If you follow me on Facebook then you may have seen that I had a great result last week. I have been helping a lady who lives nearby - her house had been on the market for along time and I couldn't think why. It's on a nice, quiet street and it looked like a lovely house from the outside, so I looked at it online. It soon became clear that the photographs were not doing the house justice and there were a few things that needed changing.
The day I heard that I'd been made redundant I put a letter through her door asking her if she needed an impartial set of eyes to have a look at her property and try and advise what she could do to make it more saleable. I thought I was being cheeky but she, on the other hand, thought I was being brave!
And so began our journey. It turned out that when she'd put it on the market some 9 months previously she had asked the estate agent if she needed to get her paintbrushes out and make it more neutral - she, like me, is a lover of colour and realised that there were areas in the house which might not be to everyone's taste. The estate agent advised her to leave it as it was.
In a bid to have a go at decluttering and depersonalising her house, she had gone too far the other way and left it looking a bit bare and stark. She had never heard of home staging so when I explained all about it she thought she might as well give it a go.
Here's a quick Q&A of how it turned out:
Rachel: Had you heard of home staging before I contacted you?
Janet: No, I had no idea what it was or what it entailed.
Rachel: How did you feel before I got in contact with you?
Janet: Frustrated, flat, discouraged and overwhelmed by the whole situation and what lay ahead.
Rachel: How did you feel during the process?
Janet: Uplifted and encouraged.
Rachel: How did you feel when the process was finished?
Janet: Hopeful and excited!
Rachel: Would you recommend home staging to other vendors and if so, why?
Janet: Definitely. I learned some vital lessons and key points that were crucial to the property first not selling, and then its successful sale.
Rachel: Would you recommend my services and if so, why?
Janet: Definitely. You were passionate about 'every role' involved in the process - your own, the sellers', the buyers' and the estate agents'. You have an eye for detail and didn't cut corners.
It was clear you were observing the ever-changing market. You didn't just give me a list of instructions and leave me to it; you were actively involved with the whole process from start to finish, willing to go above and beyond the call of duty.
Your involvement was not intrusive and while you offered suggestions and patient advice, you professionally left all decisions to me.
You are a dedicated encourager, willing to go the extra mile to get the result you envisage for the people you're helping.
My buyers directly and explicitly commented on the work you had done to improve the presentation of the house as being "the reason they loved it".
The tale of how the house ended up being on the market for another 3 months is a bit long-winded but you won't be surprised to hear that it involved the inaction and disinterest of the estate agent.
When we found out that a second viewing was on the cards I threw all the extra plants and pizzazz that I had at the house and it worked a treat. Within 24 hours and after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing she had an offer of just £5k under the asking price. I'd say that's a big result for a house that was on the market for a whole year and the message is that yes, it is an idea to go through this process before you put your house on the market, but it is really never too late to make a difference.