To Stage Or Not to Stage Your Home?

Staging your home can sometimes mean the difference between a quick sale… and a long drawn out sale. In some cases, it can make the difference between selling and having your home sitting on the market without any serious offers at all!

It can be hard sometimes to want to de-personalize your property in the hopes of gaining interests of potential buyers. The thought of taking out all your personal items, re-arranging furniture (sometimes exchanging with new furniture), doing some painting and fixing all the little things that can make a big impact on a first impression can seem a bit daunting. However, there is a simple solution. It isn’t exactly a cheap solution in most instances, but one definitely worth looking at, and that’s professional home staging.

Home stagers will take that personalized property of yours, and make it appeal to a very broad audience. They’ll usually bring in their own furniture, do some painting if need be, make sure the home is well lit (adding lights if necessary, and changing bulbs that are burnt), taking down all personal pictures and anything that would be perceived to be of a specific taste and exchanging it with more generalized items. A home stager, a good home stager for that matter, will also pay close attention to curb appeal and ensure the outside of the property is warm, welcoming and isn’t obstructed.

As a Realtor, I will usually promote the services of a home stager when i feel the home is going to need it for a sale. Everyone treats their homes differently, some like to keep them more clean, open, and free of clutter; whereas others will pack their home with anything they can find and mostly things that would appeal to them only. Staging a home can be compared to getting a car certified before you sell it. It’s an added cost, but one that sweetens the pot to help get those quick sales. Whether the cost is worth it or not is totally up to the individual selling the home.

For myself, I would look at it like this. You can either take time off work, lose money and do it yourself; or you can pay a professional to get it done and do a great job, and won’t have to take any time off, wasting vacation days or losing money.

Home Sellers’ Best House Staging Tips to Ensure You Sell It Quickly

If there’s anything that’s changing the UK’s property industry for the better, then it is the swelling list of property listing websites. From the trend-setter property listings portals like zoopla, WowHaus and Rightmove to the fast-rising London-based online property advert.

And their significance isn’t just about the ease of allowing listing property for sale by owner or selling homes fast, but also allowing one to showcase the vital features of the home beautifully. You see, buyers and tenants alike, flock the web, all eager to find the best estate agents in London and hopefully land beautiful, modern and cosy houses to buy or lease. As they browse through the list of available options, these folks will probably land on your property.

And you know what? You will have 7-10 minutes to convince them to buy or rent your house. So, what do you do?

Hint – Home Staging

Of course, you give them a KILLER first impression by decorating the house, renovating worn out features, painting its walls and doing everything that would enhance its charm.

That superb first impression is only possible through tremendous and well-thought-out home staging. In fact, home staged properties have been revealed to sell 17% faster than the ordinary homes. So, as you embark on getting best improvements for home valuation, please do not forget the following house staging tips:

· Remove all clutter

Get rid of all unsightly features before taking those photos or inviting prospective buyers to view the property. Everywhere from the floor to the walls, the cupboards and the loo area should be clutter-free. Clutter is everything from those family photographs, rare collectables and ostentatious ornaments.

· Be meticulous on the flooring

Since the buyer will most definitely want to see a soft, smooth and super-clean floor, ensure it is just that – sparkling. Start with the carpets, clean them. The rugs and mats, vacuum them as well. Do all these ahead of their visits and ensure no single area of your home’s floor looks appalling.

· Leave each door and window open

It is good etiquette to leave the doors open as it makes prospective buyers feel welcome, free to wander around and make positive decisions. All entries, including the garage door and even the one leading to the basement, ought to be wide open. However, you should ensure they open without any hitching sounds.

· The sofas and your bed must look cosy

Arrange your seating area to feel exquisite by creating a neat theme. As for the bedrooms, let them look comfy by using white or neutral, clean and well-ironed bedding. Pillows and cushions ought to look stunning too.

Bonus tip: Fresh flowers and a bowl of fruits on the dining table do wonders, pretty much like a little spraying during the day of their visit.

Final Thoughts

Perhaps this may sound obvious, but don’t ignore them. Start home staging a month before listing your property for sale. And be sure to find the best photographer so that all the shots taken capture the great work you could have done.

How To Stage Your Home For A Quick Sale

Selling your house can be a tiresome process. People traipsing through the house at inconvenient times. Always having to keep the house clean. General disruption to your families schedule. Most anyone who has ever tried to sell a house will agree that the quicker you can get it sold the better!

One important aspect of making your home attractive to buyers is to make is so that the buyer can picture himself living in the home. This home staging I soften done by professionals that your real estate agent will help you hire. Staging a home can bring you a much higher selling price. A home staging professional can be hired to tour your home and direct you to make the changes that will increase your homes marketability. If you do hire a stager, always make sure the stager you hire is accredited.

Now, you may be thinking that you just redecorated so your house must be perfect, but staging a home is not redecorating it. Redecorating a home focuses on the seller and their personality. Staging focuses on the buyer. It provides the current home owner with the knowledge to rearrange the furnishings, pictures, accessories, etc. in the best possible manner to enhance the rooms function, appearance and balance.

Sellers are attached to their homes and may not realize how their treasured mementos might look like clutter to someone outside the family. Many times, sellers don’t want to pack away their family things foer viewings, and this can really affect the sale of your house. Real Estate agents will often hire a stager as part of the selling package because they may be uncomfortable disclosing to the seller that their home needs work and avoid upsetting them.

A staging professional works things from the buyers perspective in order to help the buyer see themselves and their belongings fit into the home they are viewing. They do this by rearranging the home to appeal to a broad base of purchasers. Stagers can be expensive, so if you want to go it alone please follow the tips below.

The first thing you must do is unclutter your house. You will have to try to look at your house with new eyes – many times we are so used to the clutter that we block it out! Go through each room and remove any clutter you see. Organize toys in decorative boxes that are hidden away in a storage room (perhaps a room for storage in the basement). You can always take them out again when you don’t have any booked showings. Bookcases should be neat and attractive interspersed with a few ornaments. Closets should be cleaned out so that only clothes are visible. Remove storage at top and bottom of closets. Place clothes out of season in storage.In fact, place any clutter you have found in storage as well. You have to move anyway and you will have to pack less later when you do move!

Lighting is important so make sure the rooms are well lit, provide some nice ambient lighting with lamps and avoid bright glaring fluorescent overhead lights. The foyer provides the buyer with the first impression. It should be clean, uncluttered, bright and inviting. If any rooms are dull brighten them up with higher wattage bulbs in lamps.

You want the buyer to picture themselves living in the home so you should remove all your personal photos and replace them with prints or other decorations. You want the buyer to focus on your home, not your personal life. This can be distracting.

A fresh coat of paint is mandatory. Paint your home in a neutral color but don’t make it too dull. Tans, sages, and beige are good colors. You can add some interest with colored accessories, pillows, throw rugs, candles, etc.

Bathrooms should be sparkling! Counters should be clear with no personal items visible. Tub tile grout should be clean and shower curtains and glass shower doors should be free of mildew. Hang fluffy, colorful towels on the towel rods. Put out decorative soaps in cute containers. Buy a new shower curtain and rug for the floor.

The kitchen is a key selling point in your home and must be spotless. Remove all notes, magnets, etc.off the front of the fridge. Keep counter space clean and clear of all items. Clean out under the sinks and organize the pantry and cupboards. Paint outdated cupboards with a neutral color and put new modern knobs on doors for a fresh look. Dishes on the floor for pet food should be eliminated during a showing.

Make your furniture look cozy, but don’t put too much in one room. Leave space between pieces and remove nick knacks. Your most attractive piece of furniture should be placed on the wall you see when you enter a room if possible. Put all your CD’s and videos away out of sight. Hang pictures at eye level or in geometric shaped groupings. Group accessories in odd numbers (one, three or five).Fireplace mantles should be depersonalized by removing pictures. A flower arrangement, mantle clock or piece of art would be appropriate here.

Curb appeal is important and the buyers first impression of your house will be from the outside. Garages and front and back yards should be cleaned and well trimmed. Put away any toys that are laying around in the yard. Plant flowers or shrubs in the yard for a welcoming effect. Prune any shrubs you may already have. Clean the pool if you have one. The lawn should be cut and watered to give the home a well cared for look. A coat of paint on the outside of the house may also be in order.

When someone is coming over for a showing make sure the house is spotless. Turn on the table lamps for ambient lighting. Play some soft music for ambiance. Spray a little bit of air freshener before hand to give the house a nice smell – not too much or it might look like you are covering up an odor! Try putting some vases of fresh flowers on the tables for added appeal.

Not everyone can afford a stager, but it is well worth the money and could pay for itself and then some with a higher sale price!

Staged Vs Empty – Why Home Staging is Necessary to Sell a Vacant Property

Selling a property, whether it’s your own home or a rental property, can be a stressful and time-consuming venture. Oftentimes, sellers are unsure about the steps that must be taken to get their property ready to be put on the market so they look to a Real Estate Agent for guidance. This is a good first step but what many people don’t realize is that the best real estate agents are not the ones that try to be an expert at every aspect of selling a home. The best real estate agents are the ones that surround themselves with a team of experts, each of whom specializes in a different area of the sales process.

One member of a “sales team” that is crucial to making sure your home is looking its best is a professional Home Stager. Home Staging focusses on preparing properties for sale before they are actually listed. A Home Stager will showcase your property so that it appeals to as many buyers as possible, thereby selling faster and for more money.

Frequently, sellers, and even Real Estate Agents will make the mistake of listing an empty property. Many Agents see no problem listing a vacant property because they believe that buyers will be able to picture their own furnishings in the space easier by not having the distraction of the seller’s items. In addition, Agents and sellers tend to think that an empty property appears larger. Both of these ideas are untrue.

Consider the business of a New Home Builder. Many of these larger companies will build model homes, or show homes, in order to pre-sell homes to buyers. How often do you see a show home without furnishings? Typically, never. Home builders have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars doing market research an analysis to determine what the most effective way to sell a home is. They have universally concluded that a professionally furnished home sells better than an empty house. This is because people buy homes based on feeling. When a home is presented in a stylish and functional way, buyers visit the property and feel at home. They are able to picture themselves living in the space because it ‘feels’ like a comfortable place to be. On the other hand, a vacant home can often feel cold and lonely.

The same is true for any other property that is being marketed, it must appeal to the buyers’ senses. Vacant properties are much more challenging to sell than properties that are Staged. Contrary to popular belief, most buyers cannot picture their own furnishings in an empty space and the tendency when standing in an empty space is that perspective buyers will imagine their furniture larger than it actually is making them question if their furniture will fit. Buyers are more likely to accurately envision their belongings in a space that incorporates furniture that is presented in a functional arrangement. This provides them with a point of reference to compare the furniture occupying the property for sale to their own furniture.

An empty property will typically appear smaller than a furnished property. Furniture defines a space. Working with a professional Home Stager who is able to rent and set up items in a way that makes the most of a space, will not only maximize the size of the space but it will also maximize the appeal to buyers. Remember: buyers aren’t just purchasing a new property, they’re purchasing a home and ultimately a desirable lifestyle. What would you prefer to buy, an empty box or a warm, inviting home?

Creating the "Wow Effect" to Sell Your Home

Selling your home is all about creating an emotional response in a prospective buyer. Buyers shop with logic, but buy on emotion. The best homes are those that produce that key emotional response from the moment a buyer drives up to the home and continues as they walk through each room of the house. Just like the best movies get better with every scene, so too, a home must get better as the buyer evaluates it. The end result is buyers who love the home and can see themselves living in it–the moment they open the door.

Sounds fairly straight forward, however producing this “Wow effect”, is best created and carefully planned by a professional home staging expert. You only have 5 seconds to make a good first impression on a buyer. If a home lacks emotional appeal, it appears undervalued and may languish on the market longer than it should.” Home Staging is the specialty of decorating homes to sell faster and for top dollar. A top home staging expert will create the “Wow effect” from curb appeal to each room in the home. The goal is to produce the emotional response to buy.

Homeowners on both coasts have become savvy of this concept over the past several years. They realize that to out-distance the competition, they need an edge. Home Staging is the least expensive way to produce that edge. A top realtor can market your home and bring in prospective buyers, but a well stage home will allow them to see themselves living in it.

Many home design shows have appeared on television over the past several years. These programs have had the effect of enhancing consumer awareness of a well decorated home, thus increasing expectations. They want to see a “show ready home” when house shopping. Many people have a difficult time seeing past a cluttered home with family photos adorning every wall.

Preparing a home to sell involves de-cluttering , de-personalizing, arranging furniture to create a warm and inviting space, and accessorizing to create the pizazz it needs. If a buyer sees a clean, well organized, inviting home, the odds of selling the home increases dramatically. In fact, this type of home often seems the exception rather than the rule. If a home staged well, it can distinguish itself in a meaningful way and sell quickly and for top dollar.

In a soft real estate market, savvy home sellers realize that a Home Staging specialist is an affordable investment that protects them from having to consider a price reduction. The average price reduction is approximately between 5 to 10 thousand dollars. A Home Staging consultant is more affordable and a viable alternative to reducing the price of the home.

Many home buyers are unaware of home staging. As awareness increases, so will the demand and importance of home staging to sellers. Many homeowners are under stress and feel overwhelmed when selling their home. A Home Staging consultant can help ease their fears and concerns by creating a plan of action.

Also, many homeowners are very attached to their home. Some have had their home for decades and are now selling. It can be a difficult and very personal experience for them. Selling a home can be especially difficult for people experiencing financial difficulties, divorce, job changes, etc. The transition from a very personalized home to one that will sell allows them to maximize the potential sale of their home and move on to the next phase of their lives.

Realtors are also recognizing the importance of Home Staging. Many of the top real estate companies are hailing Home Staging for the many benefits it offers realtors as well. Many realtors appreciate an objective third party to bring up sensitive topics with their clients or when husband and wife do not agree. The agent does not have to appear to be choosing sides. Home Staging also allows real estate agents to do what they do best– market the home for sale.

Selling a home is becoming more challenging in today’s real estate market. However, the astute homeowner can utilize the skills of a capable Home Staging expert as well as a top realtor to sell their home faster and for top dollar.