Are you thinking about selling your house? Before you put it on the market, you should try home staging.
Just watch almost any show on HGTV and you’ll see potential buyers walking through listings and cringing at the décor, paint color, clutter, etc. And most of the time, they can’t look past it.
Staging means to put your home in the best possible light and decorate it to make it more attractive to a prospective buyer. On average, staging can add 10 to 15 percent value to a home and help it sell quicker.
It’s business, nothing personal
Selling a home can be very emotional. You may be tied to your home, the memories and the way it looks because it represents you and your life experiences. However, once you put your home on the market, it’s no longer your home. It’s a product that you’re trying to promote and sell.
That means some people may not have the same tastes as you. You have to be open to making changes so that a potential buyer can see themselves and their families living in the home and creating their own experiences. It’s time to start thinking of the process as a business transaction. You can do this by making your home more neutral, which makes it more attractive to a broader market of buyers.
10 ways to attract buyers with staging
1. Use neutral colors/patterns. This will appeal to the broader market. If you have 100 visitors look at a room with bright wall colors or wallpaper, you may get 5 percent who have the same taste as you. What about the other 95%? This group thinks of it as more work (and money) they need to change the colors or remove the wallpaper.
2. Clear the junk. Nobody wants to see rooms full of junk. It’s distracting and really basic, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t do this before a showing. This means not leaving shoes by the front door, putting away laundry, and much more.
3. Fix all outstanding repairs. Fixing repairs adds value to your home. Even if it’s little things like fixing the leaking tap, patching holes in the wall, replacing cracked tiles, or oiling a squeaky door, this is the most effective way to add value to your home. All the little things add up to headaches that a buyer does not want to deal with after moving.
4. Depersonalize your home. If you have a lot of personal photographs on the refrigerator, the wall, tables or anywhere throughout your house, place them in a box and store them for your new home. You need buyers to imagine themselves living in the house. Psychologically, they find it harder to do this with your family photos reminding them of your life in the home.
5. Remove excess furniture. Most homes have too much furniture, which makes a room look smaller. With less to look at, a buyer can visualize the placement of their belongings.
6. Rearrange rooms. This will again give the illusion of more space. The more floor space a visitor can see, the bigger they think the room looks to them.
7. Clean thoroughly. Don’t overlook anything. Clean all the windows, sinks, toilets, showers and re-grout the tile if it looks grungy. Empty the garbage, put away dishes and hang fresh towels.
8. Let the light in. Open blinds and curtains and turn on all lights before a showing. Buyers like lots of light because it makes a room feel more airy and spacious.
9. Clean the yard. Outdoor spaces are a big selling factor. Be sure the outdoor furniture is clean, remove weeds, and mow the grass. Be sure to trim bushes and the lower branches on trees (typically the bottom ¼ to 1/3 of limbs).
10. Curb appeal. Remember, it’s the first impression for a buyer. If it’s not very appealing, they may not get out of the car. Be sure the lawn is in top shape, clean the gutters, remove driveway stains and plant colorful flowers. Doing this helps photos look better too when promoting the house.
If you’re unsure of where your home stands, have a friend or Realtor walk through your home and make notes of what they feel may turn off buyers.
Do you have more tips? Leave a comment below on what distracts you (or your client, if you’re an agent) when looking at a home and what sellers should try.