“Home staging” was coined by Barb Schwarz back in the early ’70s, and the concept has become well known as “house fluffing,” “dressing to sell,” and “home presentation”.
The focus of staging is to make a home more marketable by creating the most appealing home to the greatest number of prospective buyers. It should be impersonal enough not to infringe on a buyer’s own sense of style.
Decorating is optional. Staging, on the other hand, is essential – that is if you want to sell your house for the most possible money in the shortest amount of time.
You can make at least 3 percent more with home staging. In some areas, that number can go as high as 50 percent! Statistics also show that homes that had not sold in an average of four and a half months after listing sold within a week of being staged by a professional. Homes staged before listing were under contract more than twice as fast as comparable homes that had not been professionally staged. Following the techniques in this guide will maximize your equity while reducing the market time for your home.
- Be sure that your home is staged before you or your Realtor take photos for the web. Over 70% of all new apartment/home searches are started on the Internet. It is imperative that the property looks good in the photos so that it can attract as many people as possible to see the real thing.
- You should not have one person look at your house until it has been staged completely. It should not go through the broker walkthrough, open houses, or anything. Stage first!
- Home staging works for all properties regardless of the price point because home staging is about preparing your home for a faster and more profitable sale and marketing your property to the most potential buyers for its target audience. A home stager who has staged homes ranging from $100,000 to $10 million has had the same result — the homes sell faster and for top dollar compared with the competitors within their price range.
- Do not offer money towards painting or installing new carpeting. Remember, if you are not willing to do it, your buyer is not likely to either.
- You need to be willing to change paint colors. Paint is very inexpensive and gives you a big bang for your buck. Although a bit labor-intensive, painting is not expensive and gives your home a new, fresh, clean look. There are certain universally accepted colors and these should be used when repainting your home. Yellow or shades of gold are warm and inviting. You should also accent with yellow. The human eye is more sensitive to yellowish-green light. Green or blue in the bedrooms are great colors because they are restful.
- It is essential during the selling process to have the toys limited to one area and minimized to a few containers. Not everybody has children and most do not care about the new and amazing things your new baby can do. You just cannot make a home with children turn into a children’s house and expect it to sell.
- Recognize that your major competition comes from newer homes. People will take a newer home over an older home if all else is equal. That is why it is essential to give an older home something that puts it above the rest.
- Don’t forget about the entryway. If you have a cute little plaque or shingle with your family name on it, remove it. Even if it is just on the mailbox. You can always put it up again once you move. It’s also a good idea to buy a new, plush doormat. This is something else you can take with you once you move.
- If you have dark cabinets, a light-colored handle or something shiny will enhance them. If you have light cabinets, you can give them the sleek look by using handles of the same color so that they are hardly noticeable, or using brushed silver handles. With light wood, you can also use darker handles, gold, bronze, or even colors.
- Sometimes renovations are needed. However, here are five that you should avoid:
- Adding high end appliances to a modest home
- Adding hand painted tiles to the bath or kitchen
- Adding a central vacuum
- Adding air conditioning (unless you are in an area that all homes have it)
- Replacing windows with newer models
- Be sure to check with your city or county building inspector before beginning a new project. Many departments require permits, even for things as simple as changing a dishwasher.
- Everything in its place is a good motto to remember. Always find appropriate places to store your items. Litter boxes in the kitchen and trashcans in the pantry are just two examples of inappropriate placement.
- Do not have any cleaning products visible. You want the buyer to think that the house cleans itself. You do not want to remind buyers that there will be work to do in this house, so put away laundry baskets and dish drainers as well!
- Selling an empty home can be a huge mistake. Buying or renting furniture is especially vital in an empty home. Empty homes do not show well and can sit on the market for months until a buyer with a good visual imagination comes along, or until the seller drops the price so low that the home is a steal.
- Your refrigerator will need to be cleaned, even if you are not leaving it. People will still look inside and a dirty refrigerator will turn them off. If you are taking it with you, you may as well clean it now. If you are leaving it, then it is imperative to have it sparkling.