Preparing a House for Sale, It’s Not Always Location, Location, Location

Homes and Land Magazine

August 2005

Selling a home requires tremendous effort on the part of the agent, but before pictures are taken, virtual tours uploaded and marketing pieces printed, most homes need work.

What’s the most important component to a home’s appeal? According to a study done by Dr. Robert Degner and Susan Moss at the University of Florida, 96% of Realtors® ranked ‘Landscaping’ as the most important attribute of a home. At the bottom of the list, accounting for just 6% was ‘Location’.

The study, entitled Effects of Relandscaping on the Perceived Market Value of Single Family Residential Property, took on several homes with home values devised before and after landscaping. All homes in the study improved their value after landscaping, some as much as 10%.

Other important features for home selling in Degner’s study included ‘Paint Condition’ (31.7%), ‘Roof Condition’ (30.8%), General Condition (29.8%) and ‘Neatness/Cleanliness (24%).

When The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) commissioned an independent survey on “what makes the biggest impact when walking into a home for the first time,” cleanliness ranked at the top at 51%, followed by scents/odors (22%), style of décor (13%), furnishings (6%) and home architecture (1%).

What’s most surprising is that the SDA’s survey found that only a third of home sellers “actually clean their home to ensure their house smells fresh.” So, making a home smell and look great can nearly ensure your chance of selling a home by more than 65%.

Another tip on preparing a home for sale includes the addition of a home stager. Karyn Elliott, of Crazy House, a home staging company based in Calgary, Alberta offers staging advice on or off-site and claims her staging techniques can increase the selling potential of any home. Some suggestions include:

  • Highlight selling features
  • Create a feeling of spaciousness
  • Enhance living spaces
  • De-clutter
  • Organize closet and storage areas
  • Arrange furniture, art and collectibles
  • Service minor or major repairs

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