It’s likely that you’ve watched a few of those real estate shows on TV where cheerful people take an ugly duckling of a house and repair and stage it to improve both the value of the home and the chances of a sale, you probably understand how valuable home staging can be to help sell your home, but how do you know what to do? Here is some advice from an experienced realtor on home staging for beginners.
When the time comes to sell the first house you ever bought, it might be difficult for you to step back and see it with a buyer’s eyes, so ask some ‘fresh eyes’ to take a look at it. Friends and family (those who you know will tell you the truth) can offer advice about changes that it might not occur to you to consider. Your realtor is an especially valuable source of advice; after all, they know what buyers are looking for and what is likely to turn them off.
Home Staging Tips
Decluttering and removal of personal items should be step one of your home staging endeavour. Things that you should consider packing away for the present include
· Knick knacks and quirky collections;
· Family photos;
· Children’s art projects;
· Surplus furniture (to make your space look larger), and
· Any broken or trash-worthy items.
The idea behind home staging is to make your house attractive to the highest number of potential buyers; one of the most cost-effective ways to do this is to apply a fresh coat of paint in neutral colours. This will help most people feel comfortable imagining themselves in your house.
Tidy and organize all your storage spaces. If your closets and pantries are overflowing it will suggest that your home lacks storage space, and that’s not the image that you want to reflect.
Old, worn-out fixtures are relatively easy to replace and will give your house an instant facelift. The simplest and least expensive upgrades include light fixtures, drapery and window treatments, taps and faucets and door and cabinet hardware.
I’m sure you love your pets, but buyers won’t like pet smells, hair, or the damage your beloved Fluffy inflicted upon the drapes. Do your best to ensure your house gives no indication that you keep animals, no matter how well behaved they are. This means frequent, yes, even daily cleaning to remove hair and odours from litter boxes and feeding dishes. It sounds like callous advice, but if it’s possible to home your pets elsewhere until you sell your house that might be best.
In some cases, you might want to think about hiring a professional home staging company; they are experts who know exactly how to stage your home to its very best. Professional home stager Colleen Baines from Simply Living Redesign explains;
“Staging, in my opinion, is an extremely important part of selling your house. I have seen homes sell quickly and for more money as a result of staging. Bringing a home stager into the equation provides a neutral party who can work as a liaison between the realtor and the homeowner. I am able to be direct about what needs to be removed, cleaned, and repositioned. Having an objective eye and not being emotionally attached to the property is crucial in staging your home to attract potential buyers.”
Whatever you do, don’t be in a big rush to get your house listed before it’s fit to be seen, first impressions count and a buyer might not come back after you’ve cleaned the place up.
Selling your house demands strategic thought; assess your competition, and then make sure that your house looks better than similar properties for sale. Buyers will be making the comparison and will be impressed by your attention to detail. You might get a better offer and a quicker sale if your house is “move-in ready”.
Home staging can make the difference between a quick sale and a lengthy wait, especially in today’s real estate market. A well staged home can even improve the offers you get. When you’re selling your first house, ask your realtor about home staging for beginners.