Let’s be honest: selling a home is a stressful undertaking. Even with a qualified agent on your side, there is hassle in having to keep the house pristine at all times, vacating your home for showings and hoping that an offer comes in. Because the process is so unpleasant, the best you can hope for is a speedy sale. But how can you do that when, as the homeowner, you have such limited involvement with the process of showing your home to potential buyers? While we were in the midst of a home sale, I came up with the idea to create a staging binder to give our house a voice of its own.
Rather than hovering over buyers like a creepy helicopter homeowner, I put together an informative binder that highlighted not only real estate hot selling points like an open floor-plan and gated community, but also the less obvious perks of life lived within the walls of a home we loved. Those details, I believe, are what truly set our home apart from the competition. Here’s a look at what I included in our home staging binder and some tools that will help you to create one of your own.
When prospective buyers first walked into the home, they saw this binder on a table with some other staged items. The idea was to stage an informative and welcoming entry vignette. Come along with me as I virtually turn the pages of our binder to give you a glimpse.
On the first page, we greet our guests and offer a bulleted list of some of the property’s selling points–things like the open floor-plan and 3-car garage. From there, we go through six categories of first-hand information that I thought would prove valuable to a potential buyer.
In the typical utility cost section, I share one year’s worth of billed amounts for electric, natural gas and water service to this property.
Next, I focus on schools. I simply printed the profiles of the appropriate elementary, middle and high schools from an online school rating website.
I also thought it would be helpful to point out how well we cared for and maintained the home. Sharing details about when the house was last painted or when appliances were serviced or replaced demonstrates to buyers that the home is in great condition.
I know that if I were the one doing the buying, I’d be curious about the neighbors. I’d want to know the demographics of the neighborhood, and whether or not there was an obnoxious yapping dog living next door (which, thankfully, there’s not!). This section offers that sort of insight to prospective buyers.
This is where the personal touch comes in. I included this section because I wanted to share some of the best parts of life in this house. Spring buyers might otherwise not consider how fun our once-yearly desert snowfall can be, or how perfect a backyard bonfire under the Harvest Moon is.
In the last section, I included a cleaned-up version of the floorplan that was given to us when we began the building process.
Just for fun, I also put in some photos of the home under construction.
Our relocation is at the forefront of my mind so I hope you don’t mind my sharing some of the process here on the blog. Expect it to continue in future posts! Next time, I think I’ll share a couple of the staged vignettes we’ve put together.
For those of you who’d like to create a staging binder like mine for your own home, simply download the following cover page and section title pages and then print them.