So you plan to put your house on the market this year and think spring is the best time to do it. Guess what; so does everyone else. With the Real Estate market on an upswing (finally) don’t you think your house should stand out from the rest? Of course you do, it just makes sense.
Ask yourself this: As a buyer, would you rather buy the house that reeks of strange smells and is so cluttered that you can’t see the floor? Would you prefer the house that has grungy carpet and dirty bathrooms? Do you want the house with neon colored bedrooms that you’ll have to repaint as soon as you move in?
Or a home that’s clean, decluttered, welcoming and a neutral palette where your furnishings will look beautiful?
If you chose the clean, decluttered and welcoming home, you can bet that’s the one that other buyers will choose too. So yes, you really do need to Stage your home before you sell.
But where do I start?
Now that we’ve established that you need to Stage, where should you start? It may seem overwhelming at first so take it one step at a time.
The first thing you need to do is get in the right frame of mind. Start by detaching yourself from your home. View your home as an asset to be used for maximum return. Start looking at the house through a buyer’s eye. Stand in the entryway and take a close look at what you see and smell. Be tough on yourself. Take care of any smells immediately and remove any unnecessary furniture that you can live without.
Once you have taken care of the odors and removed the excess, it’s time to clean like you’ve never cleaned before. Every part of your house needs to be spotless. Buyers will open cabinets and closets, so clean those out as well. You see, Staging isn’t just adding pretty flowers and baking cookies before an Open House, you need to start with a fresh, clean foundation.
In addition to cleaning, you need to de-clutter. Remove the knick-knacks, chachki collections and mail that’s been piling up. Clean off your refrigerator, work desk and table tops. Any surface that has become a “catch all” spot needs to be cleared.
Now that you’re on a roll…
- Insure all light fixtures are in working condition and not outdated. Then TURN THEM ON before showings.
- Have carpet cleaned or replaced.
- Repair cracks on walls and ceilings.
- Repair any broken items. Repairs will be requested after inspection anyway. Do it now so people won’t be left wondering what else is wrong with the house.
- Paint every room a neutral color; NO EXCEPTIONS. Buyers love fresh, neutral paint.
- Keep all curtains and blinds open when showing to let in light and views.
- Remove all personal photos as well as any religious artifacts. You want buyers to picture their family in the house, not yours.
- Don’t be afraid to rearrange or remove furniture to create better flow through the rooms. This insures there are no obstacles, and makes each room look bigger.
- Rent a storage unit, if need be. Pack up everything that’s not necessary, you’re going to have to do it anyway.
- Overwhelmed? Hire a professional Stager. Staging is not as easy as it sounds and is very time consuming.
Is Staging really worth the effort?
Well, let’s see…
- According to IAHSP (International Association of Home Staging Professionals), 95% of Staged homes sell on average in 11 days or less and for 17% more than homes that are not Staged.
- In a Home Gain survey of over 2000 Realtors, the average ROI (Return on Investment) for a Staged home is 586%.
- According to the NAR (National Association of Realtors) A Staging investment of just 1-3% of the home’s listing price results in a return of 8-10%.
These are pretty convincing statistics.
The numbers don’t lie, but if you’re not a numbers person let’s go back to our original question. As a buyer, which home would you rather live in?
The cluttered home?
Or the Staged home?
That’s what I thought.
So do yourself and your bank account a favor and Stage your home before you list it for sale. It’s one of the best investments you’ll ever make!