Selling your home requires marketing finesse to help you stand out from the competition. Many homeowners don’t think of their neighbors as competitors until they start seeing every other house on their street up for sale toting a shiny red sold banner. If you want to attract the best price and get your house sold quickly, staging is your secret weapon.
Here we review some of the top secrets of professional real estate stagers, with some added tips from designers for good measure!
WHY YOU NEED TO STAGE YOUR HOME
The first secret to staging is understanding why you have to stage. According to the National Association (NAR) of Realtors Home Staging Profile, 49 percent of buyers’ agents believe home staging will affect how buyers view your home. As well, 77 percent of buyers said it is easier to visualize the property as their own when a home has been staged. For sellers’ agents, 21 percent found that home staging increased the value of a home by 6 to 10 percent and perhaps even more encouraging 39 percent found a staged home decreased the days on market.
If you want to look at a more dollars and cents approach according to REM, statistics from the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) showed that staging a 2,000 to 2,500 square foot vacant property can run from $2,950 to $5,250 in Ontario while an occupied property would be between $1,400 to $2,700. Although this might seem like a lot of money, remember you’ll be selling your property more quickly and for a better price.
If you don’t choose to stage your home, you can be prepared to watch your house sit on the market while your agent reluctantly advises you to drop your price. REM says that should you choose to stage your home you can save as much as $14,550 to $18,400 based on the potential price reductions you’ll face if you don’t stage.
WHAT THE PROS AREN’T TELLING YOU
According to Architectural Digest there are five things pro stagers don’t want you to know:
1. Rooms need a purpose: When people view your home, they need to clearly see what function each space has in the home. You need to use the appropriate furniture to set the stage so people can see it’s a den, a bedroom, an office or a formal dining room. If you were using a completely perfect bedroom as a gift-wrapping room, people will get confused.
2. Consider scale: Nothing is more unappealing than a room that has furniture that doesn’t quite fit. Large furniture overpowers a room and makes a space appear smaller, while small furniture looks silly and inappropriate. When furniture fits properly in a space, the room shows off its size.
3. Make a good first impression: Gussy up your home entry to create a more welcoming front. Special details in the entryway can include a new area rug, an elegant or funky chandelier or a cozy bench.
4. Don’t forget outdoor spaces: When warm days aren’t at a premium, you want to show buyers they’ll be able to enjoy every minute of their summer in their new outdoor space. Pay attention to how you stage your backyard, so people get an idea of the lifestyle they can lead. This allows them to also see special touches such as beautiful landscaping, a pool, a deck or a perfectly manicured lawn.
5. Leverage stylish details: Look at the options you have to leverage details with more style. Dress bookcases, accessorize with understated style and draw attention to special features such as built-ins.
These little tips work together to create a more appealing, unique space.
DON’T FORGET CURB APPEAL
The CBC shared their own secrets about staging, including the often overlooked aspect of kicking up curb appeal. They discussed pro secrets with three staging experts who all mentioned curb appeal as a must.
Although you don’t have to invest tons of money for an exterior makeover, you should ensure your home is well lit, and the property is neat and tidy. If there are any signs if ill-repair these should be addressed before putting your house on the market. This might include a fresh lick of paint on a peeling front door, some basic gardening to clean things up and of course repairs to broken porch steps.
If space allows, you can also dress up your front porch. A little table and chair, a bench or porch swing all create a welcoming first impression. You don’t want people to drive up to your home and keep on driving. The house should show pride of ownership with a well-maintained garden, up to date and visible house numbers, and not a single sign of disrepair. A little planter or two at the front door will welcome guests. Your home should shout “Welcome! I am well cared for!”
THE ART OF DECLUTTERING
U.S. News found decluttering to be one of the top secrets to home staging. Here are four things you can look for when decluttering your home:
1. Personal photos: Although you might be very fond of the 100 photos of your dog or baby, your wedding, and your trip to Greece, photos both hung and stacked on bookshelves and tabletops all shout “mess” to potential buyers. They also add far too much of a personal touch to allow buyers to see themselves living in your home. As a rule of thumb, put all family photos out of sight.
2. Tabletop décor AKA tchotchkes: Although we’ve already recommended accessorizing to help jazz the place up, you really do need to downsize on large collections. While a blank slate doesn’t work, too many things like art, plants, and dreaded collections all overwhelm buyers with too much noise. The odds of people sharing your tastes and interests are zero to nil, so just keep things tasteful and to a minimum to create the staged look you desire without overkill.
3. Edit furniture: As mentioned, furniture in a room has to be just right. Just as a large couch will make a room appear small, too much furniture will have a similar effect. You want to have enough furniture in a room so people can see their stuff will fit just fine, while also making the room’s purpose clear. Always remove anything that is unnecessary, especially if it is blocking pathways. You should also replace very worn furniture with modern pieces (which can be rented) as people will see the outdated furniture and associate it with an outdated house.
4. Organize: People will be opening up every closet, pantry, cabinet, and drawer when they view your home. Although this seems like snooping, they need to make sure there’s enough storage space and also see that the place isn’t coming apart at the hinges. Clear away anything you don’t need (or you would want a stranger to see!) and place it in storage. Then organize everything else. The trick is to open up storage as much as possible to make things appear spacious.
As a bonus, decluttering also makes moving easier. You’ll either have pre-packed tons of stuff or better yet reduced the amount of stuff you need to move!
One last tip. Before using these staging secrets to make your home the must-have on the street, don’t be afraid to tour some of the other homes for sale in your area. This will give you a peek at what you are up against.
If you are selling your home, let our experts at Onlywith.ca provide guidance. Click here to contact any of our agents.