I am sure you have read may articles about the value of hiring a "stager". I just want to take a moment and emphasise just how much this really does work. Everyone knows we are in a slow market. So, when you do put your property on the market it is important that you stand out, for the right reasons. I can't tell you how often I have shown a property to a prospective buyer and they make the comment that they just can't picture themselves in that property. Or, how often I have heard a buyer say "Oh I can see beyond the paint and the clutter/mess, and then after showing them a property they get hung up on the colour of the walls in the living room! I'm not saying they are right but when you re trying to sell it doesn't matter if the seller is right, it matters what the buyer thinks. I always remember a sign on an old manager's office of mine that read "Perception is reality". Wha the buyer perceives is his realty. So as a seller if you can make the buyer "perceive" himself/herself in the property then you have the situation licked.
Does staging really work? I can only tell you of a property I had a couple of years ago. The property had been on the market for about 6 months. The price had been reduced to what seemed well below it's market value. The owner was very frustrated and called me to have a look at the property. So I went up and looked at his cottage. AS soon as I walked in the door I knew it needed work. The location was great and the building was in good condition, but it just didn't feel right. I made a list of things I noticed, called the owner, and had to tell him that although he might not like what I had to say, I was sure I was on the right track. I suggested he contact a home stager, and fortunately he did. The stager presented him with the same list plus a few other points. The owner decided he had nothing to lose and had the property staged. In his case it did cost a few dollars, but the results were amazing. We put the property on the market and it sold within two weeks for $10,000 over the prior asking price.
So, if you are really serious about selling,it's certainly my opinion that setting yourself apart and doing some preparation is well worth effort and will pay you back.