Staging a home that is for sale is one of the smartest decisions a seller can make. Home staging can turn a cold and lifeless looking property into a warm and inviting home in a potential buyer’s mind.
Some sellers are reluctant to spend the money on home staging, but that is usually short-sighted. Study after study has shown that the increase in the purchase price of staged homes far more than covers the cost of staging. In addition, staged homes usually sell much faster, and with more satisfied buyers.
Home staging, real estate staging, or simply “staging”, as it is commonly known is anything that helps a home seller make their home more attractive and appealing to potential buyers. The exact definition of what staging encompasses does vary, but typically, a home stager brings in furniture, artwork, plants, rugs and accessories to make a house look it’s best while on the market. Some “full service” stagers also offer contractor consulting services which may include choosing paints, tiles, carpets, etc, and working with the contractors to get the house ready.
I can stage your home without any charge especially if I am the listing Broker. I can work with the existing furniture and show you how to reduce clutter and open up rooms.
Sometimes stagers will also help reduce the negative impact of some challenge the house has. For example, if there is traffic noise from a busy street nearby, they might put a fountain in the yard to create a more pleasant atmosphere. One may think that buyers make logical decisions, but often emotions guide buyers to what just “feels right”. Creating a warm, inviting and attractive atmosphere can make a huge difference to the seller of a home.
If you are selling a home, you may be wondering about house staging. Here is a partial list of the benefits that home staging provides:
Staged Homes sell faster
Staged homes get higher offers
Staged houses look better in the MLS pictures, getting more potential buyers to actually come see the house in the first place.
Staged houses have an edge over competing properties, and the staging can often sway the final decision. In addition, there is the benefit of the home selling more quickly. It is often hard to putt an exact value on that aspect, but ask anyone who has been transferred across the country, and sold a house in the process, and they will likely tell you that the speed of sale was very important. House staging can have a big impact, and often lead to a faster sale.
Studies have shown that most buyers make a decision about a house within 15 seconds of walking in the door. Many other buyers make a decision without ever getting out of their car. The message here is that first impressions are very, very important when selling a home.
The feeling that people get about the house from the street is called “curb appeal” and there are many home staging tips to improve it.
Eliminate any and all clutter. Trim back overgrown bushes, and generally do a thorough clean-up.
A fresh coat of paint goes a long, long way to making a house look good. Be careful not to pick too strong of a colour. The idea is to appeal to the greatest number of buyers as possible.
Fresh sod or landscaping can make a major difference.
Eliminate any other negatives like oil stains on the driveway, an old T.V. antennae on the roof, etc.
Putting out some simple flowers in a pot on the front porch, and a new doormat can create an inviting feeling to buyers.
Eliminate all clutter. Homes look bigger and more stylish without any clutter. Many stagers have the clients move out entirely, and the stagers bring in their own items.
Take all of the pictures off of the refrigerator, remove any stacks of paper on your desk, etc. Also, having a professional house cleaning service come in and do a thorough once-over is almost always well worth the cost.
Fresh paint can make a real difference. It is the frosting on the cake. Use colours that will appeal to the greatest number of people. You may prefer something bolder or outrageous for yourself, but when selling a house, neutral-coloured interior paints work best. Also, replace any worn carpets or other flooring. If you have hardwood floors that are in rough shape, having them refinished can often return many times the cost of the refinishing, and sell the home much faster.
In many parts of the country homes are shown with no window coverings at all. This creates an open and airy feeling.
Make sure there are no unpleasant pet or cooking odours. Some sellers now bake cookies for the open house, creating a warm feeling in they buyer’s mind.
Use size-appropriate furniture. If you have a small bedroom, don’t put a king-sized bed in there. Conversely, if you have a huge master suite, putting a single bed in there would look unbalanced.
Leave the lights on even during the day to make the home as bright as possible.
All of these home staging tips are really geared towards making the whole package seem as pleasant and comfortable as possible. One would think that buyers buy with their heads, but it’s often their hearts that make the decision!