Staging Your Home: Communicating with Potential Buyers

I don’t really do that much staging work anymore as my interests have shifted to coaching others, especially my fellow ADHDers, around overcoming their overwhelm.  I do have a couple of clients who are putting their houses on the market in the next month or two though, so this post is dedicated to them.

Six years ago this month I was hurriedly readying my home for sale.  I had recently completed training as a home stager and knew how to get the house ready for buyers.  What  I didn’t know was how to readily communicate to potential buyers all of the changes and upgrades we had made to the home in the 10 years we lived there.  I knew I could rely on my agent, a friend of mine, to communicate that the maple hardwood floors had been installed only two years previously and that the kitchen had been fully remodeled.  Would they remember to communicate though that the basement was fully waterproofed and a backup battery sump pump had been installed?  Because it was January, would they remember to tell the buyer about the natural slate patio if it was covered in snow?  Finally, what if my agent wasn’t showing the home?  The potential buyer would then have to rely on only what they could see.  We all know from watching House Hunters that buyers are quick to judge what they see.  I wanted to give them more to chew on.

When selling my previous home (in 1996), which was a newer home in a community that was still building, I had created a flyer detailing the expenditures we had made since purchasing. This allowed the buyers, who were most likely comparing our home to the new builds in the community to see that grass, a fence, and landscaping (included in the purchase price of my 3 year old house) added up to some significant dollars that they would not have to spend if they purchased my property.  The house sold in about a week.

This sale was going to be different though, because the home was located in a more established neighborhood, and because the market was already beginning to turn downward.  In light of this, I skipped the flyer route and instead, created Information Frames that I placed in each room of our house.

The information in these frames told the story I wasn’t able to tell the potential buyer face to face.

For example, the frames you see above tell the stories about the remodel of the basement in 2001, the remodel of the first floor in 2003 and the story about the broken window in my son’s room.  The Basement Frame explains the  remodel, what it involved, and its cost.  I communicated the basement had been waterproofed and that a foundational crack had been filled. I was even able to communicate that we had installed a dedicated circuit for a professional series treadmill.

In addition to providing the potential buyer with information about things they would naturally be curious about, I think these Information Frames provided the potential buyers with peace of mind, because it was obvious that the people who lived in the house had taken great care of it.  The house sold in about a week.

When selling your house, which is likely one of your most significant assets, why leave anything to chance?  What do you most want to communicate to potential buyers this home selling season?




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