The simple truth is that staged homes sell faster and for a higher price than non-staged homes. In our current market it can mean the difference between selling and not selling.
When you decide to list your home for sale you are putting it “on the market.” Listing a home for sale is not the same as “marketing” a home. Marketing is advertising a product and the first step is preparing that product in a way that will appeal to the most buyers.
Below you will find a breakdown of the steps to staging your home. When the staging is complete and your home hits the market it will be necessary to maintain you’re the staging discipline for the duration of the listing.
THE FIRST IMPRESSION
A common strategy for homebuyers is to take a drive by a home prior to scheduling a showing. Often a home is eliminated from consideration before a buyer even takes a step inside. To make sure buyers want to see more, the exterior of your home must be inviting. Stand at your curb and take a good long look at your house. What you are trying to achieve is a neat, tidy and welcoming appearance. Here are a few ideas:
1. Lawn should be mowed and leaves raked
2. Trim bushes
3. Add mulch to all shrub or flowerbeds. New mulch makes everything look fresh and neat and can give an appealing border to your property.
4. Touch up any peeling paint. Make sure exterior colors match.
5. Wash or paint the front door.
6. Wash windows.
7. Add a splash of color – a new doormat or potted plant if appropriate.
ONCE YOU GET THEM IN THE FRONT DOOR
The buyer’s first impression of the interior of your home will most likely be the living room. Staging a living room and a family room more often then not entails minimizing. Removing excess furniture, photos, nick-knacks, etc. Here are a few guidelines:
1. Arrange the furniture in a “conversational” way. It’s inviting.
2. Clear the room of family photos or any personal items.
3. Paint a warm and neutral color.
4. Remove older mismatched furniture or cover with slipcovers.
5. Add a few accent items, such as a vase of flowers, hang a picture, a soft throw pillow, a green plant, etc. Be careful to keep it minimal.
Buyers will spend a lot of time in their new kitchen, so they want it to be big, clean and bright. Here are your guidelines:
1. Clean, clean, clean! Wash all cabinets, counters, sinks, doors & windows.
2. Clear counter tops, including appliances.
3. Install higher wattage “warm light” light bulbs.
4. New throw rugs, or a larger rug if the floor is older
5. Wash the walls, paint them if necessary
6. If it’s an eat-in kitchen, Set the table and add flowers.
NOW THE BATHROOMS
“Sparkling clean” should describe your bathrooms. No one wants to purchase a home with an unkept bathroom.
1. Clean-clean-clean! Scrub the tub, enclosure, shower doors & sink.
2. Fixtures should sparkle or be replaced
3. Wash or paint walls
4. Develop a color scheme – add new plush towels & a fashionable soap dispenser.
AND FINALLY THE BEDROOMS
Bedrooms should say “comfort.” They should be welcoming and cozy.
1. Use soft, neutral colors such as browns or greens.
2. Remove excess furniture so room appears larger.
3. Remove clothes from the closet so it appears larger
4. Invest in a new comforter with matching pillow shams.
5. De-clutter dressers. Only one or two items should remain.
Look over the rest of your home and apply the same strategy. The back yard should be clear of any junk. The deck or patio swept. The most important staging tools are cleaning and de-cluttering. If you do nothing else these two are a must. Walk through each room in your home and make notes on what you will do to “stage” the room prior to listing.
Home staging is a part of my listing services. For the staging of an entire home, or for large pieces of furniture a staging service would be required. Referrals to a fabulous staging service are available upon request.