of brings up when your agent comes to take photos they should tell you or you should consider putting away these things. Yes, so the photo, the baby highchair does not need to be in the photo. It’s okay, if you need it on a daily basis. It can be there for showings. Yeah, don’t put it in the photo in all the closets and you want to get organized and get things off of the floor, right? You need to be able to open it and see the floor the less stuff on the floor, the bigger it’s going to appear. If you are in a season where you can remove the clothes of the other season. Consider it especially if your clothes are jammed in so tight, you can hardly get them back out. Yeah, if the clothes are loosely in the closet and it looks like more will fit right and then you don’t get this buyer saying oh, I don’t think All my stuff’s gonna fit in here. If you look like you’re running out of room, they’re gonna feel like they’re running. They’re already out of room. Oh, another thing that I remember my stager saying that that was great. Like a bookshelf you got built in or just your own bookshelf and it’s furniture, it’s filled to the brim with books, a million books or tchotchkes or whatever. The buyer looks at that and thinks, Oh, I gotta move that, right. Not the they know in their heart. They don’t want to move yours. But it just makes it seem like so much work to move. It’s so much work to move. If you take out three quarters of what’s on your bookshelf and just leave a few things. It’s going to look simpler and easier. That’s good. Okay. Remove all evidence of your pets for showings. Yes, bowls. And blankies and beds and toys. I know you guys have Scratchers that Yeah. Oh my gosh, the catcher. Yeah, I know. This is not fun. Again to a lot of work selling your house that is work. Pack make it to go box. I used to shove the dog’s bed into the washing machine. Yeah, just I’ve

opened ovens before on showings and they were full of toys, whatever, like just shove it anywhere. Whatever

sky works, you know, make it look good. It’s just got to look good. Most most first, showings are not digging around. Sure. I mean, it’s fine. Make sure all your dirty clothes are contained in a hamper, or a laundry basket in the laundry room. It’s

sad that this has to be on there. But people just people throw their clothes, especially in

the closet. They’re just on the floor. I can’t tell you how many undergarments I’ve seen on the floor of a showing Wow, why brawls hanging on doorstep all the time. All the time. We’ve already talked about making your home smell nice. Okay, this is the one thing you may need to pay for that is almost a non negotiable. You need fresh mulch in your flowerbeds. Yes, there is no way around this. You need fresh mulch, and you need to save this task for the weekend before you list your house, right. Any outside stuff is like the last on the list. It’s gonna come back you know, yes. You want to cut back your plants and all that jazz. Remove your window screens for showings. It’ll make your rooms look brighter. It’s easier to clean the windows, it just looks cleaner. Yeah, don’t throw them away. No, because you need them. Keep them in the attic, attic, garage, whatever you got to do. Okay, in your dining room, if you’re trying to make it look bigger, you can remove the leaf and put a few more chairs around and then you just pull the extra chairs like out to the corner of the room. Always nice. We talked about pressure washing. Turn your blinds horizontally for showings. Make sure to realize the lighted out raise your window shades all at the same level. Remove style specific drapes. Okay, don’t forget those bed linens. I want you to tell me about bed linens.

Oh man, well, there’s so many themed bed linens. Sometimes they match the floral drapes and I feel like especially in the master the bed is the focal point of the picture. Yeah, so going with something I mean, you can get a really cheap white creamy quilt on Amazon. And I just tell them to put it on their bed every morning over what they use and call it a day but it makes a huge difference.

Huge difference. Yeah. And I mean they’re not it’s an expensive No, I like that idea.

Sometimes I can flip it over. There’s a pattern. I just look on the other side of the bedspread and it’s usually a solid color. And as long as the color is agreeable, right, and it’s not, you know, too loud or yeah, whatever, then we just flipped the bed. If you’re

telling them if they have to buy something, you just say white. Yes. Yeah, it’s easy. Yes. Okay. deep clean your windows, mirrors and shower glass. Yeah, I’m going to tell you right now, sometimes the shower door, there’s a new coming back on now. They are so tricky. They’re not that expensive. Like, I guess it depends on your shower. Yeah, they can get out there. I would look into it. Yeah, just see what it costs but try and clean it as best you can. Okay, we’ve talked about paint colors, leave no more than three items of decor per surface. If the item is smaller than a golf ball, pack it up. Yeah. We don’t need those little trinkets. I like a large cut leaf from the yard in a vase. Yeah. And in a vacant home. That thing lasts for three weeks with just the water in the vase. That’s awesome. It’s amazing. A light colored rug can help define space and an open floor plan. If you’re in an open floor plan, and it’s kind of tough. I like a rug for that. Decorate decorating for holidays. If it’s Christmas and you’re about to list you might want to consider taking your photos pre decoration, no decorations and photos. Yeah, cuz then it’s just going to date your listing. Yeah, if

it’s February, and you have your Christmas tree.

Yeah, that’s no good. And here you go. If we talked about the fake floral, remove all the items from the top of your cabinets. If your home is starting to feel more boring and neutral, you’re on the right track on the right or on the right track. So those are the tips that I love it everybody. There is a way for you guys to access them. So we’ll like post it. If you just want the whole list of tips. Well, that’s in our templates class. Yeah, that

one isn’t the templates. Yeah. Along with our in our template course. We also have the instructions for sellers what to do what you’re doing. So yeah, like, I like that. It’s in the template course.

Any other thoughts about staging?

I just think it’s so important. And I think that as Realtors we need to be providing that service to our clients. Yeah.

If you can’t do it yourself, pay someone to do it. I mean, I would pay for the staging console. Sure. Me. Yeah. As the realtor. Yeah. Now me as the realtor. I do it. Yeah. And it’s a non negotiable must be done. Just because the house is vacant doesn’t mean you don’t need to have some staging talks right now.

I think bringing it do you bring in furniture a lot. I don’t bring in any furniture. Yeah, but I did go to Hobby Lobby one time and spent like $500 on one big canvas that I use over and over for fireplace mantel. I have orchids that I put in bathrooms. Yeah, a couple of green succulent things that we put on tape just to kind of help. I have a stack on white and I just move it around. Yeah, to empty listings or for sure you know, whatever needs it. So an empty listing. I am really adamant that I don’t want you to try and stage with two dining room chairs in a living room.

Right and a rug. Like I do not handle though. Just as it makes sense. If you can’t make the room look complete, don’t do it. But with that being said, the item that I bring to a vacant home almost every time yeah. Are my two bar stools. Oh, yeah. Because it gives a place to sit and for you and or people who are showing or whatever. It you can put it in the kitchen. It looks done in the photo. Yeah, I mean, there’s nothing else to it. And then I will bring like the towels, you know, right bathrooms, because you can make the bathroom look done. Sure. If you can look done, then do it if it can’t look done. And also don’t forget, you might need to bring a rug for a vacant listing at the front door, or at least a mat or something so that they’re not tracking dirt all the way through the house, right on a rainy day or whatever I have. I’ve only had one listing. And it was the big one that paid the state for a stager

to bring it for one builder do it for his model.

And I know in some markets, they always do it. There are markets where they remove all of the furniture and then bring in furniture for staging. Wow, it’s just crazy. And I don’t know if we’ll ever get there here. But it’s very interesting. It is. And I think typically it’s like a two month rental. Yeah, yeah. So you got two months of furniture. If you’re having trouble with a listing that has a tricky floorplan that is when bringing in furniture is so helpful. If people are having trouble visualizing how to use space, yeah, you need that you do. Yeah. Staging as you can tell, this is Katie. Yes. My favorite thing in the whole wide world. I love it. It’s my favorite topic. If I went back to school back in time and picked my schooling again, I would do Interior Design. Yeah, it’s my favorite thing. That’s awesome. It’s my favorite thing. So happy to answer questions. Okay, you got anything else? I think that’s good. Okay, so, for today’s toast I I’m, uh, we I have sort of like an announcement ish and a toast. I have decided to change brokers. I have found an amazing office locally, southerly that is very design and staging focused, perfect for us. Perfect. And today I want to toast to that broker brandy VZ. I’m really excited. And it’s gonna be fun time. Yeah, it’s gonna be a fun time, so I’m just really jazzed about it. It just totally fits with what I love. Perfect. So I’ll be surrounded by like tile samples and flooring, and paint colors and I will be like in heaven. Yes. It’ll be wonderful. Okay, that’s it. Cheers. Brandy. Cheers, Brandy. Hey,

thank you so much for tuning in to the hustle humbly podcast. Let us know who we should toast to for the next episode. Be

sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram at hustle humbly podcast. If you have an episode, topic or question please email us at hustle humbly podcast@gmail.com

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