To Stage or Not To Stage

To stage or not to stage?

  ⋅BY NICK ABENDROTH  ⋅JULY 19, 2015  ⋅REAL ESTATE,SELLERS

We all know that first impressions matter, but when you’re talking real estate, consider them the be-all and end-all in the grand scheme of things. If you’re trying to sell yourhouse, be aware that you are never going to get a second chance to make that crucial first impression all over again.

Let’s face it – the real estate market is oversaturated and teeming with homes that have been sitting on the market for months while their values are consistently dropping. Those homes are not going to sell anytime soon, either, unless they can offer buyers exactly what they’re looking for and, that too, in an attractive and appealing package.

Enter home staging. Now considered one of the most important processes in selling a home, it’s akin to a cosmetic enhancement or face-lift for your home, making sure that the critical first impression you make wows your potential buyers beyond their expectations.

Home staging addresses not only the interiors or exterior of the home, but its “curb appeal” as well. A buzzword in real estate circles, curb IMG_1274appeal is increasingly being touted as one of the make or break factors in successfully closing a deal. And why not – it’s the very first aspect of a home that you lay your eyes on. Curb appeal encompasses everything from the front door to the front yard to the front exterior of the home – the attractiveness and eye-catchiness of the entire property as viewed from the street is paramount.

Prior to the mid-2000s, home staging was nowhere near the necessity it has culminated into today – an outcome that can be chalked up to the presence of unbridled competition coupled with a lack of buyers in a crowded seller’s market. The resulting stifled demand in the face of swelling inventory levels has made it a field day for buyers.

Buyers today no longer have the time or patience to give a home a second look if they didn’t like something about it the first time around. Moreover, no one wants the additional burden of fixing up a home with an abundance of issues. It’s plain common sense – why should they buy a home they’re not too crazy about when there’s a more appealing one just down the road? Choices are out there, so be warned – once they walk out of that door unhappy, there’s not much else you can do but kiss them goodbye.

So, how do you hang on to prospects, keep their eyes glued on your home, and get them to lap up your offer? It’s no rocket science and is pretty simple, actually. Just follow the home staging tips outlined below and get ready to clinch the deal.

Tips for Exterior home staging

  • Get rid of any debris from the yard. This includes tree limbs, branches, residual leaves, or any trash.
  • Clean any sand off the driveway and walkway, and remove any visible weeds.
  • Weed out all landscaping beds and add a top layer of rock for freshness.
  • Cut back bushes a few feet away from the home to permit better air flow.
  • Add colorful seasonal flowers to the landscaping to further heighten curb appeal.
  • If required, have your driveway seal coated. While it’s relatively easy on the pocket, it can do much to freshen up the look of your home.
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint on the front door and get rid of any visible cob webs.
  • Place some colorful potted flowering plants at the entrance.
  • Get repairs completed before a home inspection, as buyers usually estimate higher for making repairs than what those improvements actually cost.

Tips for interior home staging

  • Remove any unnecessary items from the home to make it look larger and uncluttered. You can either sell them off, store them at a local storage facility, or rent a storage unit from PODS (portable on demand storage).
  • After getting rid of the clutter, a major spring cleaning should be carried out, focusing particularly on making the bathrooms and kitchen – which are key deal clinchers – impeccably spic and span.
  • Tidy up and neatly organize all closets in your home, making sure closet space is maximized to its fullest.
  • Wipe down all windows to ensure maximum entry of natural light. Brighter homes are more appealing to buyers.
  • Touch up any worn paint or marks in high traffic areas.
  • Clean out and organize the garage to make it look as spacious as possible.
  • Install bright lamps in darker areas and make sure they are turned on during showings.
  • Remove unessential items from kitchen countertops to give them a more spacious feel.
  • Dust and wipe all faucets, mirrors, lights, and ceiling fans.
  • Remove any loose grout in your tubs, showers, sinks, or tile flooring, and re-caulk them.
  • Repair any leaking faucets.

Final Thought- Needless to say, it’s also important to enlist the services of the right Realtor® – someone with the requisite practical experience and technological savviness to not only help you set an appropriate price for your home, but also market it to the moon and back. This, together with home staging, forms a potent combination that has the potential to blow away your buyers, cannibalize sales from the competition, and get your home the price it deserves – and then some – in no time!

Other Resources:    

Misconceptions of Staging 

Home Staging on a Budget

Home Staging Do’s and Dont’s

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