By Bill Lewis via The Tennessean
When Terry Morgan-Grant and her husband Charles Grant decided to move from their Nashville home, they asked their Realtors for guidance about how to sell it for the best price possible.
The advice was a bit surprising, she said.
“They took away all the plastic plants, and there’s no knit cover on the toilet. You don’t see that in beautiful hotel rooms. That’s so dated,” said Morgan-Grant.
By now everyone’s heard tales about how hot the Nashville real estate market is and how a lot of homes are selling for full price after just a few days or weeks on the market. What’s missing from those stories, however, is the work that went into getting those homes ready for sale.
Even in today’s market, where buyers are making multiple offers and competing for homes in the most desirable neighborhoods, real estate is still a price war and a beauty contest. To sell, homes must be reasonably priced and have to put their best foot forward.
“We all know the old saying ‘location, location, location.’ But the real truth is location, condition and price,” said Re/Max Choice Properties Realtor Melissa Allen. She and her husband, Jim, represent Terry Morgan-Grant and Charles Grant.
Their house, at 5112 Stone Mountain Court, is in the desirable South Nashville area between Cool Springs and Green Hills. With 3,756 square feet and a downstairs master, it’s expected to sell quickly. But the Allens left nothing to chance and advised the couple to declutter. Then, home stager Kristie Barnett (thedecorologist.com) added professional design touches.
“It looks so clean and open, like a breath of fresh air,” Morgan-Grant said of her house.
‘Perfect and shining’
Staging is so important that the Allens provide it at their own expense for every client.
Statistics show that a staged home sells in just one-third the time and for up to 17 percent more than a non-staged house, said Jim Allen.
“We want the home perfect and shining when it hits the market. The first few weeks on the market are crucial,” he said.
Kari Thirsk discovered that there is just one potential downside to following your Realtor’s advice.
“My home has never looked better. I don’t want to sell it,” she said.
She and her husband, Russ Thirsk, are moving out of state and selling their home at 6763 Cold Stream Drive in Bellevue. They lived there for seven years after moving from Chicago and won’t be surprised if it is purchased by someone else new to the city.
“Nashville has gotten so hot in the last year, in part because of the TV show (ABC’s ‘Nashville’) and all the great press,” said Keri Thirsk.
Even so, their real estate agent, Crye-Leike Realtor Sarah Milligan, offered advice about how to make sure the home puts its best foot forward. A stager rearranged furniture, and the house was decluttered.
“All extras need to go,” said Milligan. “Anything smaller than a basketball is a knickknack and needs to be packed up for your move. More space equals more money.”
Milligan also recommends that sellers pay special attention to what she calls the “money rooms.”
“Buyers are willing to pay top dollar for kitchens, living areas and master bedrooms and baths. Make sure these three areas are in top-notch shape and will appeal to modern taste,” she said.
While they are getting the house ready, sellers also have to get themselves ready to let go of a home where they may have lived for years.
“You need to remove emotion from the equation. Think of your house as a marketable commodity. Your goal is for others to see it as their potential home, not yours,” said Milligan.
A Realtor can help a seller avoid costly mistakes, like having unrealistic expectations about a home’s value or failing to do little things that can make it more appealing, said Lauren Sullivan, a Realtor with Parks Realty — Historic Franklin.
Even with a shortage of desirable homes on the market, every house for sale has to make a good impression.
“We’re not in such a shortage that you don’t have to do anything,” said Sullivan.
Shared from The Tennessean