If you have clients who are planning to build a new custom home and need to sell their existing house first, you want to help them get as much as possible from the sale. After all, the more they can get for their old home, the more they can invest in the new one.
So to help your clients get the most value from their existing home, we talked to several realtors about the best practices of staging land. Making small investments of both time and money in your home can often yield large returns in the value - and this is where staging comes in.
When staging land for sale, here are the things you should consider to help increase the value of their property.
Stage the Entire Property
Most realtors are used to doing some level of home staging, but what about the rest of the property? Homes that come with a lot of land are appealing to potential buyers, but not if they can see that a lot of work has to be done. Curb appeal matters, even if there is no actual curb. Whether the home is easily seen from an urban sidewalk or can only be spotted after going down a private drive, the first impression is critical. Evaluate how the property looks as you approach it. If the fence needs some repairs and a coat of paint, talk to the seller about sprucing it up.
Do a Practice Run
If you’re used to showing houses on compact lots, take the time to do a few practice runs on a larger property. The condition of outbuildings, literal bumps in the road, and landscaping on the entire property will be evaluated by potential buyers, so you should look at these features with the same eye. Make note of flaws that can be fixed with a small investment and talk to the seller about making improvements.
Clean Up the Terrain
Clearing out brush and trimming trees might not be high on the chore list for somebody who is planning to sell their land, but taking the time to do this work while staging can make the property more attractive, especially if you are able to improve the views. Making the landscape look tidy and well-kept also sends a signal that the property has been cared for.
Clean Out the Outbuildings
Barns, sheds, and garages are great for storage, but that doesn’t mean potential buyers want to see clutter. If the seller is planning to get rid of items anyway, convince them to do it for staging purposes. If items can’t be removed, make sure the areas are clean and organized so people can envision their own belongings in the spaces. Even typically messy working areas should be tidied up for staging. While you’re working on the outbuildings, make sure all the doors, locks, and windows are functional so potential buyers see a move-in-ready property and not a list of things they will need to fix.
Get the Well Working
If there is a well on the property, make sure it is in working order and have recent water quality tests readily available. Have information on hand about the location and depth of the well since serious buyers are likely to ask. If there is a well cover or well house, make sure it is in good condition.
Staging the House
Even if most buyers are primarily interested in the land, if there is a house on the property, its condition matters. Stage both the interior and exterior of the house so it looks attractive and ready to live in. Remove any clutter, paint rooms in neutral colors, and take out extra furniture if rooms look too packed. Make minor repairs as needed, especially any that are obvious while you walk through the home.
Work with owners to prioritize a list of staging tasks based on the costs and amount of effort versus the expected returns. When selling land, remember that the look and feel of the entire property matters, so don’t just focus on the house.