Staging a home is no longer an option for sellers that are serious about getting their homes sold quickly and for the most profit. Anyone can sell a house of its price correctly but if you're looking to get the very most out of the sale of your home, as most homeowners do, you have to stager home to today's buyers. What worked last year may not work this year, so staying on top of the trends, listening to your real estate agent and if possible, hiring a professional stager is well worth the time and energy.
Here are some typical do's and don'ts of home staging.
How to stage properly.
#1. Staging is not just cleaning.
Simply cleaning up your home is not staging. Anyone can have a clean home and still have it be somewhat cluttered, personalized, and busy. Just because it's clean doesn't mean it's attractive to the majority of homebuyers and that's what you're really going for.
#2. Remove Half of Your Personal Items.
This means anything in drawers, closets, pantries, cupboards and any storage areas. Remove at least half of the items and pack them up. You'll need to pack up your items anyway so now would be a great time to pack up any seasonal items, personal belongings, photographs, seasonal clothes and start to really clean out your pantries, cabinets and refrigerator. Homebuyers want to see that there is plenty of room and space for their own items. If every storage space is crammed to the max, buyers will feel uncomfortable and unable to expand.
#3. Stick to neutral colors.
If you have a bright red kitchen, neon green bathroom, or bright pink child's bedroom, you need to reconsider those colors. Neutral, warm, simple and cohesive all add to the comfort and peace of a home. Buyers want to feel like they can simply move right in without having to repaint or redecorate too many of the rooms. You want to remove a lot of the items that a buyer would see as additional work.
#4. Leave plenty of room.
Just as you are removing items from storage spaces, you should also consider removing large items that could interfere with traffic. Remember, buyers will be viewing your home with friends, family members and of course the real estate agent. You want to make sure there's enough room on your front porch for them to not feel crowded and enough room for them to maneuver through the home, down the hall, through the living room, kitchen, dining room and bedrooms.
Related Post: 5 Things all Sellers Should Know About Staging
What not to do with staging.
#1. Vacant is not always better.
Yes, buyers can see the house as it would be when they moved in but they can't really envision themselves in the home without furniture, a layout and a design. An empty house feels cold and uninviting. Even if you have to sell a vacant home, consider adding a blowup bed with some nice sheets and pillows in the bedrooms, and office space in one of the bedrooms, setting the stage with a notepad, telephone, pen and glasses, setting up a space in the living room with a nice cup of coffee and book, or the dining room table all set ready to entertain. Buyers do understand that they are not buying your "things" but they still want to see the layout of the house.
#2. Staging is not the same as decorating.
Staging is the act of preparing and showcasing a property for sale. Couple that with the knowledge of your real estate agent, creative designing and any improvements or repairs that the home needs and you will have set the home up for success. As we head into the holiday months, decorating is fine as long as you don't go overboard. A nice warm setting, fall decorations or even a Christmas wreath on the front door as a sense of family and comfort.
#3. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to stage.
Staging can be expensive if you hire someone that has all of their own furniture however, you can simply hire a home stager for a personal consultation. Something else to keep in mind, home staging can actually add up to 7% more on the sale price of the home so it's vital in order to maximize profits. Spending the money for a home staging professional at the beginning may be far less then the profit you're going to make a closing. Staged homes also sell faster with an average of 78% less days on the market that homes that are not staged. This alone may be worth spending a few hundred dollars on a professional stager.
Ready to get started? I help all sellers in the Tri-Valley area of Contra Costa and Alameda County east of the bay area. Give me a call today and let's devise a plan to get your home sold.