What is home staging?
Real Estate Staging is the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale so that it is optimally presented for the market. It is a systematic and coordinated methodology in which knowledge of real estate marketing, home renovation and creative design principles are applied to attract and emotionally hook the buyer. Staging is usually performed by a design professional though in some cases, the homeowner will oversee the process directly.
Whether the property is occupied or vacant, staging is almost always recommended before listing a property in order to maximize sales price and minimize time on market.
Benefits of professionally staging your listings:
• Professionally staged homes show better than competing listings and will stand out in prospective buyers’ minds.
• Staged properties sell faster than homes that have not been staged. From the date of listing until the day of closing, home staging shortens the sales timeline.
• Buyers view staged listings as “well-maintained”. They perceive the home to be cleaner and more updated than they would without staging.
• Buyers become emotionally attached to a staged home. Rather than wondering about the owners, they imagine themselves living in the property. Once a buyer is emotionally attached, they are more inclined to overlook flaws.
• Buyers’ agents recognize that professionally staged listings are “move-in” ready and are more inclined to show staged properties. Agents prefer to show well-presented homes to their buyer clients because they are easier to sell!
• Photos of professionally staged listings look better in print and web media. Vacant or cluttered rooms do not photograph well and without great photos, the benefits of online & print marketing are severely diminished.
Even without the use of a staging professional, a homeowner attain get many of the same benefits by doing the following:
Unless your likely buyer is a contractor, you should start by eliminating major deferred maintenance items such as roof repair or replacement, structural pest control work, or other major components of the property that are in disrepair. These are items that most buyers and their lenders will want to see done before close of escrow. If you cannot afford to perform this work prior to placing your home on the market then you should have reports, bids and estimates for the work readily available so that buyers can assess the amount of money they will need to undertake the work.
- Keep it clean. Windows need to be washed, fixtures and appliances sparkling, carpets and floors cleaned, garage and storage areas tidy. Everything looks better when it's clean.
- Keep it neutral. Replace your personal taste with a neutral palette. Buyers will be able to visualize their own taste better if they don't have to see through yours. Use a few small items such as a vase of flowers, dish of fruit or pillows on the couch to add color or texture.
- Keep it simple. Clutter makes a property look smaller and personal items distract buyers.
- Keep it fresh. Cigarette smoke or last night's dinner fish fry won’t improve the desirability of your property. Air your home out before showings and use mild or unscented room fresheners to keep it smelling fresh (strongly scented air fresheners may have the opposite effect, especially to perfume sensitive buyers).
- Keep it warm and inviting. Turn the heat and all lights on before showings — You’ll want to make your prospective buyers feel very comfortable when they are looking at your home; if they don't they are less likely to imagine themselves being comfortable there.