What is Home Staging and is it Important?
Home staging is the art of getting your home prepared for sale. Some may not think this is important but let’s use other purchases consumers make as an example. Staging is all about creating a feeling inside of the consumer who is looking at your product and deciding if they would like to purchase it. Keep in mind for most people this will be the most expensive purchase this consumer will ever make or has ever made. Have you ever walked into a nice furniture store and loved the displays – could see the whole package fitting right into your home; Or how about a new car dealership with a café and gorgeous luxury models sitting on the show room floor. You take on a different feeling or approach when you went in to one of those discount or used furniture store or car dealership where there is lots of clutter and DISCOUNTS. Remember Spags or Building 19 or ocean state Job lot, compare that to Macy’s or Nordstrom. That’s the point- I love those cluttered discount stores because I’m looking for a discount, a deal, a steal, a bargain. Just a guess, but I’m thinking when you sell your home you would rather take on the look of the beautiful store where someone is willing to pay top dollar or even bid higher for something that’s one of kind, than hoping for a bargain- am I right? It’s all about the feeling and emotion tied to it.
As I like to remind people in real estate- it’s either a beauty contest or a price war- which side do you want to be on?
People tend to lack imagination and consumers mostly look for instant gratification. Home staging allows the potential buyer to see themselves living in the property. It helps them to easily decide if this home will work for them and anyone else who may be residing in the property with them, be it a family of 1, 2 5, 15, kids, dogs, cats or horses for that matter.
Home staging will essentially pull the everyday out of a home and give it a showroom quality that definitely attracts buyers. Small inexpensive or even free staging tips can easily get your home photo ready and offer ready and the time to you take to do this before your home hits the internet is important for initial first impressions and traffic to the home for showings.
There are several types of home staging- varying from staging a vacant house with props to create a sense of depth, space and flow. We can stage a home with your own furniture, clean up and depersonalize. Or we can call in the professionals exchange your own furniture for pieces that show better and we can paint and redecorate to the full extent.
These tips range from free- to thousands of dollars. You could check with your Realtor to determine what will give you the most return on investment. Keep in mind your Real estate professional should have some experience and understanding of the importance of home staging. If your Realtor just comes over and shoot photos of your home with clutter and bad lighting, you may want to consider someone else for the sale of your property. Not every agent has the knack for interior design but they should at least be direct and honest about clean outs, decluttering and depersonalization.
Below are a few simple and free tips. We have a lot more where these come from but you will need to Just Call the Pros to get the full package!
Home Staging Ideas and Tips.
The best looking homes on the market are staged. Most likely this is not how the homeowner lives in the property on a day to day basis. But if done right the home should not be on the market very long so keeping up with the staged home shouldn’t be too painful.
FREE or inexpensive ways to get your home ready for sale
Declutter: Your intention is to move right? Get packing. Ok buying boxes and crates is not free- per say but you were going to have to get them anyway once the house sold. So there is no “additional” cost here. What to pack? Let’s pretend you are going camping or a short vacation. What would you take with you? Pack everything else. If you do not have a place to store the boxes and crates let’s do this at a lower level. Pack the clutter. Clear the counter tops, dressers and half of all the closets and book shelves. Kids toys taking over? – time to teach your children about the joy of donation or at least delayed gratification. Tell your kids it will be like Christmas morning when they move into the new home and get to reopen all the boxes of old toys that were packed up for a couple months. Keep a small bin of their favorite must haves and get pack away the rest. Some times it’s easiest to do this when they are out of the home if they have severe attachment issues to their things.
Depersonalize: This will no longer be your house; you want the new buyer to see themselves in it. So take down those family photos- all of them, sports paraphernalia, posters, piece of art that are very taste specific, décor that is outdated and trinkets. You’re moving so pack it up! You don’t want the new buyer to stop and admire your lovely family, you want them to see this is a product for sale- not your home. This part is the hardest for those of you who have lived in the home for a long time and created wonderful memories here. But those memories are not for sale. Luckily; you get to take them with you!
Clean-up: Keep up with the laundry, bathroom cleaning, and kitchen. If your tub has caulking and it’s no longer white, rip it off and replace it. Rake the yard, pick up any trash or debris that been hanging around, weed and mow your grass. Just make it look nice and clean and neat.
Cooking and scents: Watch what you decide to prepare for dinner during the showing period. Avoid curries, fish, garlic and onions. Cookies and pies are good but try not to burn them. Popcorn is another dangerous smell when burnt! If you smoke cigarettes, pipes or cigars; do so outside only from now on. Even trying to sneak one in the basement will waft through the entire house to a non-smoker, and is huge turn off even in the most beautiful of homes. If you have pets, keep them clean, keep their litter boxes clean and if they have some issues due to a disability or age it may be best to board them during the sale or at least make sure you are home to clean up right before a showing. Do not go overboard with candles or air fresheners. Choose one scent, like apple pie or vanilla and use lightly. These things will not clear up above odors, only mask them and this is not helpful.
You will want to work with your agent to rearrange furniture, paint if needed and go over any larger issues that may need addressing. These are done on a case by case basis. I highly recommend speaking with an experienced agent before doing any additional work, especially if there is cost to it. You may not see a return. For example: Replacing wallpaper with new wallpaper- not a good idea. Painting all the rooms white to neutralize the color- not a good idea. Large projects like kitchens and bathrooms and changing layouts should always be done neutral or not at all. Consulting with an expert is highly recommended in this area so save both time and money.
Costs of Home Staging
Home staging can be an included service provided to you by many talented and experienced agents. It’s a service that some professionals include in their commissioned fee to sell your house. Some staging suggestions are important and could cost you a few pennies to get handled. Peeling paint, loose or missing railings, open electrical wiring are projects that should be handled before putting the home on the market as some banks will not finance homes with these issues. Painting is another inexpensive but timely way to increase value. Removing wallpaper and painting in a neutral trend palette will always show best. Cleaning carpets is another cost that can be worth the effort. But if the carpet is too distressed and you cannot afford to replace then a quick vacuum is best no need to waste money on a cleaning a carpet the new buyers will tear out.
Professional home staging can be costly but in some cases are necessary. I highly recommend professional home staging with rented furniture and a designer eye for vacant homes, especially investor renovated homes. You have done such a nice job getting the home in tip top condition why stop there. Show it off with show room ready décor. Ask you agent for Professional referrals for home stagers in the industry but be ready home staging consultations can range from $500- $3000 plus a monthly cost for furniture rentals.