Home staging is an important part of today’s real estate market. Gone are the days of putting any old house on the MLS and receiving an offer or two with little effort. Home staging is one way to give your home an edge over the competition. When potential buyers view your home you want them to see the house, NOT your stuff! Home staging is proven to reduce the amount of time a home is on the market. It is important to rid the home of personal items so that buyers can envision themselves living there.
They way we live in a home is not the way we market them! When we are living in our homes we personalized them and make them comfortable to us; when we are marketing homes we de-personalize them so they could be comfortable to anyone.
Sometimes homes need a complete overhaul: painting rooms, re-facing cabinets, replacing countertops or even buying new furniture, rugs and accessories can be helpful. Many buyers don’t have the vision to see a home’s potential, especially if all the rooms are white, open spaces.
As your realtor I will go over a checklist with you, room by room of low or no cost ways to stage your home. There are also things you should be doing outside to spruce up your property and make sure your home has great curb appeal. Here are just a few things you can do inside:
- Remove small rugs and knickknacks from every room.
- Get rid of everything on the kitchen counters, including appliances, except for the coffee maker.
- Remove as much as you can from closets.
- Hire a cleaning service if necessary to make the house spotless. Clean floors, walls, and windows. Pay special attention to the microwave, oven, and refrigerator.
- Arrange the furniture to show off each room’s best features.
- Set the dining-room table with napkins, plates, and flatware.
- Remove family photos, religious symbols, or any other items that may prevent a visitor from envisioning themselves living in the home.
- A vacant home looks spacious but has no emotional appeal. Add a few furnishings, so buyers can envision themselves living in the home.
- Bring the outside in. Open the windows if it is nice outside. Have fresh flowers in the home. Avoid strongly scented candles, incense, and artificial air fresheners—they can turn off prospective buyers.
One thing people sometimes forget about is smells. It’s important to make sure your house does not smell of pets, cigarettes, cooked food, or anything else that may be unappealing. Since people get used to the smells in their own home, it is important to get an honest outsider's opinion. Nothing turns off a potential buyer faster than a strange smelling house.
Home staging is just one way to make the sale of your house quicker and easier. You are going to have to start packing eventually anyway, so cleaning up and organizing is only going to give you a head start!
Lauren Krady is a real estate professional with Coldwell Banker, the nation's oldest and most trusted brand. She is a member of the Jeff Geoghan Realty Group and serves all of the Lancaster City PA homes market with superior customer service and dedication. Contact Lauren to start your home search in Lancaster City and beyond by calling her at (717) 824-7236.