Home staging is an essential piece of the puzzle when putting your home on the market! Staging is key for creating an emotional connection with prospective buyers, and is a very powerful way to ensure that someone will want to buy your home; it can be as simple as de-junking, or it might be a complete “clean sweep”! Staging is key for creating an emotional connection with buyers. People are super busy today, and the majority of them are looking for “move-in” ready properties aka turnkey. Check out some of these thoughts for a successful stage…
LOVE IT, OR LOSE IT!
I really can’t say enough about this one; a clutter-free environment allows buyers to envision themselves in the space. It’s perfectly fine to leave a few pieces of décor out, but you certainly don’t want to distract them from seeing what they’re getting with your home. De-cluttering is uber important, and once you’ve streamlined things, try putting a few accessories back in to showcase the lifestyle you want your home to project. Details matter; coffee table books, fine art collectibles, and a few live plants give buyers the impression that someone actually lives there. Old-school staging styles tended to be more sterile, looking like a furniture showroom. Warm and cozy is key! Google some before/after photos, and you’ll see what a difference staging can make.
CREATE TRAFFIC FLOW
Creating a nice flow from room-to-room will definitely help to make your home feel more spacious. Offering a space for coats, purses, and umbrellas creates a nice organized feel.
KEEP IT CLEAN/KEEP IT NEUTRAL
Nothing turns buyers off more than a “pigpen” of a home. Cleaning is easy and cheap; the odd dust bunny is one thing, but if your home smells like garbage or mold or pets, buyers may walk in, and walk right back out again! Design is extremely subjective; you may love your neon pink paint, ahaha I totally would, but buyers may not!
Everyone loves a home with lots of light; turn on your lamps and overhead lighting and open all the window coverings, the more sunlight, the better!
Buyers generally check out their favourite neighbourhoods and drive by listings before even booking a showing or attending an Open House; they also tend to make super quick judgements about a home based solely on curb appeal. First impressions matter, so ensure sidewalks are free of clutter, garbage, and toys, even re-painting your front door in a colour that coordinates with your house and trim can be a wise investment. Set up a nice welcoming bench and add a seasonal wreath. Keep the garden tidy, the lawn mowed, and maybe plant some bright flowers to add some colour. On a side note, I know for a fact that potential buyers cancel showing appointments based on yucky curb appeal when doing a drive-by!
Book a home inspection if you’re unsure about electrical, plumbing, and structural compliance; it’s much better to find out about any surprises BEFORE selling than after an offer is in place with inspection conditions.
MAKE IT COZY!
Your absolute goal is to help possible buyers to envision your home as theirs! In order to do that, they need to see the “details” of your home, and to spend a bit of time in it. The goal of staging is to encourage buyers to hang out in each room a bit so they can take in its features and envision themselves living there.
If you have a working fireplace, use it, add fresh flowers, bake some cookies, make your home feel cozy by playing soft music; buying a home is about emotions. Signs of a happy life will instantly jumpstart a buyer’s mood and maximize the selling potential of your home.
…forget the small things, or leave pets in the home during showings/Open Houses, and whatever you do, don’t even think of “cleaning” by jamming everything into the basement or your garage!
THE BOTTOM LINE…
Ensure you’ve covered all your bases before putting the “For Sale” sign up in your yard! Get a friend whose taste you trust to give you a “no-holds-barred” review, and use his/her free feedback to your best advantage! Proper staging will help you sell your home faster, and maybe even for a higher price! Always remember the way you live in your home is not necessarily the way you sell your home. Things that may be fun for you may be a huge distraction when trying to sell.
“Buyers only know what they see, not the way it’s going to be” | Barb Schwarz [Founder/CEO of stagedhomes.com]