How to get your house sold

September 17, 2009 Here are a few of Bethany's tips for selling your home faster:

DON'T WAIT TO STAGE: Statistically, staged homes sell in half the time of un-staged homes. Every day your home sits on the market, it is money lost. One month of carrying costs alone (mortgage, insurance and utilities) is most often more expensive than the cost of professional staging, and usually a seller's first price decrease is far greater than the overall cost of staging.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE EVERYTHING: You have 10-30 seconds from the time a buyer walks in the door to WOW them or lose them. Buying a home is an emotional decision. If the buyer's first impression is "ick," then you will never see an offer. Staging with higher end furniture instead of your leftovers or cheap rental furniture makes a huge difference. One of Bethany's secret sources is Chicago's own Fort Pitt Furniture ( where they sell 4- and 5-star hotel furnishings for pennies on the dollar.

DON'T TAKE IT PERSONAL: Once you decide to sell your home, you need to cut the emotional tie and get down to business. Lose the family photos, grandpa's easy chair and all of your personal collections and displays. Your style may not be the buyer's style. It's nothing personal, it's business! Personal items detract and distract a buyer from seeing the home. A buyer needs to immediately relate to the space and see the space as longer yours.

About Bethany Souza: Real estate expert and star of HGTV's Designed to Sell Bethany Souza first realized her passion for real estate in 1995 when she was recruited from the hospitality field into the world of commercial brokerage. Parlaying her vast hotel experience into real estate, she became dually licensed in California and Nevada representing Las Vegas Boulevard hotel owners, land developers and coastal estate buyers in multimillion dollar transactions.

Bethany's home is now Chicago, and she is never one to sit on the sidelines. Souza was quick to follow her own aspirations of being a hotel owner and moved to Illinois to personally renovate, decorate and open her own small luxury inn. In addition to the inn, Souza is a successful home stager and renovates rental properties. Souza also represents real-estate developers in sales and design for high-profile condominium projects across the United States.

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