Buying and selling a home is potentially one of the largest investments we can make, and it can be very costly! When we plan to sell our home, we’re often looking to pinch pennies wherever we can. Should we give the walls a fresh coat of paint? Should we fix that large crack in the ceiling, or repair the leaky faucet? We want to get the most out of our home without pouring a lot of money into it, and understandably so. So what should we do when it comes to staging our home before listing it? Is the extra cost worth it?
When it comes to where we should save money and where we should spend some, staging is one investment that you won’t regret! In most cases, staging greatly increases the opportunity for a quick sell and helps buyers get their desired asking amount.
Just like we do, homes leave a first impression. How the property is presented and perceived by others is of utmost importance! Think back to when you were last looking at homes. Which ones do you remember? What homes did you linger in, and what made you walk out of others without a second thought (other than, “What was that smell?”) Do you recall the ones that felt dark, dismal, or cramped? How about the homes where you spent a little too much time in each room, dreaming of entertaining or growing your family; pointing out where your favorite antique piece would go, or which room would be best for little Charlie?
One goal of staging is to create the space for potential buyers to envision your property as their own…to grab their attention and hold it! How do you create a space where others feel immediately at home? How do we de-personalize our home so that others feel more connected to it? In order to create this visually psychological effect, several things need to be done.
First, staging is a great opportunity to de-clutter! Less is more. Yes, this can be annoying, time consuming, and a little bit painful. Our homes reflect our personalities and what we love, as they should. But when selling a home, we don’t want buyers to see us (as cool as we are) but to see themselves, their stuff, and their future! It can be difficult for agents or buyers to look past the bold wall color, the room dedicated to a favorite sports team, or endless pictures of the family pet to see the potential of a home. Clutter–even useful clutter–can make a home seem too small with too little storage. We want buyers to feel an emotional attachment, to leave talking about THIS house and to lay awake at night hoping it will be theirs! So get a head-start on packing and box up whatever you can live without for a short time! It will surely be worth the time and effort.
Second, staging will highlight your home’s strengths and minimize its weaknesses. Simple things such as lighting, furniture placement, and color help showcase the best of your home. Paring down will make it feel spacious and more open. Taking care of those minor repairs and touch ups will take your home from “well-loved” to well-cared for. Furniture placement will help give each space and room a distinct purpose. Your “catch all” space is now a second living space, a playroom, or an office…rather than all three!
Lastly, staging will help your home sell more quickly and will help justify the asking price. This is not to suggest that you can ask more than the fair market value. Staging does not increase the value, but if a home is well-maintained, potential buyers will feel more comfortable with the price. Paring down also makes the house feel move-in ready, not to mention buyers will want to beat their competition to the punch!
We’ve talked a lot about drawing the buyers, but it’s important to note that agents play a vital role as well. Buyer’s agents have most likely walked through many homes, and if they love your home, their excitement will rub off on their clients! News travels fast among agents when a home is a “must see,” so you can expect the number of those who walk through your home to increase, which increases your chance of getting at or above your asking price in a timely manner!
Your agent will be your best resource when it comes to staging your home! At LEAGUE, we offer an “in-house” staging consultation as part of our regular marketing services. We want our clients to feel comfortable, included and excited, without feeling the pressure to do it all on their own! As always, we are here for you and #ReadyToServe.