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In today's competitive market, a home that shows well is the difference between a few weeks on the market and six months.

 

It is not enough anymore to just put on a quick coat of paint and a good cleaning.  There are other elements that buyers are looking for. These days, it could either be a warm feeling they get, or the look of space or comfort.  Whatever it is, you need to inspire the buyer's imagination so they can picture themselves living there.

 

The three key rooms that you should focus on when staging to sale are the kitchen, master bedroom and family room.These three rooms have the highest expectations so they should have priority over the rest of the rooms.

 

The first top on the tour should have the most impact, whether it is the kitchen or the family room. Visitors should say "WOW!!!" as soon as they enter the house. This is your opportunity to capture their attention and curiousity to tour more of the house.

 

Here are some tips:

 

• Add a fireplace – this one element creates an inviting focal point with wow power. If you don't have an existing fireplace, electric is the way to go –and this change can be yours in a flash. Innovative companies like Dimplex, for example, offer a number of designer options for every décor style. The plug-and-play designs make installation a breeze.

 

• Paint – You've heard it before, a fresh coat of paint will give your rooms a clean, inviting look. White or neutral is a safe bet, but consider creating an accent wall surrounding your fireplace for real impact.

 

• Remnant rug – A new rug can warm up the room, and it doesn't have to cost a fortune. Check out carpet showrooms, as you will usually find remnants of carpet that have been bound. A neutral rug will help to ground the space.

 

• Accessories – Clean and modest is key. Simple groupings of pillows, candles and frames, and a throw will make the space appear polished, but lived in. Personal photos and half burnt candles are a no-no.

 

• Flowers – People love seeing live plants and flowers in the family room. It gives a sense of life and good energy.

 

www.newscanada.com

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At REALTOR® Magazine online this month, you’ll find a list of the top 10 worst showing offenses your home sellers can make. The list was culled from the most common responses of more than 50 buyer agents who shared what they’ve witnessed in touring homes with their clients.


But kitty litter boxes and dirty dishes in the sink aside, some buyer agents say they’ve seen much worse when touring homes with their clients. Here are some of the “Hall of Fame” of worst showing offenses. Be sure to chime in below with the worst offenses you’ve witnessed too!


Hide the ‘Body Bag’ Before the Showing

“The worst thing I ever witnessed during a showing was seeing a full body bag on the floor of the master bedroom closet. I was showing a home to a couple and their 10-year-old daughter. The wife opened the master bedroom closet and screamed when she saw a full body bag. Upon further inspection by myself and the husband, we discovered the body bag was packed with clothing for storage purposes. Still, it was extremely creepy. Needless to say, they did not purchase that home. Now I jokingly warn all my sellers to put away the body bags before the house goes on the market.”

–Shannon Register, broker-owner of Register Real Estate Advisors, Spring, Texas


Who Let the Dogs Out?

“I called a listing agent to make a showing appointment and she informed me of a small dog closed up in the laundry room. She asked that I let the dog out into the backyard during the showing. Being a dog person, I agreed, but when I arrived my clients were already there and entered the home with me, even though I asked they wait outside while I took care of the dog. When I opened the laundry room, the dog fired out like a cannon across the kitchen and into the living room, half barking and half screaming, while simultaneously spraying bodily fluids and firing solids across the floor. My well-meaning client took a dive for the dog. The dog took a bite out of him! The dog then flew into the master bedroom and scampered under the bed. The owner’s father arrived to help us, coaxing the dog out and back into the laundry room. Meanwhile, I cleaned up the dog mess on the kitchen and living room floors and gave my client first aide for his dog bite.“

–LePage Williams, EXIT Realty of the Valley, Madison, Ala.


Home Showing or Crime Scene?

“I was showing a property to a relocation family from Texas. We walked upstairs and spotted red blood stains across the green carpet. We walked into the kids bedrooms, and I saw the dresser drawers were all pulled out and missing clothes. The closet hangers were empty and piled on the floor. As we continued looking at the home, we walked in the master bedroom, which had a large canopy bed and white sheets. The sheets had been pulled back and the bed was covered in bright, red blood. The entire bed! We walked closer to the bed, and I saw a pile of family photos on top of the blood. We left the home and I immediately called the listing agent. We then contacted the police. The police investigated and questioned the home owner about the mysterious blood. The home owner had to prove to the police that his wife was safe. Later, the listing agent told me ‘my client said his wife was having female problems.’”

–Christine Smith, RE/MAX Accord, Pleasanton, Calif.


Sure, Blame it on the Dog!

“I made an appointment, giving three days prior notice to show a home. The listing agent wanted to be sure I knew the owner had a blind dog that might have spilled food around his dish. When I arrived, I was so embarrassed but I also had to laugh: The blind dog was sitting very quietly in ‘his’ lounge chair. There were dirty dishes stacked in the sinks, unmade beds, and worse of all, ladies panties on the floor. Don’t blame the dog!”

–Joy McClinthen, Joy McClinthen Realty, Pachuta, Miss.


Overly Honest Home Owners

“The sellers insisted on meeting buyers during inspections. The buyers confided to the seller that they were moving because they had a crazy neighbor who would not leave them alone. The seller agreed, telling the buyer that they also had a crazy neighbor who would not leave them alone. The deal fell through that day.”

–Jeff Fairchild, RE/MAX of Stuart, Stuart, Fla.


Honourable Mention:

My worst (in my opinion) and most memorable showing was of a single story starter home built in the mid 1980′s. Three bedroom, 2 bath and roughly 1800 square feet. Everything was going great until we (my two clients and I) walked into the master bedroom. I instantly noticed in the ceiling 4 hooks hanging from the ceiling. I thought; “odd place to hang your plants – at the four corners above the bed.” Then I stopped. Backed up to the door again and re-evaluated the 4 hooks. The four hooks were the size to hang a bike from it. Then it hit me – the couple selling the house were into SMBD!!! I looked at my clients. They looked at me and said; “we like this house.”

-Elton Goddard, CARDANI Group, REALTORS®, Austin, TX


By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

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