So here’s a question I’ve been rolling around in my head a bit:
Is a thing accomplished because of the preparations or in spite of them?
I’m not sure that’s exactly how I wanted to phrase that, so let me elaborate.
When it comes time to sell your home, you basically just need to find someone to buy it, sign some paperwork, exchange money, and the thing is sold. That’s essentially it. If you use a real estate agent, they may put it up on the Internet on the local home listing site, then another agent with a buyer comes along, the real estate agents hash out the details on your behalf, but the rest is the same.
But it is possible that you will clean the house first. Maybe you’ll put out throw pillows and remove all your personalization. Professional photography and videography are options to put on the Internet, and maybe you even have a website created just to list details about your home that will let people immerse their imaginations and find your home through Google instead of a Home Shopping Mall website (you know who I’m talking about if you’ve bought or sold a home in the last ten years).
So the question is: did your home sell because it was for sale, or because of all the prep work that happened (the cleaning, staging, photos, video, website, postcards to neighbors, etc)? If you just cleaned and staged your home and slapped it up on the local home listing site, would it still have sold? What if you had moved out first and then put pictures up of empty rooms? Would it have sold as quickly then?
I can offer this scenario in a book analogy, too.
If I write a great book and pop it up on Amazon and Smashwords, will people find it and read it? Assuming I have a great blurb, spot-on keywords, and an adequate cover, will it still sell? Do I have to also place an ad on Facebook, have a mailing list, curate a Pinterest board full of things to do with the book, schedule Tweets, and maybe create a book trailer for YouTube? Will the book sell in spite of the marketing, or because of it?
I don’t think the house sells because of the extra preparation, but I do think that extra preparation sells the house. Does that even make sense? Probably not to everyone, but I’ve seen it. Great homes don’t sell and there’s jack shit wrong with them. Moderate homes jump off the market because of the effort put in before and when they’re first put up for sale.
And in the other scenario, the book is going to sell to more people more quickly because of the ads, tweets, mailing list, etc because you’re putting it in front of more eyeballs. But, as a writer, your time is better spent writing another book. Once someone finds one spectacular book, they’re going to want more, and you want to have more to sell them.
All of this was to say: if you’re in the business of selling things, consider that the extra effort at the start may make the entire process move more quickly, or it may just keep you from making more sales.
Or maybe all of this was to say: damn it, I just did all this work to market your home and you went ahead and sold it in the first week on the market! Was that really necessary?
Answer: yes. Yes, it was.