When you’re selling a home, it’s best to keep in mind that first impressions are often the deciding factor. If your home doesn’t grab attention or look appealing, you will probably lose many prospective buyers.
With about 90% of homebuyers starting their search online these days, your home should be noteworthy enough to catch their eye and get them through your door. This is why home staging is becoming an essential step in maximizing your home’s visual appeal. And while it’s understandable that you might be reluctant to spend additional money in order to transform the look of your current living space, staging can have a profound impact on the potential sale of your home.
Real estate agents and professional stagers say that staging can make a huge difference in helping a home sell faster and for a much higher price, offering a larger return on the investment. In fact, according to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes spend 72% less time on the market after they are staged.
Staging can be as simple as de-cluttering and implementing minor tweaks in furnished homes, which include the basics like:
- Cleaning and removing grime or stains on the walls, glass, countertops, and stainless steel surfaces
- Touching up the paint
- Replacing broken light fixtures
- Ensuring that the entire area smells clean and fresh
In the case of empty spaces, basic rental furniture or mock-up furniture that can be easily assembled and transported will be brought in. This is to show that the room is large enough to accommodate certain types of furniture like sofas and queen-sized beds.
Accents to give the space more character are then added, like books, pictures on tables and walls, plus small decorations as well as potted plants in order to give the house color and make it feel more welcoming.
For homes with large open spaces, curb appeal is given priority, as nothing catches the attention of homebuyers more than a beautifully landscaped yard or garden. There’s no denying that artful landscaping bolsters the image of any home and increases its resale value. Exterior surfaces and elements are also spruced up, like door handles, window panes, and outdoor decks, while walls should be repainted when needed.
The Staging Evolution
Nowadays, the staging process has evolved. Stagers are doing all-out transformations that project a compelling look to draw the right type of buyers. Staging is not only about dressing up a living space to make it look more presentable, but now involves presenting a lifestyle to prospective buyers.
In this age where information can be accessed anytime and anywhere, times have certainly changed in terms of people’s expectations. More contemporary design is favored, and looks that feature ornate furnishings and heavy fabrics are a surefire turnoff for most buyers, no matter how much the space is praised in magazines like Architectural Digest.
In general, buyers prefer a simpler design with cleaner lines and tones, and if a room has gaudy colors or furniture, they will remember that and just walk away.
Walls with dark, claustrophobic colors are now painted in lighter, neutral tones, and sometimes with a burst of color or wallpaper in some panels to indicate a bit of flair and fun. Antiquated furniture is replaced with modern, cleaner looking shapes, with wood slab coffee tables and textured rugs used for accents.
Heavy drapery blocking the view from windows is switched for sheer or linen curtains that bring in more natural light. And obviously staged props like freshly baked cookies, a completely set dining table, or even a tray on a bed with a coffee cup will feel contrived and phony for most buyers today, so they’ve been done away with.
Some staging elements could also involve expensive replacements or remodels like stainless steel kitchen appliances, granite countertops, and hardwood floors. Whether or not you’ll want to get this done will depend on your budget, just know that these features are often irresistible to many homebuyers, who consider them an important investment and are willing to pay more for it.