5 New Tips for Staging a House
Two years ago, we posted an article with 5 tips for staging your home before showing. Those tips are still valuable advice:
- Participate in spring cleaning
- Get strategic with which rooms you stage
- Redesign your home
- Personalize it for the buyer
- Remember curb appeal
Still, we decided to see if any of that advice has changed recently… After all, we’ve had a global pandemic, a hot seller’s market, and a housing crunch. With houses selling so fast, is staging still even necessary?
Yes, staging a house for sale is still a very good investment. While you can probably sell a home as-is, 83% of buyer’s agents agree that buyers are better able to visualize themselves in the home. And 44% of buyer’s agents have seen bigger offers made on staged homes.
What Staging Can Do for Your Sale
Home staging began as something done mostly for luxury homes. Now buyers of all kinds of houses have come to expect some amount of staging. This may be partly due to the popularity of home improvement shows and their big reveals of perfectly decorated homes.
The goal is to have your home reflect a neutral—yet inviting—space where buyers can envision themselves. To accomplish this, the current owner’s personal style must sometimes be eliminated, or at least dialed back.
Staging a house will almost always make it more appealing to buyers, resulting in faster sales and higher selling prices. More good news for the seller: Since it is considered advertising, the cost of staging is tax deductible!
Tips for staging have not changed significantly since our last article. But just as staging can revitalize a home, we’ve also refreshed our tips:
1. Stage a House to Sell—Not to Live In
A professional home stager has a slightly different skill set than a typical interior decorator. Instead of learning about the homeowner and decorating to suit their tastes, they deal with the psychology of potential buyers. They decorate homes so those homes will sell.
This means arranging furniture so there is a flow throughout the space. They pay attention to sight-lines and angles, color trends, and finding the right balance between uncluttered space and coziness.
The rooms they stage are set up to look and feel good, but not necessarily for daily life. For example, the most comfortable seat in a staged room may not have a view of the TV, which it surely would if the homeowner arranged the furniture. Or a room used for sewing or crafts might be restaged as another bedroom, especially in a neighborhood that’s desirable for large families.
Staging choices and furniture placement will be all about aesthetics, flow, and what will sell best in the current market.
2. Invest in the Photo Op
Even before the pandemic made it a necessity, real estate marketing was moving online. It is much more efficient for buyers to review houses for sale and narrow down their search before visiting them in person. Staging is not just important for viewings, but for the photos and videos that will appear on the internet.
Some sellers want to put their house on the market and see what happens before making the investment in professional staging. They are missing out on the opportunity for their house to be shown at its absolute best.
When real estate agents suggest staging, it’s because they know how important those first, online impressions are. Staged houses are more likely to be noticed. And as we mentioned before, they tend to fetch better prices in a shorter amount of time.
3. Remember: It’s Not About You
Even people with a true talent for decorating should consider having someone else steer the staging process. We love our homes, and our personal stamp tends to show up everywhere. That might make it a lovely place... but that personal flair doesn’t mean it will attract buyers. In fact, the opposite usually happens.
Stagers will always opt for neutral finishes and furnishings. Too much of anything—art, books, toys, sports memorabilia—is too much for many buyers to look past. It is also common to put away any family photos or personal items. Many people bristle at this suggestion, but it is important. Buyers need to see the house as their home, not your home.
When selling a house during the holidays, it’s important to remember that less is more. Don’t expect to deck the entire house for Christmas. Again, a family’s traditions are probably too personal. A professional stager can guide a seller on a few pieces to make the home festive, yet tasteful.
4. Use Staging to Make the Move Easier
Cleaning and decluttering is a necessity when putting a home on the market. Taking it a step further with staging can actually make moving out more efficient when a buyer is found.
Because sellers ideally will be removing their personal items from the home, it makes sense to pack them up for moving. Stacking boxes neatly in the basement or garage gets them out of the way. Depending on how much stuff a family has, they may even want to consider storing their things offsite.
Remember that buyers will want to look at everything, including the closets. By removing everything but the essentials, closets will look tidy—and bigger.
A professional stager will have suggestions about what can stay and what should go into storage. They may bring in furniture that they feel works better in a room. For example, a seller might love their huge sectional sofa, but it’s not ideal if it takes up most of the room. Moving in furniture that is sized appropriately can make a room look much bigger than a room that is empty or filled with oversized pieces.
5. Consider a Professional to Stage Your Home
Professional stagers bring special skills to their job. They have a talent for seeing homes with an unbiased eye. They know how buyers need to feel to get excited about a house, and are able to create that feeling with their flair for design. They also keep track of trends in paint colors, flooring materials, and furniture so the house looks up-to-date and fresh.
Along with an experienced real estate agent, adding a home staging professional to the team can help sell a home faster and for more money. They both know the market and what people are looking for.
Contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties to put your house on the market and match you with a professional who can stage your house to sell.
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