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This practice is known as home staging. The goal involves beautifying the home in its entirety to make it as appealing as possible to the greatest number of prospective buyers, regardless of their own style. Use this informative guide to learn the tricks and tips for a successful sale, by making your home stand out from all competing properties.
In most cases, but not all, staging the entire home would be required, however, it needn’t be an expensive undertaking. Instead, it requires a keen eye, creativity, and some handy work—most of which can be done by the actual homeowners.
According to an Entrepreneur Magazine article, home staging is one of the hottest new business ideas of the last several years because homeowners and buyers understand the need for a home to look extraordinary, and when it does, it’s rightfully rewarded. Statistics show home staging can reduce a property’s time on the market to as much as half, and acquire up to a 20% higher sale price in comparison to other properties!
When buyers are on the hunt for a new home in which to settle, they want to walk into a place that automatically “speaks” to them.
They should enter a home and be able to envision themselves living there, day in and day out, as in the cozy family room where they can unwind and watch their favorite TV shows; in the kitchen as they whip up delicious meals for their families; in the living room and dining room where they create lifelong memories with loved ones while entering taining; or in the bedroom where they can tune themselves off from their busy lives and enjoy peaceful, restful periods of sleep.
It may seem like there’s so much to be done, and in some cases that is true, but proper home staging can mean a profitable and swift sale in any type of market. Many average people, buyers included, can’t pinpoint what they really want out of a property, but if it’s neatly and beautifully packaged and marketed, the homeowner could quickly have a check and an accepted offer in hand.
Home staging begins with depersonalizing the home. Don’t remove all your family photos, but limit them to just a few splashed throughout the different rooms.
Although it may seem like a sacrifice, there are good reasons behind it—to allow the buyers to imagine themselves living there, and if there are constant (and abundant) reminders that the home belongs to another family, they may feel disconnected and move on. The idea is to get them to LOVE the home. So, you simply have to WOW them!
This blog will get you started on staging your home so that you’ll have prospective buyers even more attracted to your property.
Each section covers the important rooms, tasks, and considerations for staging your home to sell. Remember, when people pay top dollar for a home, they expect it to be nothing less than perfect. Now, let’s take a look at how to get your home in tip-top shape for those prospective buyers!
Decluttering and Organizing
We all tend to clutter our lives and our homes with collectibles, sporting equipment, awards, memorabilia, and a slew of other items. Now, this might seem fine when you’re living in your home and don’t have anyone to please but yourself, however, it’s an entirely different ballgame when trying to sell your property.
Nothing can be left to chance in any market, and especially a buyers market. Every room, including the basement and the garage, needs to be in tip-top shape. Everything
needs to be organized and neat, which will demonstrate to potential buyers that it was maintained well.
Time to organize all that clutter!
A good place to start is the entrance to your home. Tackle the hall closet to make it appear more spacious by leaving just one (or two at maximum) seasonal coats/jackets per family member.
Potential buyers would then feel there would be ample space to hang several of their guests’ coats when entertaining. Store mittens, gloves, and other accessories in attractive bins or baskets on the shelf and neatly place just a few pairs of shoes on a shoe rack within the closet. Add a chair or bench, if space allows for it, as everyone appreciates a seat when putting on or removing footwear, especially parents with young children and older buyers. The bathroom is another all-important room that should house fewer items. Store all personal products neatly in the vanity, storage cabinet, and/or medicine cabinet. Clear the counter of all items except a soap dish or dispenser, and perhaps a hand towel. Larger counters can be accessorized with a vase, for instance. Install an attractive rack to house clean towels within reach. Other towel and bathrobe solutions include over-the-door hooks or a coat tree in the corner.
Remove personal items from plain sights, such as numerous religious items, or too many family photos. Leave the space appearing restful without too much fussiness that could lead prospective buyers feeling uncomfortable. Leave only seasonal clothes in the closet. Closet space is a huge issue among buyers, so they have to appear roomy and capable of accommodating rich wardrobes without being crammed. Out-of-season clothes should be stored away and out of sight.
Other Living Spaces
The living room or family room often house lots of furniture pieces that sometimes are too bulky and make the rooms appear overly stuffed, interrupting the flow of traffic.
The removal of one or two pieces will correct the problem. Bookshelves should be tidied up and decorated in an attractive manner, rather than looking like a public library. Leave only a few books on the shelves, some standing upright, and others laid flat. Add some attractive accessories, like vases, sculptures and so on, as designers do.
Basement, Attic & Garage
An overly stuffed house looks like a warehouse, not a home. Neatly, and in an organized fashion, using attractive and labeled containers, store items that aren’t in use during the particular season. Invest in storage closets in which to store smaller items that would otherwise look messy in plain sight and shelving upon which to place the neatly labeled containers. For bikes and other sporting equipment, buy specific racks that make use of the ceiling or walls, and free up floor space.
Once all the clutter is magically removed, it’s time to get to the bones of the home, as in the walls, floors, and lighting. Use these tips and suggestions for making sure you have your home looking outstanding rather than in need of repairs.
Walls and floors should be in top condition, without any damages like dents, holes, or even patched holes, mold stains, scratches, and of course, free of dirt and fingerprints.
A neutral color palette is best, as it can appeal to more buyers. Turn to taupes, warm greys, beiges, and similar colors. Sometimes, a fresh coat of the trendiest paint colors is all that’s required to get buyers’ attention, so it’s always a recommended home staging tip. If the existing paint color is neutral and in good condition, perhaps a dash of bold color on a couple of walls may be all that would be necessary for a quick, economical, and effective statement.
Floors are extremely important to buyers, and for good reason. Besides walls, floors automatically draw attention because of their vastness. Dated bathroom tiles, may easily turn off buyers who understand the messy work and cost involved to update them, but since the bathroom floor space is usually quite small, the homeowner should replace them with newer, more up-to-date tiles, without breaking the bank.
Dated or broken kitchen tiles are another problem that could see potential buyers running out the door. These should be replaced with either new tiles or even engineered wood floors.
A solution to an old, worn, or dated wall-to-wall carpet can be as easy as laying a good size area rug on top of it for a layered look.
Keep in mind that if the carpet is solid in color, use a solid or patterned rug, however, only use a solid area rug if the carpet is patterned, to avoid an overly busy and unappealing look. Scratched or overly worn wood floors must be refinished if homeowners want the greatest return.
Nothing is as appealing as are beautifully shined floors, whether they are stained or natural, strip or parquetry. Professional sanding and refinishing are highly recommended, as any mishandling of industrial machinery could cause irreparable and obvious damages that would automatically deflate offers.
Lighting is, to the dismay of designers, and many homeowners, often too neglected. In most cases, there isn’t nearly enough light in homes, making it difficult for people to complete tasks, groom themselves, and so on. Homeowners often experience difficulty in choosing the right types of lights and bulbs to provide the necessary lighting in each room, which would also be the ideal illumination to set the right mood.
Rest assured, there can’t be too much light in a home. In fact, each room should have, according to professional designers, a minimum of six sources of light.
These come in floor or table lamps, wall sconces, chandeliers or pendants, and recessed lighting—all of which should be connected to dimmer switches, providing the user with the utmost control.
All portable light fixtures, i.e., lamps and floor lamps move on with the homeowner, so they aren’t really an added expense. Wall sconces and ceiling-mounted fixtures will be an investment that will pay off in the end.