We’ve finally made the decision to sell our house and buy up. My husband and the real estate agent want us to go on the market next week. I’m panic stricken as we are no where near ready! They say our market is moving so fast, it doesn’t matter what our house looks like, it will sell. I say it’s going to get us a better price if we take the month to clean, organize, freshen up all the paint, and update the flooring on the main level. Our carpeting has stains that can’t be removed, even with a professional cleaning. We need to replace it, though I think it would sell for more if the floors were wood or at least faux wood. We’ve been here a decade and have three kids. Our house definitely looks ‘lived-in’ and I want us to get the best price. What do you think?

Stressed Out in Seattle

Dear Stressed Out – I can certainly sympathize with you. Selling your home can be stressful enough without the added pressure of trying to rush the process. Though I do understand the mindset of your husband and the real estate agent, I am going to have to agree with you. Even in a seller’s market, there is no guarantee your house is going to sell right out of the gate, so you definitely shouldn’t skimp on presentation.

The homes that sell the fastest and for the best possible price are the homes that impress the most potential buyers. I always tell my clients, ‘Sell the house you’d be happy to buy!’ If you aren’t impressed, buyers won’t be, either. It’s better to take a month to prepare than to have it sitting on the market a month without any interest. And the longer a house sits, the more chances for lower offers or price reductions. Do it right the first time, and you’re more likely to get the best possible outcome.

Schedule your new flooring to be installed right now…I agree that wood and/or faux-wood are better sellers…and arrange for a painter, the sooner the better. In the meantime, get cracking on the cleaning and organizing. It’s definitely go time, and if the stars line up in your favor, you might be able to get it on the market even faster than you anticipated.

Hope this helps and good luck with the sale of your home!

If you have a question for “ASK THE HOME STAGING EXPERT®”, please contact lori@homestagingexpert.com.

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