Tidying Up: The Importance of “Staging” for Home Sale

First impressions matter! One of the hardest challenges sellers face when listing their home is de-cluttering. Whether your client is moving up to a larger home, downsizing, or moving in with family, an open house is a great way to get your clients house noticed. Before scheduling your photographer to take photos of the listing, help your client commit to tidying up. Encourage them to sort through items and pack up all sentimental items now to keep them safe during the open house and to make moving that much easier!

Look through the buyer’s eyes as much as possible and tell it exactly as it is and not just what your seller wants to hear. Keep your target buyers in mind. Your next step should be to do a walk through with your seller and jot down any problem areas. You definitely don’t want to start preparing for an open house by making updates willy-nilly.  Depending on your client’s budget and time frame, create a list, putting top-priority issues that are sure to turn off buyers, first. Remember, today’s buyers are looking for move in ready properties. Below you will find the results of The National Association of Realtors Annual Profile of Home Staging. Notice all the benefits of having the home staged to truly benefit your principal.

As the big day for the open house approaches don’t forget to put on the finishing touches. The home should be in tip-top condition and ready for potential buyers. Here are a few last-minute details to really make the home shine:

  • Set out vases of fresh-cut flowers.They’ll make the home smell nice and add a splash of color.
  • Let in the light.Buyers want a bright, open house, not a dark and dreary cave. Turn on all the lights and open all the curtains.
  • Adjust the temperature.Keep the home comfortable — not too cold or too hot.
  • Serve food and drinks.A cold glass of lemonade in the summer or some warm, freshly baked cookies in the winter will encourage buyers to stick around longer, giving them more time to check out the home.
  • Have your client leave!They are probably proud of how fantastic the house looks, but they shouldn’t stick around to point this out to buyers. The last thing you want to do is make potential buyers feel uncomfortable. Tell them to spend the day out and about and let the perfectly prepped home sell itself!

Home Staging 101

Staging a home can help your property sell 73% quicker than a non-staged home, according to research from the Real Estate Staging Association. Some experts believe  this is because home staging increases the perception of the home’s worth. Below are a few of the most effective elements of home staging.

  • Clean. It may seem obvious but this step is the most important. The home needs to be a blank slate and that starts with pristine cleanliness. Deep clean the carpets, walls, kitchen and any surface they may interact with. Do not turn a buyer off with dust or grime.
  • Repair. Any holes, blemishes or cracks need to be fixed immediately. A spot free home suggests that the current homeowners kept the property up and makes the place shine.
  • Declutter. Clutter subconsciously stresses people out. A cluttered home can clutter the mind too. Maximize space by getting rid of all that stuff. In home staging, less is always more.
  • Depersonalize. Buyers want to be able to think about themselves in the space, and that’s harder to do when the home has someone else’s personal touches. Family photos, art, anything religious, and any kind of unique furnishings. Remove belongings from closets, cupboards, and bathrooms.
  • It starts at the front door. The yard, landscaping and front porch are a home’s first impression. Flowerbeds and gardens need to be fresh and tidy. Weeds should be pulled, lawns need to be manicured, and trees trimmed.
  • Open Up. Use as much natural light as possible inside the home by opening up all the windows. Arrange the furniture so that the home is walkable and open. Open up doorways in hallways.
  • Use tasteful accents. A bouquet of flowers, candles, succulent plants and house plants can all add lovely touches to a home and brighten things up. Plants liven a room but should be used sparingly. Place on tables, shelves or in corners to add a simple touch to a room.
  • Refresh dated fixtures. Upgrade the fire place, paint the cabinets, dress up your windows, or upgrade appliances to help modernize a space and make a home more attractive to buyers. Modernizing one piece per room makes a big difference.
  • Simplify. The biggest key to staging is to avoid overthinking. Take a less is more approach and aim to neutralize rooms so that they’re attractive to any kind of person. The biggest key is making everything is clean and bright. Do what you can to make the space the star.