Several weeks ago, I presented a home staging business dilemma for you where a young couple expecting their first baby was having trouble selling their home. It had been on the market for six months and based on feedback from prospective buyers, the rough driveway and ugly second bathroom were shying people away from making an offer.
The catch was this couple only had enough money left to undertake one renovation. (Read the original post and all of the great comments by clicking here.)
I absolutely loved Staging Diva Graduate, Christina Rougerie’s comment. She took more of a strategic approach with her advice saying:
“It also depends on the neighborhood that they live in. Are all the driveways in somewhat the same condition due to harsh winters? If so, then clearly I would remodel the second bath. Either way they would need to contact their realtor to do a market analysis and compare other properties. Do most of them have a remodeled second bath or driveway? Besides Kitchens and Master suites, I’m the kind that researches my competition for that particular area. Every area is different and this always changes the rules to the game. Like in this case driveway or second bath?”
Another Staging Diva Graduate, Hayley Harris, read my mind and summed up my thoughts perfectly, saying:
“For me it would be paramount to get the driveway sorted. This will be the first thing the buyers see as soon as they step out of the car. If they are presented with a driveway in disrepair they are likely to start wondering if the rest of the property would be like this. I would allocate a small amount to the bathroom. As this is not the main bathroom I think a cosmetic makeover would be more than enough. In conclusion, a couple of hundred for the bathroom and the rest of the budget on the drive. Bathrooms can be tarted-up quite cheaply when you know what you’re doing but driveways most definitely can’t and would be a job for the experts.”
I would tell this client to repair the driveway because it is perceived as a more expensive repair and it could do more damage to a potential real estate sale by scaring buyers away at first glance. If they don’t even get in the front door, it won’t matter what the rest of the house looks like!
For the bathroom, it’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint, a new shower curtain, some fluffy towels and art can do. Replacing a sink or taps is not a huge expene and neither is laying a floating floor over what’s already there.
If there are more bathroom repairs needed beyond the cosmetic, buyers won’t be as nervous of taking them on when they see the second bath is livable as is. This is presuming that you’ve gone through and professionally staged the rest of the property so that the buyer will be romanced from the moment they set foot on the grounds!
Thank you for your wonderful comments on that original story – you really contributed to a great discussion! Feel free to add additional comments.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging
Debra Gould knows how to make money as a home stager and she developed the Staging Diva Training Program to teach others how to earn a living doing something they love.[tags] home staging, home stager, home stagers, home staging advice, home staging dilemma, home staging priority, staging diva[/tags]