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When selling your home, it’s important to remember that you’re selling a lifestyle, but not necessarily your own one. Home staging is all about presenting potential buyers with a glimpse of what life could be like on a property. It goes beyond simple cleaning and decorating and seeks to trigger emotion in a home buyer that makes them want to buy it instantly.
Staging is by no means a new concept but with the present market, it has gained greater popularity in recent years. Exact statistics for the difference home staging makes are hard to come by but thankfully a new survey for 2017 has recently come in. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) caused a wave among home stagers when they first released their report in 2015. While not much has changed, the value of home staging is still pretty clear.
Some of their main findings were:
- 39% of seller’s agents said that staging a home greatly decreases the time it is on the market.
- When staging, 29% of seller’s agents reported an increase of 1-5%, compared to other homes on the market, while 21% reported an increase of 6-10%.
- 49% of buyer’s agents report that home staging had an effect on most buyer’s view of the home.
If you’re in a hurry to sell or looking for ways to increase your home’s value then a small investment in home staging could be just what your property needs to find a buyer.
The Mindset for Home Staging
Many people make the mistake of thinking that home staging is little more than decorating each room to make it look as appealing as possible. Your own aesthetic taste though may be very different from most buyer’s.
You want to make your home appeal to a broader audience of people as possible which means knowing what the buyer’s market is looking for. Usually, this means a modern look but that can change depending on your location. This is when hiring a professional home stager can really pay off as they know the buyer’s market and how to make your homes appeal to the highest percentage of buyers.
If you’re unsure then go for a minimalist approach. Each room should be staged to emphasize how it can be used and what the design possibilities are. The key is to entice a buyer’s imagination and make them feel like this could be their home.
How to Stage your Home
You can do small scale home staging or large scale. Hiring a professional home stager would be best but if you’re on a tight budget there are a few key areas you can focus on that will make the biggest difference in selling price and appeal.
The NAR survey on home staging reported that, for buyer’s, the most important room to stage was the living room (55%), followed by the master bedroom (51%) and the kitchen (41%). Even if you’re limited by time and budget you should try to stage as many rooms as you can by using these techniques.
1. Perform a Deep clean
If you can’t afford any new appliances then make sure the ones you have are spotlessly clean. Go through the entire room and try to make everything look as new as possible. Your bathroom sink should shine and your kitchen should be grease free. If you have a carpet it may be worth having a professional deep clean done.
2. Remove all clutter
Too much clutter distracts buyers from a room and makes it look smaller then it is. Get rid of everything that doesn’t serve a purpose or add to the aesthetics. All this clutter should be stored well away so there’s no chance of a buyer coming across it in a wardrobe.
The whole point of home staging is to allow buyers to envision themselves living in your home. It’s a bit hard to do that if you’ve got family photos hanging everywhere or a distinctive style. Remove all personal items and if you have a distinctive style or theme then scale it back a bit. They key is to neutralize each room and emphasize its functionality. The final look should be organized, simple and welcoming.
Make as much use of natural lighting as you can. Curtin’s and blinds should be left open and supplemental light added where needed. Try to organize the layout of each room in-line with the lighting so the best features are shown off.
If it’s been a while since you last redid your furniture you may need to update it with the latest tastes for a modern feel. You don’t need to throw out a lot of cash to switch your existing furniture, you might even be able to rent it, but it should look new and inviting.
6. Finishing Touches
Lastly, before you open doors for the first showing, leave a few finishing touches around to make your home feel more welcoming. A bowl of fresh fruit, a pleasant scent, fresh flowers and nicely folded new towels in the bathroom.
How Much Does Home Staging Cost?
Prices vary depending on your location, property size and local demand for staging experts. Unless you’re putting a multi-million dollar property up for sale there’s little need to go crazy with home staging. You want to emphasize the homes best features while appealing to the largest range of buyers. The more people you can entice, the higher the selling price will be.