How to Stage Your Home to Sell
With the many DIY and home shows on television these days, it is likely that you have heard the phrase “home staging”, but seeing it on TV is different from understanding what it really is, how to do it and why it is an important key to helping your home sell. According to Home Staging Resource the goal of staging a home is, “to transform a house so that it becomes infinitely more attractive to potential buyers, sells quickly and for more money.” To stage your home you are setting your house up to appeal to the potential buyer you are trying to attract.
According to the National Association of Realtors 2015 survey results, the average cost of staging a home was $675. While that might seem like more than you want to spend, it is important to consider the results. The same survey of over 2,300 realtors found that 96% of the buyer’s agents said that staging had an impact on their buyer. If you need additional proof of the importance of staging, consider the 2014 statistics of the staging company, Buyers Desire Home Staging. According to their website 53% of their home sellers received asking price or more and 40% of the homes were under agreement after the first open house. The average seller received a 366% return-on-investment for the money they spent on staging.
That sounds nice, right? But, how do you accomplish properly staging your home. There are 5 key strategies to remember when properly staging your home. Here we will break them down for you while including easy action steps that you can take in your own home:
Depersonalize, the Hardest Part
When a potential buyer walks through your house, you want them to be able to easily picture themselves living there. You want them to picture their family in the home along with their belongings. To help buyers picture themselves living in your house, you need to remove the items that can hinder the process. During her “Sell Your Home Series”, Jen from Noting Grace explains it this way, “You are selling a House, not your home. The quicker you can help a buyer see themselves in your house, the better the chances of them considering an offer,”
What depersonalizing is not – depersonalizing your home does not mean removing all evidence that the house is a home. Buyers have a hard time visualizing empty spaces. You want to show them what a space is meant for, without it having all of your personal touches on it.
- Clear everything off of your refrigerator, now is not the time to display all those beautiful finger paintings.
- Pack away your collections. They are fun to showcase in your home with friends and family, but during the selling process it is helpful to remove them.
- Family photos – replace these photos on your walls with more general photographs. You don’t want blank walls, but you don’t want your family all over them either.
- Pack away anything that is valuable that you don’t want strangers in your home to have access to.
- Hopefully you will have many potential buyers walking through your home, so it is not the time to leave out priceless family heirlooms.
Declutter and Remove the Excess
Potential buyers are unable to see past the clutter in your home to spot all the amazing features that your home offers. To perform this step correctly, it is important to understand what counts as clutter in your home. The following are examples of clutter: piles of paperwork on your desk, extra appliances on the kitchen counters, shelves full of knick knacks, crafting supplies, toiletry items on the bathroom sink, overfilled book shelves, and extra clothing and shoes in your closet.
- Grab some garbage bags and go through your house room by room. Look for any items that are broken, worn out and things that just need to be trashed. The flylady websites recommend doing 15 minutes of decluttering every day to stop clutter from rebuilding up once you have it under control.
- Look for items to donate and immediately load them in your car and take them to a drop-off location.
- Pack away any extra items that you want to take to your new home that won’t add value to a potential buyer.
Decorating to Highlight Your Best Features
It is important to decorate each room to highlight the best feature of the room. Items that you use to decorate should be more neutral in taste instead of your own personal preference (due to the depersonalizing step).
- Remove some of your furniture. Many stagers recommend that you keep only 1/3 to ½ of the furniture that you currently have in your room. Less furniture makes rooms feels spacious and open, something that most current buyers are looking for.
- Arrange furniture and décor to highlight the focal point of each room. For example, if you have an amazing fireplace arrange your furniture around that as a focal point instead of your television.
- If possible replace outdated items and fixtures.
Let in the Light
Buyers love natural lighting in a home. Rooms feel more bigger and more airy when there is lots of light pouring in from outside. When your home is going to be shown it is important to open all curtains and blinds, let it as much light as possible.
- Open your curtains and blinds.
- Clean those windows to let the light shine through. Dirty windows are not appealing and will detract from the light coming in and the view of the outside.
- Move furniture away from your windows to allow more light to shine through.
- While on the topic of lighting, make sure that you have working light bulbs in all your fixtures.
First Impressions are Important
The first thing potential buyers see when they drive up to your house is the curb appeal. According to Home Staging Resource, “Within fifteen seconds the buyer will develop an attitude toward your house, either positive or negative that they will be looking to reinforce throughout the rest of the home tour.” Make sure you are putting your house’s best foot forward from the outside in.
- A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for your front door.
- Clear away all clutter, debris and spider webs from your entryway.
- Hide your trash cans where buyers will not see them when they pull up.
- Keep a manicured lawn.
- Fresh mulch and flowers add a pop of color that buyers love.
- Store away your children’s bikes and outdoor toys when they are not being used.
While we did not cover it in the above sections, a clean home speaks volumes to potential buyers. Make sure to keep your home neat and tidy for every showing and open house that you have. A clean home presents the image that you as a homeowner cared for your home and puts potential buyers minds at ease that you did not leave lots of work undone.
Staging your home also helps you as the seller. It gives you a chance to begin your packing process, clean out items that you don’t need to move with you to your new home, and it begins the process of separating yourself from your house. It can seem like a lot of work to stage your home, but the effort will be well worth it when you accept the offer you have been waiting for.
Looking for Maryland Waterfront Homes For Sale? First read my article on 4 Things About Maryland Waterfront Homes You Need To Know Before Buying!
Are YOU a Maryland first time home buyer? Read my article on 14 Tips for a Maryland First Time Home Buyer