Staging is the process of getting your home ready to sell. It is not decorating, but making your home appeal to many different buyers by showing its positive attributes. Many realtors are recommending that clients stage their home. The Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) studied 1,081 homes. The un-staged homes spent an average of 184 Days on the Market. After staging, these homes sold, on average, in 41 days. Homes that were staged prior to going on the market, sold in approximately 23 days. Here are some more quick facts:
- The cost of staging is always less than your first price reduction, which is typically 1 to 5% of the asking price according to RESA.
- Keeping you home immaculate and show home ready is not easy. Homes that are staged prior to listing spend 90% less time on the market according to association data.
- Buyers tend to ask for fewer concessions when making an offer on a staged home.
Time to get started? Keep reading to find some great staging tips on getting your home market ready!
Take a look around your home and pack up specific collections (glasses, travel items, mementos). Clear out most of the Curio cabinet or the top of console tables or kitchen cabinets. Personal family photos should be taken down, at least the current ones. Sometimes historical or family portraits can be left up, but only if they don’t have your family name or location on them. For example, you could leave a nice black and white photo of Gramma, but it is harder if people recognize your family and children, as they may live in the neighborhood, etc. You want to have a blank slate so to speak, so folks can imagine living in your home. It can be difficult to let go of your home, but you can take your memories with you and you want to get the most value for your home in the least amount of time on the market.
Clean out the closets, and anything that feels crammed full. Pack it up or, better yet, donate it to Goodwill. Think it’s worth something? Have a garage sale. But take time to do this because once you get started, it is very cathartic. And get the whole family involved. Have the kids make a pile and help them understand what is happening and why it is important. When people walk through the home, they will open drawers and closets, so make it appear there is plenty of space. You don’t have to completely empty closets or drawers, just make them neat and functional.
- Clean and Deodorize
There’s a saying in the industry, “If you can smell it, you can’t sell it!”
If you own a pet, you must steam clean your carpets and make sure all pet odors have been removed. If you can’t tell if your house has an odor because you are used it to, your realtor will tell you and recommend a solution. As much as we love our furry friends, some folks are sensitive to smells etc. Also, if your carpet has buckles or ripples, it is often just that it needs to be re-stretched which is usually a quick fix.
You may love your purple bedroom or orange kitchen, but most buyers will not. You have to remember that you are appealing to the masses. You can decorate your next home the way you want, but it is highly recommended to paint over bold colors in at least the kitchen, dining, living room and master bedrooms. These rooms will be the most important rooms photographed for your realtor and his marketing materials. I recommend a light gray or even a warm white tone, see some color choices at the end of this post. Look up at your ceiling as well, signs of water damage or a sagging dry wall seam can alarm buyers. Check in with you realtor for recommendations.
Before Staging After Staging
What a difference a fresh lampshade or a couple of new throw pillows can make! Even some different wattage light bulbs can help a space. Many retailers have great accessories at low prices. Bedding should look clean and fresh, get rid of the tattered or dog fur covered comforter. You can often find a bed in a bag for a song! Think muted tones or a light pattern for bedding. Artwork is very personal as well. You may want to swap out some bold colors or religious themed pieces for some neutral colors, so no buyer gets stuck on something as they walk through. If you have an expensive or fragile piece of artwork or something that is very meaningful to you, it is best to put this away or transfer off sight as well. If you need a lot of help or want your home professionally staged, these items can be brought in for a rental and staging fee.
Your stager will be happy to rearrange and even eliminate some of your furniture depending on a room to make it feel more open and highlight a fireplace or view out a window. Often, we end up with too much furniture in a room and by simply moving one or two items, you can change the feel of a space. You want your buyer to move freely throughout your home and highlight the best features.
Brought to you by Meg Sebastian Evans, Owner of Meg Sebastian Interior Design.
Your Neighborhood Realtors® since 2005