~A little inspiration for anyone interested in Home Staging, Interior Redesign and Personal Motivation~ www.stagehappy.com website

Friday, February 12, 2016

#1 Biggest Challenge for Home Sellers

Picture from Better Homes & Gardens

What is the biggest challenge homeowners face when selling their property?

The biggest challenge, by far, is downsizing as a senior. Senior move management is a whole new industry.  This is an untapped opportunity for stagers as Baby Boomers retire or transition to an over- 55 adult community.

 If seniors wait until there is an emergency, an illness or the death of a spouse to start the moving process, it can be traumatic and expensive.

We had the experience of helping my husband's parents go through that downsizing process long before I was in the staging business. His parents were both limited physically and one of them was in a wheelchair when they decided it was time to join us in Jacksonville. We had planned to move them to an assisted living community near us when they were ready.

 My husband and I both worked full time and only had a one long week-end to complete the process. It included selecting the things that would move into the new smaller space, going through the contents of the house, planning an estate sale, hiring a RE agent, packing furniture, clothing and mementos. 

We sold the house "as is" because we didn't know any better.
Now, looking back, I'm sure that we could have spent $10,000 for carpet and paint to have made $80,000 more on the sale. And also, if we had gone through a more organized process, we could have gotten maybe $15,000 more for the furnishings and contents of the house.  It all worked out okay but it was very difficult and emotional issues kept us from making wise choices.

Picture from House Beautiful

To contrast that story, most of my senior downsizing clients have a positive experience emotionally and financially when they plan ahead. Not long ago, the Campbells, who lived in a moderately large house in a gated community, decided to downsize. We staged the house after some minor updating. 

While it was on the market, they found a smaller home in the retirement community outside of Mayo Clinic. We chose their favorite things to bring to the new, smaller house. An estate sale was planned for all the rest.

After some minor updating... carpet, paint and repairs, the new house was ready for them. They got a great deal on it because the previous owners did not update anything. They bought the new, 1800 sq. ft.  house for about $220,000 and sold the big, 2800 sq. ft. house for over $400,000. They only lost the office, formal living room and one bedroom. The kitchen was a tiny bit smaller. It's really beautiful. They have no lawn maintenance issues and more time for their hobby... boating.

This obviously is a much better scenario. Plan ahead and take care of the needed updates to maximize your profit on the large house.  Be prepared to do some minor updating on the new smaller space to get a great deal.

Most importantly, start planning long before you have crises. You will thank me.
Thank you for joining us on this adventure. The world of staging is exploding all over the country.

Next time we will cover the highlights of the staging convention in Las Vegas. RESA-Con.

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