It’s All About Making a Great First Impression!
In today’s market, selling your home for the best price in the least amount of time requires making a great first impression on your potential buyers, and this requires staging your home to sell. A well-maintained, clean, and nicely furnished home creates a warm and inviting atmosphere, and staging your home before it is placed on the market does just that. How you live in your home day-to-day is different than how you sell your house. However, many of the benefits of home staging, a term coined by Barbara Schwartz, can also make day-to-day living more comfortable and enjoyable.
Although every house is different, there are certain principles which apply to any home. A well-staged home will seem spacious and uncluttered. Highlighting a home’s best features such as a fireplace, beautiful view, or sunroom is key. With proper furniture placement, even a small room can be made to appear spacious. With proper lighting and color, dark rooms can be made to appear brighter. Neutral and earth colors will make your home appeal to the greatest number of people. Pink may be your favorite color and go with the dining room chair but will it appeal to the majority of people?
Why Stage your Home?
You have only one chance to make that great first impression! Your goal, of course, is to sell your home as quickly as possible at top dollar. Buyers form an opinion of your home within seconds of seeing it for the first time. If they like what they see on the outside, they will be anxious to see what is inside. The cost of staging is very minimal especially when compared to paying a mortgage while a home stays on the market for months and months or having to reduce the asking price. Most buyers don’t want to see or think about what work they will have to do once they move in. They want a move-in condition home. Remember, they could be comparing your home to a new one, as well.
A properly staged home is one that looks Well-Maintained, Uncluttered, Clean, Bright, and Spacious. Buyers want spacious rooms, as well as closets, cabinets, and garages. You can accomplish this and simplify your move in the process. Why not pack up items that are out of season and part with (sell, donate, give to family) things you are not using any more. Even pantries and cabinets that are cluttered and jammed full of stuff are sending a message that the kitchen does not have enough storage. By organizing shelves and leaving some empty space, you are changing that first impression.
Furniture arrangement is very important. A room overcrowded with furniture looks smaller. Consider traffic flow and that they are trying to picture their furniture and accessories in your rooms. Take out most of the family photos. You want buyers to picture their family in the home, not yours. All rooms should be sparkling clean and light. Anything that is broken needs to be repaired.
Go outside and take a good hard look at the front of your property. Do you see a green lawn that has been cut and edged, bushes trimmed, flowers blooming, gutters clean, and paint in good shape? If not, then you need to make some changes as this will be the first thing people see when they approach your home.
The ideal time to prep a home is before it is placed on the market. However, if it has been on the market for several months and is competitively priced, try staging the home before you reduce the price. It could save you lots of money.
If you would like some advice and assistance on staging/home presentations, there are professionals that will help you. Lynn Medeiros with LM HomeServices (LMHS) is an experienced real estate stager who has been working with Realtors, individuals, and businesses in the Louisville metropolitan area for several years. Lynn says that “most clients can’t believe what a difference removing or rearranging furniture and accessories can make!”
LMHS staging services include a consultation which is a thorough walk through of a property and a detailed written report on specific recommendations for each area in your home. These are usually small, cost effective changes that you can do or have done. Another option is hands-on services, where the stagers actually organize, rearrange, add or remove furniture and accessories. For more information on these services visit Lynn at her website above. References are available.