Stage Your Home to Impress Buyers
The Argument for Staging
Once you have organized your home and removed its clutter, it’s time to talk about staging. In a 2017 study conducted by NAR, the National Association of Realtors, 58% of agents surveyed said staging increases the selling price of the home as much as 20%. In this same profile, we find that 39% of agents believe staged properties sell significantly faster than those not staged. Additionally, 77% of buyers found it easier to visualize a staged property as their new home.
Keep in mind that the objective of sellers is to prepare their home so buyers will envision themselves living there. If a buyer cannot make a personal and emotional attachment to your property, they are not going to make an offer. You want your buyers to fall in love with your house. Staging can go a long way towards making that happen.
You have a few options when you stage a home. If the house is empty, hiring a professional stager is plan A. This is the best and easiest way to get your home looking its beautiful and stylish best. All the photos in this post are from a staged home we sold in St. Louis Park. See what I mean?
If plan A and your budget are not on the same playing field, go to plan B and rent furnishings. Rental companies can provide everything you need to stage your home and deliver them as well.
It is not necessary to buy or rent new furniture either. You can use what you have now to stage your home. Your listing agent can give you some suggestions or recommend someone to help. Many professional stagers will tour your home and guide you for a consulting fee of about $250-$300. You can also connect with your old friend Google and research DIY home staging tips, like this article for instance.
If you decide to stage your home as a do-it-yourself project, we have some simple suggestions to help you on your journey.
- Aim for a look that is spacious and open. You want to place your furniture in a way that will create good flow between rooms and seating areas. If you have too much furniture, consider selling off pieces you are not planning to take to your new residence. Otherwise, a storage unit for the overflow may be necessary. Carry this formula to your accessories as well. If a bookcase is overcrowded, start packing some of the books. Anything that imparts a lack of storage to a buyer should go. By all means, use art or decorative objects for interest and color, but keep in mind that less is more when you stage a home for sale.
- Focus on the positive. Every home has a focal point. For instance, if you have a great view, don’t obscure it. Maybe you have a backyard oasis. Be sure to stage your patio as an outdoor room. Does your home have gorgeous hardwood floors? Then remove the area rugs. Perhaps the fireplace in the living room is uniquely beautiful. Consider a single piece of art on the mantle to draw attention to it.
- Keep the canvas neutral. Treat walls to a fresh coat of white or light gray paint. Not only will it give them a crisp, clean look, but it will appeal to a majority of buyers. Light colors will also open up your home and make it brighter. No buyer ever said I want to buy a dark, gloomy house, ever. Do bring in some color with furnishings and accessories to add personality to your space. You want it to look lived-in but kicked up a notch.
- Freshen up. Maybe your home looks a bit dated. Bring it up to modern standards with some minor changes. Consider new lighting fixtures, replacing cabinet and drawer hardware, new faucets in the kitchen and bath. These are all relatively inexpensive and easy do it yourself upgrades that will pay off in boosting the look of your home to buyers.
- Bathrooms and bedrooms matter to buyers. A new shower curtain, luxury bath towels and a new throw rug in your bathroom will be an impactful improvement. The purchase of a new duvet and pillows for the bed will look inviting. If your window coverings are a bit tired, consider replacing those too. Every room in the house matters. Don’t think you should only worry about the living room, family room, and kitchen. Buyers will evaluate every room.
- Make it sparkle and shine. Do not underestimate the impression a clean house will make on prospective buyers. A messy, uncleaned house imparts a sense of neglect, and buyers may get the impression your home has not been well-loved or taken care of properly. Clean your home from North to South and East to West. Wash the windows, shampoo the carpets, remove any mold or mildew from the bathrooms, and clean all your kitchen appliances inside and out.
Every house has a unique tale to tell. Use staging to make the story of your home a romance where the buyers fall in love, buy it and live happily ever after. Now, where have I heard that before?!