(WXYZ) - If you've tried to sell your home the past 3 years, you know how difficult it can be. Homes sit on the market for a year or more with no serious offers. We have the edge you want on all the competition because selling a home isn't easy these days.
While the market may be starting to recover, sellers still have lots of competition and it remains a buyer's market. So you may want to know about a hot new way to make your house sell quickly, and for a good price.
If you're sentimentally attached to everything inside your house, do not invite this woman into your home!
"Let's put the chair in the study and the loveseat on that wall," says professional home stager Jo Potvin.
Potvin spins into homes like a tornado and orders movers to haul out anything that reeks of the 1980s.
"The homew ners furniture that we're going to eventually remove, we'll just put it in here for now," says Potvin.
The wing chair, Queen Anne table and the old big box TV set are out the door to be replaced with contemporary furnishings. The cherry bedroom set? Gone, right down to the bed.
Potvin has a warehouse full of tables, lamps and wall treatments as well as hundreds of pillows. She uses her design background to turn dated rooms into Ethan Allen Pottery Barn showplaces. It's going to be crisp, airy and bright.
"Do you mind seeing if we have a 60 watt light bulb, or 75? I think this one's 40," Potvin says.
In today's super competitive real estate market, Potvin says you need to be a step ahead of your neighbors.
"You can have a really great home but if the aesthetics aren't there, you can be behind the 8 ball," Potvin says.
Realtor Jean Raga agrees. She says a professional staging is often the difference between a quick sale and a listing that sits months.
"The biggest issue now is that there's so much on the market and there's so much to compete with," Raga says. She notes the importance of grabbing the home buyer the second they walk in the door.
"We want them to say wow, this is my house," says Raga.
But what will all this cost you?
Potvin says an average staging runs $1,500, which includes 3 months of rental furnishings. Before you say it's crazy, Potvin says it's much cheaper than being forced to cut your asking price 10 grand.
"For most, that first price drop would be more than most of our clients spend," Potvin says. Staging gets results.
"We just recently did a home that had been on the market over 2 years. Within 10 days the house was under contract," says Potvin.
It might be painful to watch old favorites replaced by all of this, but Potvin has just one goal - selling your home.
You can look up home stagers online, though it's often easiest to work through a realtor who will know some of the best ones near you. Remember, the price of staging is insignificant if it helps your home sell for thousands more than your neighbors' home so you don't waste your money.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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