First and foremost, home staging should be thought of as a marketing tool that plays a crucial role in getting a higher return on your investment. Your investment, of course, being your house! Ultimately, staging makes your property appeal to the highest number of potential buyers thereby increasing the likelihood of selling faster and for more money… Sounds good to me!
Home Staging Should not be Mistaken for Decorating
Decorating entails styling to suit the taste of the owner and showcase their life’s adventures! Staging transforms your dear home back into a house that buyers can easily envision as their next home. This is one of the first steps in “moving out” psychologically and detaching from your home.
Consider how your home looks to someone who doesn’t know you. Is it cozy? Clean? Move-in ready? Can they plan which rooms their children would move into? Can they picture their family enjoying a meal in the breakfast nook? Neutralizing colours and decor while keeping the space warm and inviting, makes it easy for someone to move in right away and think of this house as their own. Having personal photos, certificates or collections on display tells buyers that this is someone else’s home, not theirs. It may be true that a few buyers will like your farm-themed plate collection, however, in that case, it will serve as a distraction from what you are actually trying to sell- the house itself!
Cluttered homes can send the message that you don’t have enough space- giving buyers the impression the house won’t be big enough for them either. For example, in our kitchen, we usually have our everyday necessities- toaster, coffee maker- set on the countertop. Though this is functional for us, it can send the message that there isn’t enough room to store all of these things inside the cupboards. I often describe decluttering as “pre-packing”. You will have to pack everything eventually so why not get some of it out of the way now to reduce stress later? Clutter is also highly unappealing in listing photos where there is usually a panoramic view shot.
Make Repairs & Clean
While walking through, buyers will be forming a “to-do” list in their head- What will need to be done before they can move in? What can be done later on? What are the costs associated? The larger the list gets, the more work it seems they will have to do in order to transform the house how they’d like to. Even the smallest items will add up. Making repairs and having the house cleaned top to bottom lets buyers know that it has been well cared for and they have no reason to expect underlying issues.
Showcase to Highlight Features
Staging highlights the best features of the house- the large arched doorways, newly renovated bathrooms or a luxurious front entry. The furniture, artwork and accessories inside are simply tools used to showcase the house itself.
Nearly 100% of buyers search the internet for houses prior to scheduling showings. This is where first impressions are formed. Your house needs to stand out from the rest. It is critical that your photos make a strong positive impact on potential buyers so they can’t resist the opportunity to come see it in person!
At the end of the day, you want buyers to connect emotionally with your house, labeling it as “the one with the beautiful high ceilings” rather than “the one with the dog crate in the middle of the dining room”. Today’s buyers are savvy and expect homes to be staged. After all, there is a reason that new properties have “show homes” set up and renovation shows always reveal the final product along with furniture, artwork and accessories! Staging works!