We can all agree that our living spaces don’t look like immaculate model homes. Clutter and out-of-placed items are daily struggles for most of us. Home sellers are oftentimes stressed at the thought of getting their home “sale-ready”. They look at photos of other homes in their neighborhood or on Zillow and wonder how they can ever compare. They want multiple offers to ensure they get the best price for their home in the least possible time. The truth is that having a seller’s home look appealing and luxurious is a lot easier than they might imagine. Home staging is important for getting multiple offers.
WHAT IS STAGING?
Home Staging is the method of enhancing a home’s attractiveness. People often confuse staging with interior design. In home staging, the aim is to sell the property. In interior design, the aim is create attractiveness and functionality to live in the home. Home staging encompasses everything from depersonalization and decluttering of a home to professional interior designers bringing in furniture to create new spaces. It’s about viewing the home from the perspective of a potential home buyer.
WHY HOME STAGING
Through staging, you create a space where buyers can imagine themselves living. By doing this, most experts agree that buyers form an emotional bond with your home and are more likely to overlook minor issues. This often results in higher demand for your home. The more buyers compete to have their offer accepted, the better terms a home seller can expect. Thus, home staging is important for multiple offers.
Research from the National Association of Realtors has shown that “81% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home”. There is also science on “first impressions”. A BMO study published in 2013 found that 80 per cent of potential buyers know if a home is right for them as soon as they step inside. Studies in psychology show how people draw opinions of people they are meeting for the first time, oftentimes in seconds. The same holds true in home selling.
Most home buyers can decide almost immediately if they like a home or not. And changing their minds afterwards is difficult. If someone disconnects with a space upon entering the home, they’re going to have a tough time changing their attitudes afterwards. Many home sellers don’t understand that they must presented and market their homes just like other merchandise. Sellers want to do what is necessary to show the home in the best light possible. This reduces the number of days to go under contract and also increases its perceived value to home buyers. This is why home staging is important for multiple offers.
STEPS OF HOME STAGING
Home staging usually takes place room by room, with the home’s exterior curb appeal and main entrance being the most important areas. This creates the “first impression” of home buyers driving up to the home and entering it for the first time. The objective is to hear the word “WOW”. This is music to a real estate agent’s ears. There are 5 key components involved in most home staging tied to how we experience an environment.
This is often the most difficult for home owners since they have lived and gotten used to how their homes appear. To them, the home is clean, functional, and organized. However, from the eyes of a prospective buyer, most homes appear crowded with things that do not interest them. Buyers worry that storage will be an issue. During this step, home stagers will recommend removing unnecessary furniture, art, personal photos, etc. The idea is to present a blank slate that stagers can then apply decor to. Consider closets and cupboards should be no more than 30% full (so that it appears the home has excess storage). Home sellers should also clean out the refrigerator and pantry, and remove excess items from the property (in storage units).
- Renovations and Repairs
Once excessive pieces have been removed, the flaws will then present themselves. This is when sellers will see that they may need new carpets or a fresh coat of paint. This is the time for sellers to take care of maintenance issues and show the home in its best condition. This includes checking outside decking and patio areas, roof and windows.
Stagers are trained to look at light coming into the rooms from windows and from light fixtures. Natural light is your friend. Sellers may need to remove blinds and curtains to make sure light floods the home. Not only natural light but also artificial light in a home is one of the most budget-friendly ways of making rooms appear larger and more attractive. Sellers may also need to replace outdated light fixtures at this time.
Another important part of home staging is cleaning. Homeowners should deep clean their homes from top to bottom. This includes air filters, ceiling fans, under the sink, on top of and under the refrigerator, crown moldings, hard to reach light fixtures, windows, and doors. Be sure to read our earlier article Selling Your Home This Fall for great home cleaning tips. Another tip is for home sellers to limit home cooking at this time to reduce odors. Pets are another concern. Sellers may prefer to keep pets confined during the home selling process. Adding a few candles are fine but going overboard with room deodorizers often make buyers wonder if there is a problem. Having a great smelling home is of utmost importance.
Most home stagers probably have the most fun in being creative with home decor. It’s all setting a mood and theme for the entire home. They will bring in artwork, new furniture, light fixtures, pillows, and other decorative pieces to bring life into the home. Additionally, this may include plants, flowers, and area rugs. They will set the dining room table, arrange bedrooms and bathrooms, and bring fun factors into the home.
Home stagers create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere, where potential buyers envision their new lives and want to stay. Home staging is key to making a home irresistible to buyers. Additionally, by understanding the rational behind staging and the process it involves, sellers ensure their home makes a great first impression and encourages multiple buyers to bid on their home. Who doesn’t want that?
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