If you’re getting ready to sell your home you may be asking, “Should I stage my home?” Yes! Many buyers shop online first, and they eliminate homes based on photos alone. The first impression of your home could be the ONLY impression it makes!
Buyers tell Realtors all the time that they don’t like the photos, or that the house in question looks too dated, cluttered, small, or messy to consider. It may be in their price range and have all the features the buyer is looking for, but that first visual impression is crucial to catching the buyer’s attention and sparking their serious interest in a property.
Every homeowner works hard to personalize their home, to make it their home. It’s only human nature. But a buyer is looking at photos or walking through a showing trying to imagine personalizing your home to their tastes, their needs. A home with a strong personal style, outdated (no matter how lovely) décor, or a ton of mess and clutter is going to make it difficult for the buyer to picture themselves living there. So they don’t. They move on to another, more sale-ready home. Ultimately, these problems can lower the price you charge for your home. This is an issue that affects your bottom line!
A Home Stager can do two things for you. If you’ve already moved out, they can rent a few key pieces of furniture and knickknacks to make your empty house feel livable, thus encouraging a higher price. Or, more commonly, the Stager walks through your home taking notes of various changes she thinks would bring a higher price or make your home more attractive to buyers. This can be hard on you, especially since her goal is to de-personalize your lovingly decorated home! But it can earn a higher selling price.
Here’s the basics of Staging a home:
Get rid of clutter. The ultimate goal is to make it look like either a model home, or a magazine ad. Surfaces should be clear of clutter, floors should only have furniture and throw rugs, and your brother’s beer can collection needs to be put in storage for the duration of the sale.
Remove as much personality as you can. The stuff that makes your home yours is the stuff to put into storage for now. Family photos, collections, posters, unusual art, and even extra furniture can be stored during the sale process to make your home look cleaner, larger, and more inviting. This can even include painting a neutral color over that bright red accent wall or stenciled vine. Heartbreaking to undo what you did with love, but important to show your home well.
Clean, clean, clean. Remove any dirt or grime. Have the carpets professionally cleaned. Scrub the bathtub and replace any mildewed caulk. And if a wall is too dirty to wash? Paint it over. Your house needs to look as like a model home. And it doesn’t hurt to bake something right before a showing to make your house SMELL as good as it looks. (Take kids, pets, and litter boxes with you when you leave the house for a showing…it make a big difference.)
Update or repair problem areas. This can get a little pricey, but a good stager and your Realtor can tell you where you can get the most bang for your buck by renovating. It may be as simple as painting a bright wall neutral again, or it may be replacing torn carpet, or even remodeling a dated kitchen or bath. Perhaps spiffing up your curb appeal with some quick and simple landscaping. It’s worth hearing a neutral opinion before choosing what to work on and what must be “as is”.
We have a home stager on our team because your successful sale is important to us.