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Properly staging a home can make all the difference in when a foreign property sells - and at what price. When navigating how to sell a home abroad, expats can use the services of a trusted online foreign exchange provider to calculate the euro (EUR) conversion, such as from U.S. dollars (USD) to EUR, and send international payments to stagers.
Whether a homeowner decides to go it alone or hire a professional, here are some tips to consider for selling property abroad.
"Homes should always be staged and marketed to the buyer," says Barb Schwarz, CEO of StagedHomes.com in Greenbank, Wash. Local design elements, such as black-and-white floor tiles in France or large copper pots in an Italian kitchen, can evoke the lifestyle international buyers are seeking. However, it's important to keep the overall appeal of the foreign property in mind when adding elements of the local culture.
— Barb Schwarz, CEO of StagedHomes.com
If a home is painted a vibrant color like Loulaki blue, a traditional wall color choice in Greece, the potential buyers may feel they have to paint it. Schwarz suggests using architectural white on walls and add splashes of color with removable items like area rugs, artwork, bedspreads, towels and upholstery. "People want turnkey these days, and they want to do the least amount of work when they move in," she says. "So as a seller, if it needs painting, paint it now before any potential buyers see it."
In staging a home, less is always more. "In all countries, people find clutter distracting," Schwarz says. She says sellers may use a global moving and storage company to pack and move belongings in stages. "Remember, you are selling the space, not what's in it," she says.
If staging property isn't of any interest, consider hiring a professional home stager.
"Communication is key when choosing a professional stager in a foreign country," says Debra Gould, president of StagingDiva.com in Toronto, which has trained more than 7,000 home stagers in 22 countries and provides free referrals to sellers seeking stagers abroad.
Individuals selling property should feel comfortable from the very first phone conversation that the stager understands their needs and can keep them updated on progress. Stagers should be able to work with homes that are unfurnished, partially furnished or fully furnished. A good stager should also have local real estate knowledge, be able to hire painters and handymen, coordinate with property managers and agents.
Unlike real estate agents, stagers are paid for their work up front. "Home stagers price their services in various ways," Gould says. "Some base them on a percentage of the selling price of the home, others use a price per square foot or room, while others base their fees on actual time spent staging the property."
Sellers may wish to ask for a detailed budget, which should be in line with the value of the foreign property. "Fees range anywhere from $250 to $1500 for a detailed home staging consultation, depending on the location and size of the home, and the experience of the home stager," she says. "For furniture rentals, fees start at around $2,000 and can go up to $100,000 or more depending on the location, size, and price point of the home."
Example: 1USD = xx INR
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