When you make the decision to sell your home, there are two “real estate golden” rules” to follow – first, price it right; and second, make it look amazing.
In today’s competitive real estate market one of the costliest mistakes a homeowner can make is to ignore the visual psychology of attracting a buyer’s immediate attention. Potential buyers become interested in a property when they walk in and feel, “I could live here” – when they imagine your home as theirs.
One of the best proven methods to achieve this reaction is the process known as “staging.” In its simplest terms, professional staging uses design and conceptual techniques that cause buyers to become emotionally connected to the house. Staging can result in your home selling faster and at more than the asking price. According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes which are staged before going on the market sell 73% faster, on average, than their non-staged counterparts.
Work with a Stager
The initial discussion between the seller and the stager is important. It’s when you review the property’s strong and weak points, what changes and/or repairs need to be made, how much the changes/repairs will cost, how long will they take, and what else is needed to allow your home to be shown as its maximum potential.
5 Basics of Home Staging
For the DIY home stagers, the experts from Houzz offer the following advice when prepping your home for sale.
Position Furniture: Place furniture strategically. Are pieces placed in a way that makes the room spacious and bright? For example, if an item is sitting in front of a window, you’re likely blocking light. Rearrange to showcase the room’s best natural light. Play with the placement, angling pieces, using corners of the room to open up the space.
De-Clutter: Edit your space. Get organized. A clutter-free environment allows the space, beauty and intrinsic value of your home to shine. Beautiful wood floor details might be concealed with too much furniture, or pleasant natural light might be obscured by heavy drapery. So edit your home by replacing and eliminating unnecessary, distracting and cumbersome items. Below, we break down this less-is-more approach for each room.
Pare Down: Keep only essential furniture. The living room is often the most used room of the house, and it may collect extra furniture that isn’t typically categorized as living room furniture. The key to staging this space is to stick to just the essential pieces: typically a sofa, coffee table, rug, accent chair and media console.
That corner desk with a computer on it may be essential for the way you live — but it’s not great for the room. While your home is on the market, perhaps find an alternate workspace or use a laptop. Similarly, if you need that end table to hold a much-needed table lamp, then leave it. But if you have two end tables, perhaps you don’t need both. Having fewer pieces will help the space feel larger. The goal is for the room to read larger so that it appears as a desirable living space.
Color: Use a shade of white (such as antique white or Navajo white) on your trim for a clean, contemporary look. But unless your design scheme is modern, you’ll probably want to choose a color other than white for your walls. White walls can make a home feel cold and plain. Color on your walls can psychologically do your buyers more good.
Lighting: Dated fixtures may not be a deal-breaker, but they probably won’t show up in a buyer’s “plus” column. Replace or refurbish what you’re willing to, then install the brightest bulbs you safely can. If you choose LED lights, you can get many more lumens than incandescent bulbs, all while using less energy and generating less heat.
Bottom Line: The demand for home remains high. More than 5 million homes sold in 2018 and 2019 is looking strong as well. According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes which are staged before going on the market sell 73% faster, on average, than their non-staged counterparts. So whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, taking the time to stage your home for potential buyers can be an effective way to make your house stand out against other listings in your area.