SUMMARY: When it comes time to sell your home, why should you consider staging it?According to research commissioned by the Real Estate Staging Association, staging your home can shave as many as 7 months off the time your property would otherwise sit on the market, waiting for a buyer. As most real estate professionals can tell you, every week your home doesn’t sell forces its final offer down. More than 5 out of 6 American home buyers responding to an AOL survey said that a home’s presentation directly impacts sales. Likewise, more than half the respondents in a Maritz Research poll said they would make higher offers for homes that appear “move-in ready.”
In her new book, Affordable Home Staging Secrets: How to Make Money Before You List Your Home & Have Fun Doing It, interior designer N. Lynn Matthews offers advice for sellers who want to tackle the process of home staging without professional help.
Focus on first impressions
Matthews says that buyers make a first impression about your property “within seconds.” Effective home staging enables those buyers to envision themselves living in that space, and your personal pictures and mementos just get in the way of those active daydreams. In an interview with INTown Atlanta, home staging professional Paige Earles reflected on a client who sold a staged home for full asking price to a buyer who had declined to purchase when the property was vacant. Fresh paint, clean bathrooms, and sparkling kitchens invite prospective buyers to explore further.
Make your house energy-efficient
Buyers love to hear that their potential new homes have already been audited for energy efficiency. Before your first showing, Matthews suggests investing in modern electric and plumbing fixtures. Without spending very much money, you can assure prospective buyers that they’ll save money on electric and water bills once they move in.
Let your light shine
Replace any dim or failing light bulbs with modern LED or CFL light sources. Even though many of us love to cocoon at home, Matthews and Earles note that buyers make the best connections with bright, airy spaces. Matthews advises changing blinds or shades that look dirty or outdated, while opening up as much natural light as possible. With the right combination of clean space, welcoming design, and warm light, you can take photos and stage showings that can lead to the closing table.
Add open space
After living in your home for a few years, you’ll accumulate plenty of items. Matthews suggests that you use your home’s listing as a great excuse to de-clutter and to minimize your belongings. Use yard sales or self-storage units to clean out closets, then arrange your furniture to create as much open space as possible. Emphasize high ceilings, large windows, or other elements that add height and depth to your property. The right combination of clean lines and soft curves can attract your ideal buyer quickly.
Staging your home to sell can make a big difference to potential buyers. Think of things you'd like to see if you were looking at a new home and don't be afraid to be creative!