We all know that too much effort goes into buying a home. Buyers meticulously search for their desired home and would look at not only a handful but perhaps, countless home listings. Then, they decide on whether to pause, look at it twice or even thrice, choose to see it in person, or move on to the next property.
What does it take for your home to stand out? First, it has to feel like home to a buyer. Then, having all practical details into play, making a buyer emotionally attached to the house is just as important. They say home staging then is both a science and an art. It is a “marketing with psychology” kind of strategy.
A buyer should be able to imagine if he can bring his personality into the new home. This means the stage you would set will be neutral yet personal, too, in a way. Another significant aspect is the buyer’s visualization. If the buyer sees himself as living in your property, he develops a personal connection and will feel happy about it.
You are up for highlighting your house’s best features and minimizing its flaws. You want to “package” your home to make it the most appealing. Doing this will guarantee that you will generate interest and attention from your prospects, get higher offers, and make them quicker sales.
How can you increase your home’s appeal? What are the things you need to consider for a well-staged home?
What is Home Staging? Why is it Important?
Simply put, home staging is the process where one prepares a house for possible sale, much like “setting the stage” as it is. It covers renovations, rearranging furniture, decluttering, and more.
Staging a property or house for sale suggests preparation on the part of the homeowner. As a result, their home is prepared well for the considerable number of buyers and boosts the chances of selling fast at a higher price.
Home staging guarantees buyers may see your home (and eventually theirs) in its best condition. In addition, most buyers’ agents agree that staging a home facilitates easily how the buyer visualizes the property as his own – a future home or investment.
Prospective buyers may request you show them what a property offers without requiring a complete home design renovation or upgrade. However, as sales develop, its price usually rises.
Buyers seem to decide within the first ten seconds of the property visit. So then, you must elicit the “WOW factor” as soon as they step into your house. Home staging is not merely filling up a space with beautiful furniture and decors – it is more than that.
It is all about bringing your property to life with energy and inspiration.
What is the Value of Home Staging to You?
Historical data all point out that home staging is an essential factor in selling, an advantage. The process markets your house in such a way that brings a higher offer at the least possible time.
As you do the home staging yourself – some of the costs you may incur are those for cleaning and repair supplies, storage options, painting jobs expenses, new furniture, and decors.
Do you think it is worthy in your case? Think about other factors before deciding: your budget and total costs, your schedule, the type of market where you live, and the value that the home staging will offer you.
Home Staging Options
Home Staging can be done with three options, although you can combine all these three:
1. Do It Yourself (DIY);
3. Hire a Professional Home Stager - to do everything for you.
Is DIY Home Staging the Best Option?
Most home sellers assume staging a home has to cost a lot, or maybe hire a professional to help you stage your home. The fact is this: borrowing furniture, decluttering, and providing DIY decorations in your home could be just as better and more appealing.
Of course, when you’re selling your home – you want it to be at its best for the prospective buyers. This is where home staging becomes beneficial. It all depends on your situation, your timelines, your budget, and how much work your home needs.
How to do it on a budget or even DIY? The DIY option is the best strategy if you’re working on a tight budget and you have the desire to do what it takes to present and make your property more marketable.
We will share tips to make your home stand out without breaking the bank while attracting the right prospects and selling your house quickly.
• Decluttering is 1st priority
Decluttering is the top priority when starting the groundwork among home areas. It is the first step you need to consider in home staging. You wouldn’t want the prospects to hear complaints of having a lot of mess on the property, ‘right? It will also jumpstart your packing process on whether you must dispose of stuff you no longer need, sell, or donate some of the items.
Decluttering has its advantages. First, it makes the house or unit look as roomy as possible. Second, the house should also give the buyers the “feeling of home.” Can they imagine what the place looks like without most of your belongings?
As you declutter, this means a lot of cleaning up to do: clearing your closets, removing some very personal photos or décor, tidying up countertops, and thinning some shelves.
• Do Deep Cleaning
After decluttering, the second-order of the day is to do deep cleaning of the entire house. Wash off all the dirt on the floors and windows. Take time to dust and vacuum the floor and furniture, wipe off all the grime from the electric fans and A/C vents, and more. Do your carpets need some shampooing? Also, give extra love to your bathrooms by having fresh-smelling towels with new toiletries. Put some green plants for accent. In addition, all the bedrooms should look organized and clean. The beds should have fresh beddings. They should look appealing and relaxing. The kitchen is also one part of the house where cleanliness is expected. Make sure all the kitchen equipment is stored correctly and organized.
• Repair and repaint
Check all the parts or stuff needing home repairs or improvements. Are the doors noisy? Do the doorknobs dangle? How about the faucets - are they in good condition? Do you have portions of the house where minor repairs are necessary but put on hold? Now is the time to have such few repairs done.
Do you need repainting jobs? If your walls are bright colors, you may consider repainting them for a neutral palette. Bursts of colors are great, but neutrals as the dominant color scheme will look better. Beige, gray, and pastel colors are recommended. Check and do some touch-ups for moldings, walls, kitchen cabinets, baseboards, and stairwells.
• Make the rooms appear more prominent
The more spacious rooms seem more attractive to the buyer. A few tested strategies are: opening the blinds or curtains, putting mirrors to have more light, removing excessive furniture and rugs, and keeping a neutral color scheme for the walls, windows, and furniture.
Remember that the less random stuff you have on display, the more spacious your rooms will look, so remove them during the home staging.
• Enhance the curb appeal with accent décor
Home staging also covers the house's outdoor spaces to improve your home's curb appeal.
Some classic accents for staging the house's exterior include pillow cushions (big and bright ones) for the patio or deck, some green and lush plants or adding colorful flowers in window boxes, updating the lighting, replacing the mailbox, and candles/scents.
You may use diffusers and candles: candles for their lights and diffusers for their scents. Plants around the coffee table provide variety to an otherwise ordinary look. Most people would love plants. For the eating area, if there is one - have a straightforward set-up of plates, a bottle of wine, and some wine glasses. Have a good centerpiece such as a vase of lovely flowers or a basket of fresh fruits.
• Depersonalize and re-decorate the space
Just keep a few photos and decors (if you have a lot of them) since the prospects could perceive them as clutter and, thus, might be distracting. Potential buyers will be more encouraged to make a competitive offer if they can imagine themselves living in the property. Depersonalizing the space is part of how you can stage your house correctly.
Of course, one doesn't want to erase the personality from your home, but the house must look neutral so potential buyers can imagine themselves living there.
• Make sure your property smells good
Clean up the pet’s house, food bowls, litter box, etc., as you do your photoshoot listing and showing. It will be best to keep the pets away for the time being as there could be prospects who may have some allergies. Worse, some may not want to visualize their new home filled with pet clutter. Plus, pets’ awful smell can be a real deal-breaker.
Take time to spruce up some rooms with fresh flowers, like the living and dining rooms which can enhance the home’s appearance and make the house smell good. These flowers need not be expensive, and maybe you can pick fresh ones from your garden (depending on the season).
Use fragrances moderately by using light air fresheners in the living spaces, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms. These candles, diffusers, or air fresheners are small items that definitely won't cost much. Creating the season's ambiance with twigs of DIY spruce or a simmering pot of apples and cinnamon will be impressive, but do not tend to be overboard, as too many compelling aromas can also be pretty distasteful. You don’t want to annoy the prospective buyers in the end.
• Borrow furniture and buy secondhand items
It will be better to borrow furniture and décor from your family, relatives, and friends or buy secondhand stuff. Renting some home décor can be costly, too. Consider some of the unused items/furniture of family members in their garage or basement that would add beauty to your staged home. You might never know that they are just waiting to discard those things. Other sellers have too many items to display and would like to rotate or change what they have. Check if you can request their spare items in the meantime.
• Decorate with DIY projects or repurposed stuff
Do-It-Yourself or DIY projects are great art ideas. For example, if you have empty photo frames, you may replace some existing photos with pictures that can show both balance and interest. However, do not spend so much finding the appropriate artwork to stage for your home. One suggestion is to get help from an artistic family member or a creative friend for your DIY projects.
You can surely get ideas from loved ones for repurposing some home items. Think of ways to decorate your home beautifully and, in the process, save some of your dollars.
You can also look at some home decorating ideas from any of the following: favorite home stores, home and garden decorating shows, open houses, garage sales, books, catalogs, and magazines on home improvement, and yes, Pinterest. Then, do a workaround to reinvent the concepts you want using economical materials. You will be surprised at what projects you can make; some may be out-of-the-box but unique.
Whether making your home décor or not, these valuable tips will push your creativity and help you cut costs. Home staging shouldn't be expensive at all, plus it should help buyers see the potential of your home to be their own!
Empty Homes’ Option: Virtual Staging
• An empty house may remain as it is (but don’t expect it will sell faster versus a staged home).
• Use a few pieces that will offer the buyers the scale of the rooms, such as a coffee table in the patio, a rug for the living room, a couch in the den, etc. If you wouldn’t want the items later, you may resell or donate.
• Virtual Staging is adding furnishings to your space digitally. It may be the best option to make your home attractive. You may avail of an online service or choose a DIY app to be able to implement it.
Most home staging tips do not require much money, which is excellent! It makes sense for the sellers to spend time and effort staging their homes with many benefits.
If you are thinking of selling or are just getting ready to sell your property, remember these home staging options and tips to make those changes that will sell your house quickly and for MORE money. You may even add new life to an otherwise inactive listing, which is quite effective and valuable.
We can help you connect to the right buyers, and if you’re looking to buy your dream home after selling, we at Broker One
can assist you. Whether it’s a single-family home, condominium, or townhouse – we have the best options to meet your requirements.