Staging your home the right way when it comes time to sell
by Wanda Gertin
on Friday, February 22nd, 2019 at 1:55pm.
When you are selling your home, you want it to look its very best. The better your home looks, the better impressions would-be buyers will get from your home. The better the impression, the more money they are likely to offer you when placing a bid to buy your home.
Because of these things, whether you decide to do it yourself, or hire an outside professional company, staging your home is a critical element to making your home stand out from the other homes for sale in your area and maximizing your ultimate sale price.
The numbers don’t lie. According to a 2017 report from the National Association of Realtors® on home staging, 38% of seller’s agents stated they stage every home they list. Additionally, of that group, 39% said staging not only got increased prices for the homes they were selling, but also decreased the number of days the home was on the market.
With that in mind, today we want to share some tips to help you stage your home the right way.
Where To Start
Especially if you’ve lived in your home for quite some time, the thought of having to stage your home may be overwhelming. If you are in this boat, don’t feel distressed. Following some easy step by step activities, you’ll find you’ve made progress in no time at all.
Declutter: This is perhaps the most important step. Go room by room, removing the items you won’t need between now and moving day. Pay extra attention to cabinets, closets, and pantries — you want to give potential buyers the impression that your home has ample storage. Once you get through a couple rooms, you are bound to have a large amount of things in boxes. Rather than fill up your garage, invest in renting a short-term storage unit to store your decluttered, unneeded things.
Depersonalize: Remember, potential buyers want to be able to picture themselves calling your house home and that’s hard to do if all they see are family photos, personal items, and keepsakes. While it might be a bit emotional, take a run through your home and remove the decor items that make your house feel personally yours.
Buyers Don’t Want To Know You Have Pets In The House: You may love your cat, but potential buyers may not (or they may have an allergy). Make sure to clean thoroughly and remove toys, food dishes and water bowls. The important thing is you do not want a potential buyer that doesn’t have animals to walk into your home and instantly smell that there are animals somewhere in the house.
Don’t Just Clean. Deep clean: Clean to a point where it looks like nobody actually lives in the home: no smudges on the windows, no dust bunnies on the floor, no water marks on the counters. A clean home tells potential buyers that you’ve taken great care of the property.
Consider Investing In Real Estate Staging
If you follow the basic tips above, staging on your own is definitely attainable and certainly is affordable. Just make sure to leave yourself enough time to finish your to-do list before your listing goes live. If you think you either don’t have the time, skills or desire to do it yourself though, hiring a staging company does offer a couple different options available that you can consider.
Partial home staging
An affordable middle-of-the-road option, partial home staging is when you do the decluttering and cleaning yourself before bringing in a professional stager to apply the finishing touches. They’ll rearrange and reimagine your current furniture and decor in a way that’s buyer friendly.
You can also hire a stager to simply do a walkthrough of your house and consult on what you should do to prepare your home for sale and the actual staging tasks will be up to you. Overall, they will charge you a lot less money to perform these services.
Full-service professional home staging
The prices a full-service home stager charges will depend on many factors including how competitive the market you are located in is, whether they charge a flat fee, hourly fee or even percentage of the sale price for their services.
The price they do charge though will typically include both the services of the professional stager and the rental of all the furniture and accessories they bring with them, for a predetermined period of time (usually about a month).
After The Staging Is Done (And Before You Accept An Offer)
Now that you have your home decluttered, cleaned and set up in the most buyer friendly manner possible, you want to be sure to keep your home looking its best the entire time it is on the market. While having your home staged should have accelerated the whole process, making offers come in faster, please consider the following:
Hire A Weekly Cleaning Service
You worked hard to get your house in pristine condition, so don’t let things slide over time. Hire someone to come clean every week. If your budget doesn’t permit that, at the very least, give yourself a few manageable daily tasks to keep everything in tip-top shape while you wait for that perfect offer.
Don’t Forget The Kids
We all know that kids can destroy a perfectly clean room in a matter of minutes. So, if you have small children at home, make sure your real estate agent knows to give you at least two hours’ notice before a showing so you can tidy up and get out the door.
Consider Giving Your Pets A Vacation
Nobody wants to think about being away from their pets, but while your pets might be happy to greet a would-be buyer, not everyone wants to be greeted by your pet when touring your home. Asking a friend to watch your pets while your home is on the market, and/or putting them up in an extended stay daycare/boarding pet hotel is a good idea. This is especially helpful if your pets happen to get stressed out with lots of strange visitors coming and going.
At the end of the day, staging your home to look its best is does take work. The truth is though that done correctly, the time spent staging will pay off exponentially when it comes to the speed in which you sell your home and what the final sales price ends up being.