Because you only get one chance at a first impression, it’s critical for everything in a home to look its best. When potential buyers look through a house, they need to be able to visualize themselves living there. Staging is a great way to showcase a home’s assets by organizing and decorating it in the most visually appealing way.
Staging can be very beneficial to selling a home. In fact, according to the NAR, 83 percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. If you’re not sure where to get started or if your sellers don’t have a large budget for staging, here are five staging tips to get started.
Highlight Key Areas
If your clients are trying to spend the minimal amount when staging, encourage them to only focus on key rooms that are most influential in the sale of the home. A recent NAR report stated that “the most common rooms that were staged included the living room (93 percent), kitchen (84 percent), master bedroom (78 percent), and the dining room (72 percent).” Because of this, it’s not necessary to arrange smaller rooms, such as guest rooms or bathrooms. However, it could also be beneficial to stage the first room prospective buyers enter, since it will set the tone of the home.
Clear Out the Clutter
Probably one of the easiest and most affordable staging tactics is to reduce the amount of clutter in each room. In fact, the most common home improvement item recommended to sellers was decluttering the home (95 percent). Recommend sellers pare down or put away some of their extraneous belongings. For example, ask them to find a different place to keep the mail or clear the countertops of utensil holders.
Another option is to arrange the furniture to make everything look as open as possible. Organize furniture to create a clean line of focus, especially in the living room. Creating open, walkable spaces helps potential buyers visualize their own furniture in each room. Ask sellers if they would be willing to put bulky, damaged, or mismatched furniture into storage.
Reduce the Personal Touch
Remind sellers that their goal is to encourage buyers to visualize the space as their own. One of the best ways to do so is by removing the personal items from the home. Advise the current homeowners to remove items that could distract buyers from imagining what living in the house would be like. Family portraits, trophies, children’s toys, pet items, and that collection of Game of Thrones figurines should all be put away.
Few things are worse than walking into a dark home. Encourage clients take down heavy window hangings to allow more natural light to come in and invest in additional lighting fixtures if needed. Before showings, make sure that all of the blinds or curtains are open and turn on all of the lights. This can help make the home feel more welcoming and appear larger.
Finally (and very importantly), tell sellers that they need to clean their home from top to bottom. Every square inch should be sparkling as it shows potential buyers that the home has been well-maintained. This is beneficial not only for appearance’s sake, but it could also help to keep the value of the home high. If it seems like a daunting task, suggest to sellers that they start from the top and work their way down. Ceiling fans, blinds, tops of cabinets, etc. should all be tackled before floors and baseboards. Cleaning can also reveal any areas that need a little maintenance.
Overall, even with a limited budget, there are a number of small changes that will drastically change a space. Staging can be a difficult task and it may take some time to focus on. While you are taking the time to make a listing looks its best Homes.com is here to help. With Homes.com Lead Concierge, we will contact and screen any leads for you so that you don’t have to worry about your leads while you are taking the time to stage that listing to sell.
For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.
Patty McNease is vice president of Brand Marketing for Homes.com. For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.