For Seniors who are downsizing and needing equity from their home for retirement, home staging is not simply the process of rearranging furniture and adding art and accessories.  During an initial home staging consultation, a written report, also known as a “to-do list”  is given to the Seller listing items that may need to be addressed in order to obtain the most equity from a home they are leaving. Perhaps the home maintenance has been lacking for physical reasons and has not been updated in decades.   In order to sell a home quickly and for the most money, items such as removing wallpaper or updating kitchen handles may be recommended.

According to the National Association of Realtors, first time buyers made up 33 percent of all home buyers. The age difference between a first-time home buyer and someone downsizing could be 30 to 40 years.  Seniors need as much equity from their home for their retirement when downsizing. The cost of retirement into a long-term care or assisted living facility can range from $4,000 to $12,000 per month-not cheap for those who have lived through a world war.

The Consultation “To-Do list” are recommendations based on adding value to the home.  Seniors need to see their home from a buyer’s perspective.  When items in the home have not been repaired or updated, the Buyer will question “What else is wrong with the house?” or “How much is this going to cost me?”  You do not want a Buyer chipping away at your equity. In a recent RESA study of 634 homes, unstaged homes spent an average of 107 days on the market, compared to 18 days on the market for homes that were staged.

Adding value to a home could be as simple as updating a faucet or changing a light fixture to brighten up the home.  Too often homes with venetian blinds block the natural light and simply need to be opened up to show the picture-perfect view of perhaps a park across the street.  Seniors are so comfortable in their home that they forget the beauty it has to offer for the next family. For a Senior who is downsizing, I do not recommend renovations where the owner will not obtain a return on investment. After all, if you will not receive a return on investment plus some, why go through the renovation?

Having the experience in construction and working with the trades, I met with a family on preparing a home that had not been updated in 30 years. Their budget was $20,000.  Children of parents who are downsizing are more aware of where the real estate market has gone and understand the potential of a home from seeing the influx of HGTV episodes-they are the ones convincing the parents to invest but simply do not have the time.   After considering all the items that could deter a potential buyer, the budget was set at $15,000. That initial investment of $15,000 had a return on investment of 600%.  When compared to the “as-is” price had the homeowner done nothing to it, the end result was that the home sold in 5 days with 9 offers and an extra $90,000 was obtained for the Sellers. A nice jackpot for their retirement!

Before & After

Once all the updates and repairs have been completed, Home Staging takes place. We work with reliable and trustworthy Realtors who would have our Certified Home Staging Professional come in at this time to prepare your home for the photos by re-arranging furniture to showcase your home’s best features and adding art and accessories that are on-trend, as most buyers will want to view the home on-line first.  You only get one chance to make a good first impression!

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