If you have real estate on the brain then you know it’s all about making sure that you get top dollar for your current home. When we sold our house we were nervous wrecks (seriously, ask our realtor!). We wanted to make sure that we had done everything in our power to show our house the very best. In my opinion one of the best things we did was to work with a qualified, well respected local realtor. If you are in the Kansas City area we cannot recommend the Engle Home Team enough. They are not sponsoring this post, we just really like them! Although we felt pretty strong about our ability to stage our home ourselves, our realtor has a professional stager tour each of her listings before it goes on the market. It was a great experience! Home staging is the process of preparing your home to sell that will appeal to the widest variety of buyers possible. A lot of what the stager recommended were things we would have done anyway. However, some of the tips she gave we probably wouldn’t have thought of. There were also things I was questioning doing that she helped be the deciding vote on. In the end our house sold, over asking price, after just 17 hours of being on the market!
When you stage your home you are adjusting it to appeal to the widest set of buyers possible. It is about minimizing distractions things that would deter buyers from touring/purchasing it. Staging is not the same as decorating, tho sometimes it does involve decorating. Often time staging involves undecorating too!
GOALS OF HOME STAGING:
- Appeal to a wide variety of buyers
- Enhance the positive attributes while minimizing the negative ones
- Improve the perceived value
There are a lot of misconceptions about what home staging is. Here is what home staging isn’t:
- Big renovations – In most scenarios you should not take on a big renovation to sell your home.
- Interior Design – The way you design a home to sell is very different than how you design a home to live. Staging is meant to show off a homes features in a way that will appeal to buyers. When designing to sell there is a lack of personal items. For living, those same items would be highly desirable and practical.
- Expensive – In most cases home staging will utilize items you have and add in selective and strategic items as needed.
- Optional – Studies prove that homes that are staged sell faster and for more than homes that are not staged.
Now that we’ve went over the what and why of home staging let’s talk about how to do it.
The first rule of home staging is to declutter. Not only does this mean going through your belongings to pair down, this also means putting away table top photo frames, items on the kitchen counter, and bathroom paraphanalia. As a rule kitchen and bathroom counters should be clear for your photos. If you have to add your coffee pot back in while your house is being shown that is fine. Aim to keep surfaces at a minimum. Go through closets and pull out excess. If you have access to a place you can store excess or non-used items take advantage of it. Buyers want to feel like they have room to grow.
Next, repair things that need fixed. If there is an item in your home that is broken it is time to fix it. All homeowners have those little things that we know need to be taken care of, now is the time to wrap up any outstanding repairs that need to be made.
Now it’s time to clean. Nothing says ‘RUN’ to a buyer than a dirty house, clean and clean well. If buyers see dirt then it very well may leave them wondering, ‘If they can’t keep the house clean, how well have they maintained it?’
The last part of staging is decorating. It’s really easy to do this part wrong and over do it. Any decorating should be strategic and with a with a purpose. As you declutter each space in your home ask yourself, what is this rooms purpose? What story do I want buyers to see? The photos of your home will immediately begin to attract or repel buyers – all based on the story you tell. If your home has lots of small photos, knick knacks and an excess of furniture then the photo will relay to buyers, ‘this home is small’. When furniture is appropriately sized with simple artwork and accessories it will say “this is a room I can relax in”. If you have ‘bonus’ rooms or nooks give them a purpose, set them up as a den, movie room, exercise room, library, whatever.
I’ll be coming back all this week with more tips on how to stage each room of your home. Be sure to check back in to learn the best techniques for staging the rest of your home.
Who all has a home they are getting ready to list? Any recent sellers want to weigh in with their favorite staging tip?
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