In the last few decades the housing market has become extremely competitive. Where once there were only one or two houses on the block up for sale, now you could be one of a dozen, and with everyone vying to make a sale and get the best possible price for their property, home staging has become a popular way to make your home stand out from the rest.
What is home staging?
Home staging is effectively making your house look like a show home in order to maximize its appeal to potential buyers. This is primarily aesthetic touches to portray the property is the best possible light, highlighting all of the benefits from living there. The concept is to allow viewers to visualize themselves living in the property and create an emotional connection with it, meaning they are more likely to make a purchase.
Does home staging really work?
Yes, home staging is proven to be an effective marketing tool and a worthwhile investment when it comes to selling your house. www.homestagingresources.com reveals in a survey of more than 3500 of staged homes, more than half of them sold for 10% over value compared to non-staged properties. Other studies have also shown that staged properties sell significantly faster than non-staged properties.
What do I need to do to create a staged home?
While there are professional home stagers that you can employ to do the job for you, if you are prepared to put in a little time and effort then you can manage the staging process yourself. Here are some tips to do so:
• Removal personal items
By personal items we mean photographs, kids’ artwork from the refrigerator, calendars or anything that indicates that the house belongs to someone else. You need your potential buyers to envision themselves living in the property and they can’t do that if there are reminders of another family living their everywhere that they look.
• Clean everything regularly
Show homes are pristine and staged homes should be too. Your potential buyers will want to see every part of your home so ensure that every room is gleaming and in particular the bathrooms and kitchen. Getting the windows cleaned on a weekly basis, and hiring a cleaner to come in several times a week while the house is on the market is often a worthwhile investment.
• Make a great first impression
When it comes to aesthetics, studies reveal that most of us make our first impressions within 30 seconds of seeing something and your property will be no exception. Make sure you pay particular attention to the front lawn and entrance to your home. Carefully manicured gardens, trimmed hedges and well nurtured plants outside say a great deal about how well a property is cared for. Similarly ensure that your mailbox and front door are clean and in excellent condition and replace them if necessary.
• Maximize your space
Space sells properties, even if it is just an illusion. The more spacious your property feels the better. Many professional stagers recommend that you try and remove approximately 50% of the furniture in each room and absolutely all clutter. Clutter crowds a room making it look smaller. If you usually have multiple sofas in the sitting room then consider removing several of them to create the illusion of more room. Put any rugs into storage as they break up floor area and make it look smaller. When it comes to furnishings, less is most definitely more.
• Go neutral
Neutral tones are inoffensive to even the most reserved of individuals and a blank canvas makes it easier for your prospective buyers to imagine themselves living in your property. Bright colors and garish patterns, while easily changed, can instantly turn buyers off. Neutral colors also have the added benefit of letting more light into the property which gives the illusion of space.
• Let there be light!
Light, along with space, is another key feature that prospective buyers are looking for. No one wants dark and dingy rooms, so if you don’t get a lot of natural light into your rooms you need to try and create it. Most show homes leave their lights on even in the day time, and using this trick will give your rooms brightness. Similarly using mirrors on walls opposite windows will help reflect the light around the room.
Kitchens are a focal point of any household and ensuring yours is in pristine condition is a must as they can be expensive to replace. Keep your worktops completely clear; show homes don’t even have toasters on display! Viewers may wish to look in your cupboards to see how much space is available so make sure they are clean and free of clutter. If your cupboard doors are looking tired, consider giving them a facelift or replacing them all together.
Bathrooms are one area that many people forget to stage properly. They should be as clean as you would expect an operating theater to be, with an array of fluffy neutral colored towels. Never leave personal care products on display, put them away in cabinets. Ensure the waste bin is empty and clean.
• Closet space
Built-in and walk-in closets are great for space, but if they are stuffed full of clothes and shoes then they can look small and disorganized. Try and put any clothes in storage which are out of season and keep a minimal display of garments, showing as much space as possible.
• Send your pets on holiday
While we all love our pets, they can be a potential turn off to viewers, particularly if they are not animal lovers themselves. They also leave fur, hair and unfortunately some smells wherever they are. If possible, leave your pets with friends or family while your house is on the market.
Still not sure of what is and isn’t acceptable staging? Contact me today for more information!