What do all the professional realtors and home flippers from HGTV have in common? They use staging when they put a house on the market. Every time; every single time. Why? Because staging works. According to an article by the Kansas City Star, home staging is one of the primary factors for ensuring a home sells fast, and for top dollar. A professional stager in the Kansas City area says, “If all things are equal and you go see three to seven homes in the same price range, with the same square footage and location, the shiniest penny is what’s going to sell.”
Home staging allows homeowners to show their properties in the best light, drawing potential buyers’ attention to the things they want highlighted and away from the things they don’t. Experts say that staging a home helps buyers envision what a space can be, and it may help them imagine themselves living there.
When a home is vacant, staging warms up the space, making it feel more like a home instead of an empty shell. In such a state, stagers can work with a blank canvas. The bigger challenge can come with homes that are occupied. It’s often both difficult and emotional for homeowners to stop living in their homes long before they’ve moved out. Kathy West, the owner of Details Home Staging says, “It’s not uncommon for us to tell sellers to pack up half of their house, especially for people who have been in their homes more than five years because of all the stuff that tends to accumulate.”
If hiring a stager isn’t an option for you, there are some home staging tips you can use to ensure you sell your home fast, and for as much money as possible.
First of all, declutter. Less is more, as they say. Get rid of things you don’t need, pack things away if possible, and make your house look as much like a model home as you can. Buyers need to see the potential of your space, not your stack of junk mail or your collection of old newspapers. Also, clear out closets, creating bare space that will create the illusion of extra space.
Next, clean. Scrub everything down. A top to bottom scrub down will paint your home in the best possible light and make viewers feel the care you’ve put into the place. Plus, a good cleaning will help to eliminate hidden odors and other buyer turn-offs.
Neutralize, paint colors that is. If you’ve painted every room in your home a different color of the rainbow, it’s time to tone it down. Neutral paint colors appeal to more buyers. Not everyone will share your taste and a family with male children probably won’t appreciate your princess pink wall color in the bedrooms. Instead, create ambiance in your home using color for accessories, while keeping the walls neutral
Give every room a purpose, but don’t get too eccentric. This means using each room as a room and defining each space so buyers can see, for example, the separation between a living area and dining area in an open-concept floor plan.
Focus on kitchens and bathrooms. The kitchen is considered one of the most important rooms in any home. Make sure the kitchen is staged cleanly to highlight counter space and simply. Don’t distract from great finishes by keeping all the appliances out on the counter. if your kitchen is outdated, consider upgrades. In fact, the kitchen is the first place you should spend money on upgrades. Bathrooms, especially the master, is a close second.
Keep odors in check. Be subjective and address odorous areas with a quickness. You don’t want your home to be the one that is marked off a buyer’s list as “the smelly house.” Cleanliness is the best way to do this, along with creative scent boosting artifacts like plug-in air fresheners and the like.
Involve your family. Kids (and sometimes spouses) can make staging and keeping your home “show ready” really difficult, if not impossible. So, one of the best tips available is to involve them in the process. If they understand that their efforts play a big and active role in a major milestone for your family, it will give them a sense of worth and motivate them to keep things tidy. Of course, you may have to continue giving them reminders and you may have to follow behind them with a “white glove” inspection, but it will definitely be easier than starting from scratch.
Staging and prepping your home for sale can be a lot of work, but in the end, when the offers come rolling in, the reward will be well worth the effort.