As a Realtor ® working with all types of home sellers, I would say for the most part the goal of a home owner is to sell their home for the highest price in the least amount of time. First, this means setting the right listing price, and second, making the property look as best as it can be, which may involve home staging. But do staged homes really sell faster and for more money? Short answer? Yes.
As reported by the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that are staged spend 73% less time on the market than homes that were not staged. Even in a strong sellers market. A staged home will always be ahead of their competition.
So what is staging anyway?
In a nutshell, staging is about making your home as attractive, clean and welcoming as possible so that buyers can envision themselves in the home, and ultimately look to buy it. Staging, when done right, can increase the sales price and return on a homeowners investment. It generally involves decluttering, removal of personal items, sometimes painting here and there, adding new accessories and select pieces of furniture, and maybe updating some lighting.
Where do I start staging?
The first part of the staging, you can likely tackle on your own with or without the advice of a stager, by removing the extra personal and excess items and starting the purge and pack. The end goal is to have spaces that are open and free of any personal items. So for starters here are some top tips that professional stagers recommend to start the staging process:
Clear off horizontal surfaces
Open up your space and make sure desks, countertops, coffee tables, end tables, etc. are as free of items as possible. Give the impression that there’s lots of room available on horizontal surfaces.
Remove the clutter
Think of your home as a model home or showroom, so anything not absolutely needed should be packed away. Things can creep into the space, additional accent tables, shelving units, decorative baskets on the floor - all of these things should be packed, donated or sold to make the home as open as possible
Remove any personal items
A well staged home will help your potential buyer to envision their family there - and not feel like they are in someone else’s house, so this is a good time to remove any personal photos and items that have accumulated over time.
Add some flowers
It’s great to add some life to the space, and fresh flowers or plants placed in a few rooms, can make a room look more inviting
Be boring when you paint
When staging to sell, the focus is now on making your home have the widest appeal, so neutral colours are best. That doesn't mean it has to be bland, this is where staging and pops of colour can make your rooms shine with accessories.
Make a good first impression with curb appeal
Curb appeal is important, so don't’ forget the outdoors and make a good first impression as this can be a reflection of how inside may have been cared for.
Along with making your home look good, it should smell good too, and smoke, cooking and pet odors can make or break a deal. If this is something you are facing, hiring professional cleaners may be a worthwhile investment.
If all this sounds overwhelming, take small steps, room by room, start with the living room, then dining room, kitchen and primary bedroom as order of importance. Recruit family or friends to help and try and make it fun. You will have to pack and move anyways, so this may be a good time to assess what will and will not come with you on your new home.
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