Over the years spent in your home, you have furnished and maintained it to reflect your lifestyle. Your house is perfectly tailored for you. Prospective buyers, however, are likely to have different tastes and expectations for the home of their dreams. If you can remove your personal style and cater instead to the design sense of likely buyers, YOU WILL SELL YOUR HOME!
Home Staging, plain and simple, is packaging. The seller has to present their property so that when a prospect walks through it they can envision themselves living the life they want to lead. Preparation involves all or part of cleaning, de-cluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light to maximize your home’s appeal.
The effort and investment behind Home Staging pays off big time. Numerous statistics support the perception that professionally staged properties show better than their competitors. They are viewed as ‘well-maintained’ and ‘move-in’ ready and stand out in buyers’ minds. As a result, staged homes sell faster and typically for more money than those that are un-staged, even in a slow real estate market.
Here is a short list of tips that I recommend to every client.
DISENGAGE FROM YOUR HOME
Have a family going away party! Go room by room, talk about everything you love and share the memories. When the party ends…so must your personal attachments. If you truly want to move on, you have to first let it go.
STAGE YOUR PROPERTY BEFORE IT GOES ON THE MARKET
The first 30 days create the most interest in the real estate community so your home needs to be ready.
REPAIR AND DEEP CLEAN
If you don’t do the work up-front, the buyer will make you pay for it in the end. A simple $250 carpet cleaning and/or stretching will turn into a $5000 savings since the buyer won’t feel the carpet has to be replaced. Everything must be as clean as if you just moved into the house and could eat off the kitchen floor.
PET PROOF YOUR HOUSE
I love animals and personally own two large dogs, but a lot of people today have allergies to pet dander. I would suggest moving bowls/ toys to the garage or outside, or having a friend care for your pets while your home is listed. There are a growing number of buyers that are afraid of animals and won’t even step into a house if a pet lives there.
RENT A STORAGE UNIT
I guarantee that you will easily fill a 10×10 storage unit with stuff that you haven’t used in the past two years. Closets shouldn’t have anything on the floor or stacked on shelves, and storage closets shouldn’t be jammed. Worn furniture or just too much furniture can be stored away to showcase the space.
ENHANCE THE SENSES
As soon as you step inside a home, you are greeted with its distinctive scent. It could be the smell of pets, a musty odor or your favorite dish in the kitchen. Air out your house at least for a week and purchase plug-ins such as Glade ‘linen’. DO NOT use strong scents as they can overpower a home and even attract ants.
WORK WITH COLOR | You may love your bright orange kitchen and green family room, but buyers are looking for more neutral palettes. That doesn’t mean beige and more beige. There are over 250 neutral colors to choose from that flow beautifully from room to room, and add depth and emotion to the interior.
FOCUS ON 4-STAR BATHS AND BEDROOMS | When you walk into your bathrooms do you feel like you just stepped into a 4-star hotel? Bedrooms should also be fresh and comfortable. Most importantly, invest in upgrading the Master Bedroom bedding and Master Bath accessories at all costs!
SET ASIDE 1% TO 2% OF THE SALES PRICE
If you plan to list your home for $250k then plan to invest at least $2500 upfront for repairs and home staging items. The good news is some of these things will go with you to your next home. If you pay upfront you won’t be hit with an outlandish number at closing for repairs and maintenance.
DON’T GO TOO FAR
I have some clients that go overboard and pack up everything, which makes the interior too sterile. You want your home to feel cozy and relaxing, not cold and bare of emotion. That is why it is always a good idea to hire a professional to walk-through your home with you, give you pointers and then have them come back and re-inspect if you prefer to do-it-yourself.