What’s covered in this article – click on a link to learn more:
- What Is Staging A Home?
- Home Makeover
- It’s All About Potential
- Competitive Advantage
- Weathering Market Ups and Downs
You’ve decided to put your house on the market, and your aim is to sell it fast, and to the highest bidder. Home staging is the secret sauce in the real estate world, and can be a recipe for home-selling success. Guided by the expert advice of Kasia McDaniel, a professional stager with Blue Diamond Staging & Design, we’ll help you give yourself a leg up in the real estate market with some simple and thoughtful advice.
What is Staging a Home?
The short definition of staging is that you’re strategically arranging furniture, decor, and even paint colors to make your home look its absolute best. But the long definition goes further to answer the question: why stage a home? McDaniel likens the importance of staging your home to the importance of making a great impression on a first date. With most potential home buyers, you’ve got one shot to either wow them, or at least, get shortlisted for viewing.
Staging isn’t just about sprucing your house up visually, but also showcasing your home’s charm and potential by maximizing space, highlighting function, and leaving potential buyers saying to themselves, “I can totally see myself living here!”
Pro Tip: Use self-storage to help your staging efforts. Keep only what you need to stage your home in the house and put the rest in storage.
Think of it as your home’s makeover session before it hits the red carpet. Staging is going to give you an edge in visual appeal, and help you vie for buyer’s attention. A report from the National Association of Realtors found that 95% of buyers used the internet to search for homes, and just over half found the home they bought online, making eye-catching photos, videos and virtual tours a must.
Staging for visual appeal involves creating a cohesive, aesthetically pleasing look that grabs a buyer’s attention. Take a cue from a majority of social media influencers and go neutral. Of course, your home is a reflection of your style, but when you’re trying to sell your home, you want to tone it down, depersonalize, and appeal to a wider audience.
Buyers want to imagine themselves in the space, and that can be challenging when it’s filled with personal belongings and unique decor choices.This isn’t the time to show off your boho style, so ditch the mismatched furniture, declutter your shelves, and swap your indoor jungle for a few strategically placed houseplants. Are your walls painted colors only a unicorn would love? Hire a painter or have a DIY weekend dedicated to putting on a fresh coat in neutral colors.
McDaniel adds that it’s important to be realistic with your staging efforts. What is right for a million dollar home, won’t be right for a home that’s coming on the market at $100,000. “We wouldn’t stage a starter home with a grand piano, because it just doesn’t make sense,” she elaborates. “There’s always going to be something that can be done to make the house look better and appeal to buyers. Just keep in mind that the more realistic you are with how it’s staged, the more it gives your buyers the sense that your house could really be their home.”
It’s All About Potential
“People have a checklist when they’re looking for a new home,” McDaniel explains. “They’re already thinking that they need to have this and that. But the way things look when you stage your house actually helps buyers forget about household chores, and gives them the potential to move beyond their list and fall in love with your space.”
Remember, your home has potential, and one of the benefits of staging your house is that you get the opportunity to bring that to the forefront. Maybe you have a cozy nook that could double as a reading corner or a small backyard that’s perfect for outdoor gatherings. If you have an extra room, here’s your chance to define its purpose: guest room, home office, or yoga studio! Highlighting the potential functionality of your spaces helps buyers see themselves using what’s being offered and envisioning making each space their own.
One of the key tricks of home staging is to make your space look as large as possible. This is especially crucial if your home isn’t exactly spacious. By strategically arranging furniture and using the right decor, you can create the illusion of more room. Because buyers tend to love the feeling of a spacious home, this can be a game-changer!
If you’re asking yourself, “Should I stage my house?” or “Does staging your home work?”, the answer to both is a resounding yes!
Studies on the topic and McDaniel’s personal experience have shown that staged homes sell faster than their unstaged counterparts. Staging also makes you more likely to have a faster sale and gives you the potential to score a higher sale price. When your home looks like a showpiece, it captures more attention and leaves a lasting impression on buyers.
“I once advised a homeowner that staging his house would help it move faster. He scoffed at the idea, and declared that he didn’t want to sell it faster, he wanted to get more money for it. So, I had to let him know that staging is the best way to accomplish both those goals!” McDaniel said. “He reluctantly went along with it, and sure enough, he ended up getting it sold quickly, and for $15,000 over his asking price. It really can work wonders.”
The logic is simple: buyers are willing to pay a premium for a home that looks move-in ready and well-maintained. So, staging isn’t just about selling faster; it’s about selling smarter.
Weathering Market Ups and Downs
Seasoned professionals know that the housing market can turn on a dime. But, they also know that the best pro tip they can offer is to stage your home! McDaniel shares insight on why staging helps you in both hot or cold housing markets.
“In a hot market, there’s fierce competition between sellers. Here staging can help you create an emotional connection between the buyer and the property. Since properties are likely to sell quickly, if you can get buyers to feel a strong connection to your space, those strong feelings often translate into quick decisions at a price above and beyond your asking price so that they secure their ‘dream home,’” she said.
“On the flip side, in a cold, sluggish market, buyers may feel more empowered to make lowball offers. Staging discourages lowball offers by increasing a home’s desirability and justifying the asking price.”
There you have it, staging your home is not just a good idea but an essential step in the selling process. From creating a positive first impression and enhancing visual appeal, to maximizing space and showcasing potential, home staging works wonders. It neutralizes personalization, amplifies your online presence, and gives you a competitive edge. Plus, it can lead to a faster sale and potentially more dollars in your pocket.