My in-laws, Gerri and Harold Knott, several years back bought a cabin in Pigeon Forge, which they used to get away from the hustle and bustle and relax, and also to entertain family and friends. Back in the summer they told me of their plans to sell the cabin, so I prepared a plan for getting it on the market. Shortly after it was listed this fall it sold for a record price of $289,000 in literally just 8 hours of being on the market. News spread of the sale, and Harold and Gerri connected me with a friend of theirs who owned a cabin in the same subdivision. I called Melanie and George Tolliver one afternoon and several days later I travelled to Pigeon Forge to meet with them at their home. After meeting with the Tollivers and touring their cabin, armed with the knowledge of the upward trend in pricing, I suggested they list their home at $292,000. Another agent had suggested listing the property in the $250’s, based on just looking at some past sales without really digging into the specifics of the market now. We are taught early on in real estate not to overprice a house because of the dangers of the house being on the market for a longer period of time and becoming a “stale listing.” I sometimes think, while this is true in many instances, that it makes us be overly cautious- and sometimes I believe the need to be bold in pricing outweighs the caution- as they say, no risk, no reward. Even in a hot market, which “hot” would characterize what is happening in our regional market, it’s not a simple task to get the top price- meaning you can’t just stick your home on the market without taking necessary, critical steps to position it in the best way possible. Buyers in this market expect the best- and when selling work must be done to make your house stand out. There are many necessary steps that must be taken when preparing a home for sale. I want to focus on two of the most critical ones. One of the most important ones is the employing of a professional stager to come to one’s home to give a consultation and point by point plan for things that can be done to maximize the profit your house can attain. While most realtors claim to be experts on staging, and I myself think I know a great deal, I believe that there is a very important role to be played by hiring someone who all they do is professional staging. And that is something I do when I am hired by a client to sell their home- I hire Ida Randall with Knoxville Staging to give us that consultation. The second key step is the hiring of a professional photographer to showcase the house. The difference between professional photography and the Do it yourselfer realtor who uses their own camera (or in the worst case- a flip phone camera, believe me there are realtors who do this disservice to their clients) is the difference between night and day- or the visible difference between the high definition tv of today and the old 1960’s black and white box tube. I hire professional photographers on all my listings, as this is a very critical step in the marketing process When searching homes on the MLS or on websites like Realtor.com and Zillow, you can see the differences in listings of houses that have been professionally staged and professionally photographed and those that have not been. 90 percent of buyers start their search for their home on the internet, and that first impressions is so key when presenting your home. Now back to the Tollivers… In regards to staging, George and Melanie didn’t need this service and opted not to have it done, as Melanie knew a lot about staging and the importance of it. So when my photographer came to take the photos Melanie had already done the staging work, make the photographer’s job was easy! [caption id=\"attachment_4350\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"300\"] Cabin Living Room[/caption] [caption id=\"attachment_4351\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"300\"] Kitchen[/caption] [caption id=\"attachment_4352\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"300\"] View from deck[/caption] After listing the home on Wednesday, the home was officially under contract by that Sunday evening for very close to the asking price. And after closing on their cabin Melanie and George were able to buy their dream home, a beautiful one level rancher new construction! It was a true win- win for everyone. I was blessed to have the opportunity to work with my in-laws and for their introduction of me to the Tollivers! Looking forward to writing more case studies in editions to come!