Old Republic Home Protection (ORHP) - In Touch Newsletter
New Document Selling Homes - You only Have 90 Seconds to Make a Great First Impression
By Kristine Ginsberg

* According to NAR (National Association of REALTORS®), 90% of potential home buyers start their search on the Internet before ever stepping out with their Realtor®. MLS photos are what draw buyers to the house, so make sure they represent the best of the home, inside and out.

* On average, buyers make a decision about the home within the first 90 seconds. That first impression is critical to selling the home versus having it sit on the market becoming stale.

* A professionally staged home shows at its optimum best, creating more foot traffic at open houses and showings, which is why 85% of Realtors® recommend staging to their clients.

* According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the average staging investment is between 1 - 3% of the home's asking price, which generates an 8-10% return. That small investment could be the defining difference between receiving offers versus making the first price reduction, costing the seller tens of thousands of dollars.

* Vacant homes appear cold and sterile. Professional staging allows the buyer to assess the proportions of the rooms by creating warm and inviting spaces - buyers can visualize how they could arrange their furniture, taking the guess work out.

* Professional home stagers combine decorating, marketing, and psychology to create emotional connections, enabling potential buyers to visualize themselves living in the home.

* Homes in good condition are more likely to get close to asking price. This is a priority in home staging. Buyers view a clean and organized home as well maintained, making it more desirable.

* Ideally, sellers should stage the home before it is put on the market, instantly creating the most interest on MLS, which brings in more foot traffic and creates a successful open house. However, if the home has sat on the market with no respectable offers, it's time to stage and bring back buyers who previously passed the home by, and create interest and excitement for new potential buyers.

* Don't neglect curb appeal and outdoor living space; it's key for today's market. Hire a landscaper, add fresh mulch and a few potted plants - the home will be much more welcoming and make buyers want to see more.

Kristine Ginsberg, owner of Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC is a member of the American Society of Home Stagers and Redesigners (ASHSR), Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) and Active Rain Real Estate Network. She has been extensively trained and certified by Home Staging Resource, the most comprehensive and recognized home staging certification in the country, accredited by the Real Estate Staging Association. Kristine is considered to be an expert in her field and has staged and redesigned hundreds of homes. Her work has been featured on HGTV for her outstanding design transformations.