No matter what part of the country you’re in, the housing market can be extremely competitive. There are new property listings added to online databases every day.
And most sellers are motivated to negotiate with buyers. So how can you ensure that your home stands out, even in a crowded market? The answer is simple; you should invest your time and resources in home staging.
What is Home Staging?
If you’ve ever been in the market for a new home, then you’re probably familiar with property tours. And you’ve likely come across a few homes that were picture perfect.
The arrangement of the furniture made the home open and inviting. The lighting made the space feel loved and lived in. The wall decor and accents complemented each other perfectly. Perhaps it even smelled like fresh-baked bread or cookies.
Well, picture-perfect experiences like these are typically the result of home staging. It’s arranging the home decor in a way that helps your potential buyers experience the property at its best and envision their lives there.
Benefits of Home Staging
So what does the seller gain from leveraging the emotions of their buyers? Research shows that not only does home staging help the home sell quicker, but it can also mean more money. According to the National Association of Realtors, most realtors believe that staged homes lead to higher offers.
In fact, this process is so effective that there’s an entire design sector devoted to it. You can hire a skilled professional to take an objective look around your home. They can help you to remove items that make the space feel cluttered, add items that give it more personality, and arrange the furniture in a way that leads to a better flow.
How to Successfully Stage Your Home for Sale
Maybe you’re someone who doesn’t have room in your budget for a professional stager. Or perhaps you simply enjoy DIY projects. Although working with a professional can make the process more efficient, the good news is you can do the home staging on your own. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
1. Curb appeal
One of the first things your potential buyers will notice about your home is the curb appeal. Your landscaping either attracts people or repels them. So it’s essential that you make sure that your lawn is neatly cut. If you have a garden, plant bright flowers and pull the weeds.
Make sure that your tools, bikes, and trash cans are stored away in their proper places. Add a fresh coat of paint. Consider painting or replacing your front door. Position a few potted plants beside the front door. If your house numbers are old and worn clean or replace them.
2. The Foyer
The next area that has to pass the test is the foyer. As mentioned earlier, an essential part of staging is removing things that can be seen as clutter. The foyer is often a sore spot for many homeowners because this is where they typically store their shoes, coats, keys, and other odds and ends. While these things may be well-organized, they can still be distracting to the buyer. So it’s best to remove them from the area entirely, if possible.
3. Wall Decor
As the buyer ventures further into the house, they may notice your wall art. While you may take pride in family pictures, this can be another distraction. Remember, the idea is to make the buyer envision their own family in the home, not yours. You should replace family portraits and personal photos with neutral artwork.
Keep the local culture in mind when adding wall décor for staging. For example, Southwest-themed oil paintings are perfect for Scottsdale homes for sale, while abstract paintings will work better for an apartment in the heart of Manhattan.
4. The Furniture
The key to staging furniture is to clearly define each room. By separating each space and determine what its purpose is, you can make better decisions about what items do and don’t belong there. You should also take a less is more approach. A couple of expensive pieces are preferable to various small decorative items.
Make sure that the furniture you choose is directly proportionate to the size of the room. The pieces shouldn’t be too small, but they should make the room look as large and spacious as possible.
If you’re interested in selling your home, then keep in mind that it can never be too clean. A deep clean will show the buyer that the space has been well-cared for. It can also get rid of any deep-down odors that you may not be aware of.
So go beyond your regular spring cleaning session and pay close attention to the smallest details. Soak cloudy or tarnished fixtures in a cleaning solution to make sure that they shine and sparkle. Consider reupholstering your furniture. Shampoo the carpets.
Clean your light fixtures. Invite your family and friends over so that they can offer an honest opinion and point out anything that you might have missed.
Alternative to Traditional Staging
You may also consider digital staging, also referred to as virtual staging. This process requires you to use certain software and gives you the ability to transform an empty home into a space that is fully decorated and furnished.
This way, you can help people to visualize what the home could without your having to spend money. Admittedly, this type of staging isn’t as effective as the traditional staging, but it can be a nice way to attract more buyers.
Research shows that 6 million homes were sold in 2019. That’s a lot of competition. However, that doesn’t mean that selling your home will take forever. It just means that you need to find creative ways to stand out from the rest of the market.
Luckily, home staging makes this easy. Sometimes the nicest homes can lack the proper layout. By arranging your home and decor in a way that appeals to the buyer, you become a memorable stop on the tour.
And even if you don’t know much about home decor, you can always hire a professional home stager to give you an objective evaluation of your space. Ultimately, your job as the seller is to provoke the buyer’s imagination. Specifically, you want them to visit a home that’s move-in ready.