5 Step Guide to Selling Your House – Step 2: Staging
Through years of experience, we have seen homes sell for much higher prices and must faster when they have been staged. Why do you think new home builders have a model home with all the latest colors, accessories, and furniture? Prospective buyers walk in and are “blown away” with the ambiance of the setting. In many cases, they want that exact floor plan because they are entranced with the staging – even if their own furniture won’t fit!
Our agents will not begin the listing process until the home has been staged. We are proud to have our own professional stagers who we bring in to advise and assist a seller in arranging furniture, art and accessories. They may add or take away items. For vacant homes, we can offer lovely furnishings at reasonable prices that a seller can lease for the listing period.
Realizing that there are limits to what most sellers can do, our stagers make the very best presentation of a seller’s furnishings and accessories before suggesting additional items or taking away items. Following are some things that our stagers may suggest to the seller prior to their final “tweaking” of the home.
- De-Clutter: Personal effects covering counters and falling out of closets sends a message to a buyer that there is not enough storage in your house. So “sweep” your paperwork into drawers, leave your kitchen counters clear and make your closets look as spacious as possible. As for family photos, souvenirs, etc., our stagers will advise you on what to take away and what to leave. We don’t believe in taking away any signs of the family living in the house. As a matter of fact, buyers want to know that a happy family has lived in and taken care of their home.
- Paint: A fresh coat of paint throughout the house (and neutral paint at that, if possible) makes a home look fresh and well maintained.
- Update: If you have lived in your house for a while, it’s likely that some of your décor is out of date. Our stagers will suggest reasonable updates, if you are willing and able to make them. It can make a huge difference to selling the home and in most cases, the money spent will be returned in the price you get for the home after updates. Most buyers do not want a project after move-in – you don’t want to lose a buyer to a more modern home up the street.
- Curb Appeal: There is a lot of focus on the inside of a house, but the exterior is the first thing that a buyer sees, and we all know that first impressions count. So make sure to clean up your yard, spruce up the landscaping and make any necessary external repairs if you can. And remember, the front door is the first thing a buyer sees so be sure that it has a fresh coat of paint or stain and that the hardware is not rusting or dirty.
- Presentation for Showings: Whether your house is graced with sunshine or not, it is good to go through the house and turn on all of lights that enhance each room. A dark house appears cold and un-inviting, and many buyers’ agents won’t turn on all of the lights that show the home at its best. Another thing is having a refreshing scent throughout the house. If you like fish or curry, eat out. And above all, close the lid on all the toilets. This is a pet peeve of ours and is really distracting during the showing.
- Make the Most of What You’ve Got: Obviously, you have to work within your limits. Sometimes, there are things that you cannot overcome – perhaps noise from a nearby road or a floor plan that does not appeal to everyone. Try to de-emphasize any negatives by emphasizing a positive. For example, the gurgle of a pretty water feature in your backyard might just make a buyer forget about the drone of cars passing by.
Tune in next week for step 3 blog – Marketing your home for sale.