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.

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!

Home Staging – So You Think You Can Stage?

As a preferred home staging specialist in the Orlando and surrounding central Florida area I have encountered many homes where sellers attempted to stage their own home only to be disappointed with a lack of offers. Find out if this sounds like you and why a professional will address all of your needs and get your home sold and fast!

Professional Home Staging is growing steadily as is the amount of listed homes on the market. In Orlando alone we currently have over 9300 homes for sale! Sadly many of these homes show terribly on MLS and other marketing materials. With over 85% of potential buyers looking here first before deciding to view a home, your home had better stand out! This means your home has better show well inside and out as well as online.

Okay, so you know the importance of a show-ready home and what it will do for you. Do you truly have what it takes to stage your own home? Here are some points below that you may not have thought about before. Home Staging is about more than just well placed furniture, the right wall colors and appealing decor, it is as much about the demographics in our area, knowing who is likely to buy your home and what exactly that particular buyer is looking for.

Considerations:

1.Do you know what buyers in particular are most apt to view your home? Do you know what this type of buyer is looking for and what is most important to them? While each buyer is unique there are specific items each type of buyer is looking for. Make sure you know what that is or your staging might actually be turning the buyer off!

2.Do you know what the price range is for homes in your area with comparable square footage, number of bedrooms etc? We hope your realtor will know know this as it is their job but sometimes they can be a bit off. A professional home stager will be your next best bet to determine price. They know your specific areas of town and may have even staged one of your competitor’s homes. If the price is wrong it doesn’t matter how you stage it, it is not likely to sell.

3.Do you truly know why mass buyer appeal is? There are certain trends that apply to home staging. Do you know what they are? There are colors, décor, and small touches that go a long way to win over a buyer. If you aren’t aware how to achieve this it is time to contact a Professional Stager.

4.The most important thing is to see the home through a buyer’s eyes. A Professional Stager can be the eyes of that first buyer as they have never seen your home before. You see, you have lived in your home for quite some time and have become comfortable with it and are far more likely to overlook much needed attention to certain areas. This is because you don’t have an objective eye. This is the real reason why it is impossible to stage your own home. Don’t think for a second I intend on staging my home when I sell! This applies to us Professional Stagers too! I will ensure my home is viewed by a trusted stager before it goes on the market because I too won’t see beyond my own stuff.

Never underestimate the power of the objective eye! Even if it is just a consultation or written report to allow you to do the work yourself, do consult with a Professional Stager before listing your home.