These days it takes a little more than sticking a “For Sale” sign in the yard, holding open houses and following up on calls. Today’s home buyer can be more savvy and perhaps more finicky than in years past, even in a seller’s market. They often have high expectations, and if you want a quick, smooth sale, as a seller, you should try to meet some of those expectations before you even list it for sale. That is what I advise my sellers to do, and I often go the extra mile by preparing a plan and helping execute that plan.

Here is the story behind the scenes of a sale of smaller Mission Viejo home where I helped the seller to stage and prep their home before going on the market.

The photos below show the home as the sellers lived. A cute home in good shape, but a little bland, and the decor was not very cohesive. There was pretty much no curb appeal either.

I needed to appeal to a wide range of buyers PLUS keep the sellers happy while they lived there. I decided to keep the sellers’ cottage/vintage style, but make it more cohesive, add focal points, de-clutter and add a modern/updated look with new decor. I also needed to add life and color with plants.

I implemented my Simple Staging by bringing in some of my decor and small furniture from my own inventory. This is a complimentary service to my sellers. It takes a little time and effort and planning, but you can see the huge impact it makes. It is a different home!

The master bedroom (pictured above) was really transformed to something more charming and inviting and upscale, too.

Even the back yard went through a huge transformation. One of the big selling points of this home was the size of the yard, privacy and view. Before, though it had a cute fence and a nice fruit tree, the yard was a little rough and had dirt planters. I added some cottage-type plants, used the owner’s pots, bench and other accessories and created an enchanting retreat.

We weren’t sure what to price it at since there had been so few sales recently of the same model, and this one was so much better than the others. We priced it well above the latest comp, took professional photographs, held back on showings for a few days to drive demand, and then had a huge open house. We received multiple offers, all over asking price, then selected the buyer that seemed most motivated and qualified. We got it into escrow in a week with a wonderful buyer.

My wonderful clients were then ready to find a new home! And that is another story….

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Posted by Jackie Gibbins

I live and work in Mission Viejo as a Real Estate Agent. Born in Santa Monica, CA and grew up in Westminster and Huntington Beach. Middle child of five and mother to two awesome sons, now grown. An artist, nature lover, observer, geek and people person, I love the area, love what I do and enjoy sharing any info and insights so others can find their dream as well.