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Redirect, Repackage, Relabel

Some houses are just plain easier to sell than others. While there’s some truth in the good old “loca­tion, location, location” nostrum, there’s not much you can do about that unless your house is on wheels, but that’s another story. Still, there is hope to unload the old dump if you employ a dollop of elbow grease and a smidgeon of poetic license.

I refer to what’s called “staging a home” in the real estate game. Though taken too far, what you call staging others might call misrepresentation or even fraud. All the same, these tips may be your best bet to get a solid offer in a soft market.

First, stow away personal items such as family pictures, naughty bric-a-brac, and shrines to celeb­rities or cult deities. Home should also be cleared of empty liquor bottles, children’s toys, pet toys, or any­thing left by pets. Remove all crime scene tape before any showing.

A fresh coat of paint spruces up any home. Even that dead lawn will look better with a fresh coat of paint, pre­ferably green. Full-length mirrors on the end walls of closets will make them appear twice as big.

We could go on in this vein, but that’s a lot of work. There is an easier tactic. Don’t re-do, re-package. Think of it this way, you’re not selling a house, you’re selling an idea. Nothing is a problem, it’s an opportunity. Below are but a handful of opportunities.


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Get the idea? Your house is not a cramped shoe­box, it’s “cozy.” It’s not old, it’s “historical.” The neighborhood isn’t noisy, it’s “vibrant.” Never admit the old homestead is run down, say it’s “low maintenance.” With a little imag­ination, and maybe larceny, you can turn any minus into a plus.

Should all these time-tested techniques fail to move your house, all is not lost. You have fire insurance and matches, right?

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