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The secret is out. Fort Collins is fast gaining national notoriety as one of the best cities in the country to call home, a fact backed up by its “best city” nominations in Forbes, Outside Magazine, Money, and, just to name a few. All that good press, and a good-time reputation that hinges on bikes, beer, and backpacking, has people flocking from all over the country to Fort Fun. According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Fort Collins metro area was the 10th fastest growing population hub in the country in 2015, with a total population of 333,577 when you take into account satellite cities like Windsor, Timnath, and LaPorte. And when it comes to real estate in Fort Collins, all that growth adds up to a thriving real estate market that many NoCo sellers are taking advantage of.


Real Estate on the Rise in Fort Collins

The real estate market in Fort Collins is hot, to say the least. Home values in FoCo appreciated at a rate of 9.7% in 2016, with an average sale price of $396,414. Even better, homes in Fort Collins sold at, or above, asking price nearly 100% of the time, regardless of the list price in 2016. So what’s the key to maximizing your home’s potential in a seller’s market like Fort Collins? Jill Schuett of Applause Home Staging boils it down to knowing your buyer, knowing the market, and setting the stage so that whoever walks through your door experiences that “wow factor” that every buyer is looking for.


Target Buyers with Home Staging in Fort Collins

“A professional home stager is someone who has the experience behind them to really know what to do to help get the highest price for your home in the shortest amount of time,” says Jill. “We know how to edit and neutralize spaces to appeal to the most buyers, as well as how to play up the wonderful architectural features and downplay any not-so-great aspects. We know what buyers are looking for, and will have solid, prioritized solutions to get your home market-ready.” For Jill, that means drawing on her extensive marketing experience, researching who is going to be the ideal buyer, and then tailoring the appearance of the home to appeal to those most likely to walk through the door.

“I take the time to learn about demographics and lifestyles of the potential buyers, as well as the price point of the property and neighborhood so staging can be targeted towards these buyers,” she says. “Are they established buyers with teenagers? First time home buyers? empty nesters? Is the house in a higher price point with a lake or outdoor area surrounding it? The idea is to appeal to buyer needs and lifestyle with every home.”


First Thing’s First – Building Sweat Equity in the Choice City

Before you even think about staging, however, Jill stresses the importance of having a home “move-in ready” before you bring in a stager and put it up for sale. “It is so important to put in the hard work before listing and staging,” says Jill. Taking the time to apply a fresh coat of paint, install new carpet, and replace outdated fixtures can be the difference between a buyer extending an immediate offer, or passing on your home to see what else might be out there. If you’re not sure where to start, that’s another reason to bring in a stager early-on in the process. “Professional home stagers . . . have knowledge of paint colors and any updating and repair work needed and usually have helpful tips for things you can do yourselves,” Jill points out. And if you’re not into DIY projects, Jill says not to worry, noting that “professional stagers also have a network of proven professionals they work with like carpet cleaners, painters and handymen to help you get the bigger jobs done.”


Applause Home Staging Tips for FoCo

Once your home is in tip-top shape, it’s primed for Jill to work her magic. “So much of buying a home is based on emotion – that ‘feeling’ people get when they first see it on the MLS, drive by, or walk in the front door,” she says. “Staging gives that to them by helping buyers begin to imagine themselves living there and creating a lifestyle for that home – a welcoming front porch with comfortable patio chairs and colorful pillows and a fresh, neat, clean, bright open feel upon entering the home.” When it comes to Fort Collins, where the great outdoors is one of the Choice City’s most popular selling points, Jill says that sellers need to think about making a good impression inside and out. “With Colorado’s many days of sunshine and often so many beautiful views here in Northern Colorado,” she says, “sometimes I think staging the outdoors is as important as staging the indoors. Again, it is creating that lifestyle and the feeling we want people to have right away so they are more likely to put in an offer.”


Staged-First Sells First in Fort Collins

What’s the payoff for homeowners who choose to bring in a home stager before they put it up for sale? Jill says that’s an impact best measured in Days on the Market rather than dollars and cents. Hiring a professional stager can be the difference between selling your home immediately to a buyer competing with multiple other offers, and having to lower your price after an extended time on the market in order to attract an interested party. Not only will you get less for your home, but you’ll incur higher carrying costs, as well. If you’re wondering how big of a difference staging makes, the answer is substantial. Jill cites recent studies from the Real Estate Staging Association that show that “staged-first” homes sell 90% faster than homes that go it alone, and twice as fast as homes staged after-the-fact. The numbers make it clear that hiring a home stager like Jill Schuett at Applause Home Staging should be number one on your to-do list if you’re looking to maximize profits on your impending home sale in Fort Collins.


Storage and Home Staging in Fort Collins

If you’re ready to stage your Fort Collins home and put it on the market, Closetbox has the immediate storage solutions you’re searching for. Our full-service storage in Fort Collins, including pickup and delivery, is perfect for the decluttering and strategic downsizing that goes hand-in-hand with staging a home. Our competitive, tiered pricing and easy-to-access, itemized online inventory make us the perfect solution for holding on to your items into you’re ready to move on to your next permanent landing spot. Give us a call to learn how you can benefit from our concierge storage service today.