Staging Your Home
What does it mean to stage a home? Staging is preparing the entire property for the photo shoot and showings. It’s all about presenting your abode in the best light; starting with the photography. A reptuable Realtor will hire professional HD photographers to enhance the home’s best assets.
Most agents and their buyers start with an online search. It sounds cliche but the first impression really is the most important. Cell phone snap shots simply won’t do. A properly staged home with professional photography will impress buyers–subsequently selling your home quickly for the highest possible price.
What it all means
Home staging in Realtor terms means prepping your home so it appeals to the most potential buyers who will pay the highest possible price over the shortest amount of time.
Depending if repairs are needed, typically staging can be done for very little money making it one of the most lucrative projects you will do to sell your house. We recommend staging everything, but the living room, kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, and outdoor living spaces are the most important.
Declutter, deep clean and remove personal items. It is also important that appliances, fixtures, electrical, structural are all in working order, all the way down to light bulbs; even lamps!
Tell me more
Think of staging as a form of decorating or dressing up. The dwelling should be shiny and spotless, in good shape, dressed up and smelling fresh. Staging should show off the best features, while taking your eye away from the less-than features. Most of all, good staging creates mood and emotion.
Buyers aren’t just looking for a house—they are looking for a way to fulfill their dreams and improve their life. If the buyer is emotionally involved, it can generate more money for the seller.
Your home should be in good repair. Fix anything and everything you can. Even little things like missing switch faceplates or burned out light bulbs. Most buyers don’t want to see needed work or repairs. For every problem they notice, they are likely to deduct its cost from their offer. Too many problems, may equate to lower and less offers.
Staging affects sales price and time on market
The National Association of Realtors (NAR), reports that 25% of buyers’ agents and 22% of sellers’ agents said that staging a home increases the offer price by between 1% and 5%, compared to other similar homes on the market that aren’t staged. The report also found that 83% of buyers’ agents say staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize a property as theirs, selling faster and for more money.
Our top 8 home staging tips
Where to begin? The most common rooms that are staged are the living room (93%), kitchen (84%), owner’s bedroom (78%), and the dining room (72%), according to NAR.
1. Clean, clean, clean!
A clean home shows potential buyers that it's a well cared for property. Clean every part of the house including light switches, cabinets, appliances, windows, floors and more!
Appliances and fixtures should be fingerprint free and shiny. Make bathrooms and floors sparkle. Windows should be cleaned inside and out. If window coverings are dated, consider removing them. Always open window coverings and turn on all lights for photography and showings. Consider hiring a cleaning professional just before the showings start.
Too many objects and things distract buyers from your home’s features, and makes it seem like the home has less space. You have to box it up anyway when you move. It will bring much more value to do it now. Donate, discard or store the things you can live without a for few weeks such as knickknacks, games, seasonal clothes, extra pillows, heavy furniture, wall hangings and so on. If needed, you can neatly store boxes and extra furniture in the garage, but keep closets well organized and closet floors clean and clear.
Buyers need to be able to envision themselves in your home, so remove family photos, keepsakes, and refrigerator art. Pair down clothes in closets and make sure the bathroom and kitchen counters are practically empty. Put away toys, pet supplies and projects.
Flowers or freshly potted plants can do wonders to make your home feel fresh and inviting. Remove empty pots, dead or dying plants. Get rid of odors. Pets, kids, cooking, a damp bathroom, and many other conditions can make your house seem not-so-fresh. Bake cookies or open windows to air out the home, weather permitting. Another tip is to use essential oils, herbs and flowers. We do not recommend plug-ins or manufactured air fresheners. Some visitors are allergic or sensitive to fake scents.
4. Have extra lead time?
Make a list of all those little things you have been meaning to do and hire a good tradesman to repair cracks, tear down wall paper and paint walls with a neutral color such as Sherwin Williams, Alabaster white. This is also a good time to address flooring issues. Clean or replace stained carpet, outdated linoleum or chipped tiles.
Take advantage of your home’s natural light. Open all curtains and blinds when showing your home. Turn on all the lights for showings, which makes your home appear brighter and more inviting.
Remove oversized unnecessary furniture and arrange it in a way that makes each room feel spacious, homey, and easy to navigate. In living areas, move furniture away from the walls to create comfortable conversation areas.
The exterior and the entryway, which factor into the home’s “curb appeal", are important points of focus because they can heavily impact a buyer’s first impression. They may even determine someone’s interest in viewing the inside of the house.
Have your lawn, hedges, trees, and other plants neatly pruned and weeded. As mentioned earlier, wash windows inside and out. If possible, power wash your home’s exterior—this can make it look almost freshly painted but with less effort and expense.
Sweep sidewalk and buy new doormats for the front and back doors. If you have a pool, showcase it by making sure it’s crystal clear. Creating some sort of outdoor living space in the backyard, such as a deck or patio with outdoor furniture, is another way to use the exterior of your home to its greatest advantage.
8. Final touches
Just before any open house or showing, make sure that your staging efforts have the maximum impact with a few last-minute touches that will make the home seem warm and inviting. Put fresh flowers in vases, let fresh air into the house so it isn’t stuffy, light a few candles (soft and subtle fragrances only), and place new plush towels in the bathrooms.
CHECK LIST for Photoshoot & Staging
- Replace all burnt out lightbulbs throughout home–even lamps.
- Have your windows professionally cleaned and sparkling.
- Empty all trash cans and do last minute freshening.
- Open all blinds and turn on lights.
- Put away all kitchen supplies, sponges, trash can, dish rags and more.
- And the same goes with bathroom toiletries, wash rags, shampoo bottles, used bar soap.
- Keep pets in a crate or away from the home. Hide all pet products.
- Play soft soothing music such as classical or jazz.
- If you want to go the extra mile, bake cookies and leave a plate out for visitors.
- Clean and polish front door for positive first impression. Consider fresh paint if needed.
- Clean up landscaping, dead vegetation and apply fresh mulch.
- Hide trash cans and remove your cars from the driveway.
- Clear and organize all clutter from home, yard and garage such as toys, abandoned planters, yard supplies, etc.
- For an added touch, plant fresh flowers in planters by front or back door.
- Last but not least, everyone vacate the property completely during all showings.
Doug Shanahan and his group offer free staging reports. Call 940-432-0007 or contact us for more information.