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                      iSucceed Press Release
When is Smaller Better

April 2, 2008 - If we are all honest, when we were kids we immediately went to the largest present under the tree.  As a result, we all bought into “bigger is better.”  Today when we look under that tree, even though we know big things come in little packages, we are still tempted to pick up that big box.

Well, we shouldn’t be surprised when our sellers want that big box as well.  How many times has their idea of getting their home ready for sale started off with major upgrades?  They want to remodel that kitchen or bathroom, replace the carpet with hardwood floors or add the patio cover.  But in the grand scheme of things bigger is not always better.

In a recent survey taken by HomeGain just the opposite was revealed.  The highest Rate Of Return (ROI) on invested dollar comes from investing in the little things.  Take a look at the items on this chart and note which one brought over 578% return.


Typical Cost

Price Increase

Return on

% of Agents

Lighten & brighten

$233 - 370

$1,178 - 1,566



Clean and de-clutter

$190 - 318

$1,505 - 1,937



Landscape front/back yards

$378 - 546

$1,718 - 2,158



Stage home for sale

$403 - 584

$1,938 - 2,431



Repair electrical or plumbing

$436 - 621

$1,205 - 1,590



Repair damaged flooring

$628 - 878

$1,633 - 2,061



Update kitchen & bathrooms

$1,404 - 1,828

$3,216 - 3,934



Replace or shampoo carpeting

$562 - 808

$1,532 - 1,950



Paint exterior walls

$663 - 938

$1,757 - 2,205



Paint interior walls

$651 - 920

$1,741 - 2,179



HomeGain surveyed over 2,000 real estate agents in each of the U.S. regions. All agents might not necessarily agree on the same pre-sale strategy. See ”% of agents recommending“ column above. Differences of opinions may vary based on the climate of the market, region of the country or condition of the home in question. The percentage of agents that agree on the positive impact of a particular pre-sale activity is summarized here.
The winner – plain old elbow grease.  And if we stop and think about it, the first thing that lady of the house looks at is how clean the house is.  She makes that mental note of just how much work she has to do if they move in.  And if that’s at the top of her list it better be on the top of the list you give your sellers.

Note the second item on the ROI list – “lighten and brighten” – which is followed closely by “staging.”  This just confirms what Andy Capelluto says in her Accredited  Home-Staging Specialist (AHS) course, “Without a doubt the most important elements in the staging process are ‘deep cleaning’ and ‘de-cluttering’, which incidentally also bring the greatest return.  If the buyers can’t see the house for all your clutter it’s like hiding what you want to sell on the back shelf.  And if the clutter is gone but the dirt remains it’s a guaranteed deal killer.”

Just how big and impact do these items make.  Look back at the chart and if your seller invested just $826 in brightening, cleaning and staging, the average increase in their sale price would be $4,619.  That same survey reported that 49% of the agents they surveyed indicated that staging alone added over $5,000 to the average purchase price.

As I noted in a previous article, having just gone through this process without my wife being there, you bet that was the first thing on her list for me to check.  And the first question she asked me when I called.  In our case the agent and the sellers were spot on - the house was “sparkling clean” and it was staged very simply, allowing me to easily visualize our furniture in the house.  Which, by the way, is the first step in moving the potential buyer from seeing a house to seeing a “home.” 

Staging in today’s market is almost becoming a critical element.  With all the competition out there you absolutely have to leave a great impression in the minds of the potential buyers.  If you want to learn more about the staging process and do it on your schedule, anytime 24x7, you should check out the Accredited Home-Staging (AHS) course from RealtyU that is now available online in a highly interactive format

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