Staging Your Home
What is Staging?
It's been said by real estate agents that a staged home sells 35% faster and sells for 3-10% higher than a home that is not staged.
Those are not numbers you can afford to ignore when you're dealing in thousands of dollars and in such a competitive market. Do the math and you'll realize how important Staging really is to your home.
What is STAGING?
Staging is about selling a lifestyle - but not yours.
It's selling a lifestyle to the potential buyers of your home.
It's about staging your home to be the best it can be by showing it off in the best possible light.
Your home is personal. It's where laughter, tears and memories have been made. It's often very difficult for most people to take an objective step back and look at their home through a buyer's eyes. However, you have only ONE opportunity in the home selling process to make a first impression. That first impression starts when they pull into your driveway and walk through your front door. And that's why staging is so important in the selling of your home. Staging puts you front and center and gives you a competitive edge.
Most people, when they think of staging think of costly furniture, art and accessory rentals. Yes, it can be that if needed. But it certainly doesn't have to be that. With a little bit of elbow grease and some organizing and de-cluttering you CAN stage your home and have it sold in no time flat.
When it comes to making a decision on whether to buy a house or not - Women are the TOP Decision Makers. Stage your home with that in mind.
The Importance of First Impressions
Not everyone can afford to have professionally landscaped grounds and in all honesty, too much can be a deterrent as well.
One buyer may look at a beautiful garden and fall in love, another may look and think "Omg, the maintenance".
Don't go overboard. Keep it clean and simple. Think curb appeal.
If you haven't already, take a drive around your neighbourhood and study the homes you believe show curb appeal.. Pretend YOU'RE buying a new home. What makes you want to go inside? What makes that particular home appealing? Is it the manicured lawn? The well tended garden? The freshly painted veranda?
By doing this exercise and asking yourself those questions, you'll know what needs to be staged to give your home that same curb appeal.
Sell Your House Faster - Tips & Tricks
You can go into a house during an Open House and remember it. You're not really sure why you remember it, but you do. Often times, it's just the little touches the homeowner has made. The scented soaps, the new set of towels, the vase of spring flowers on the dining room table. Never discount the small things in life.
A great little book with even more ideas for home staging or just a redesign of your home.
I love these type of books. A ton of ideas, right to the point. Fast and easy reading.
A nice touch for your powder room when staging your home.
All you need is one drop in a pot of warm water for a soft and subtle scent. It's wonderful for masking any food or pet smells. And you need so little that this bottle will do you for years!
Best Staging Tips for Awesome Curb Appeal
Best Staging Tips for Awesome Curb Appeal
For awesome curb appeal for your home, here are the most important staging tips to do before putting it on the market:
- Asphalt driveway and walkway. Nothing makes more of a "bad first impression" than a driveway that looks old and dingy. Even if your exterior windows are sparkling, your grounds are landscaped, a neglected driveway and walkway will drop the value of your home immediately in th buyer's eyes. Make a great first impression. If there are cracks, dips, holes or the asphalt is faded or has spills, get it repaired and top-coated.
- Front Lawn: People love green and well kept green. If your lawn is patchy, brown and unattractive, repair it. Grass seed and a bag of earth costs very little . Keep it mowed and watered at all times while your home is on the market.
- Gardens: If you have a garden, that's great but again, keep it well maintained. That means no weeds or dead plants. It should be trimmed, tidied up and fresh mulch laid on the surface. Even if you have nothing in your garden, buy some black earth and top up the soil. Just before you have an open house, water it. Nothing beats clean, dark earth in a garden inviting potential buyers to add their own personal touch.
And don't worry if you have no garden. A couple of colorful hanging plants and one or two standing containers will look just as nice at the entrance to your home.
- Front Door/Garage Door: There should be no dirt, cracks or peeling paint shown on the garage door or any exterior doors. If you have windows in your doors, make sure they're clean and free of cracks. Wash them, paint them, replace the hardware if you need to. Ensure that all the doors in your home open and close easily without squeaks.(This includes any sliding screen doors).
- Windows: Your windows should sparkle. Make sure that all screens are in good repair with no holes or rips in them. Check the trim around your windows. If there's noticeable grout missing and you feel comfortable repairing it, do so or hire a handyman to make the minor repairs.
Curl Appeal - Make Your House Stand Out !
Here are just a few items that can make a difference in your curb appeal. It really is amazing what people remember about a home !
What door doesn't look more welcoming than with a beautiufl wreath on the front door. There are so many different kinds today to choose from, for all seasons. Take a look.
I absolutely love this one...the sun hitting your door will release the wonderful fragrances.
This is a great example of a fresh, clean and spacious room. I can't stress enough the fact that your home must be kept clean and clutter-free while it's on the market.
This is such a neat and clean idea for keeping your bathroom necessities organized in the open or in a linen closet.
For some crazy reason, most home buyers will turn a blind eye to a room needing a paint job if it's upstairs. But when it comes to downstairs and that all important first impression, a fresh coat of paint is a must.
First Impressions Count
Even if you have a house full, it's not hard to keep things nice and tidy. First impressions really do count! Make a good one! Even though there's a lot of "stuff" in this entry way it appears organized due to the brightly painted walls and tidy storage areas.
How to Prepare for an Open House
Staging the Interior
The interior of your home sets the "stage" so to speak. It's the first impression a potential buyer has and it has been said an impression is made within five minutes of entering a home.
That first impression can instill excitement about a home or turn off a buyer completely.
I can't stress the importance of getting rid of clutter before your first open house or showing.
There's no better time than before you prepare for an open house to start the packing and eliminate clutter. After all, you're moving anyway aren't you? Keep space in mind. Buyers are attracted to open space and getting rid of excess furniture makes your home appear larger than it actually is.
Plan to have a garage sale to sell off old furniture and household items or put it all into storage. This doesn't mean in the basement or the garage unless it's boxed neatly away in rubbermaid containers. There are inexpensive storage containers in every city that you can rent on a month to month basis until you're ready to move to your new home.
Top 10 Interior Staging Tips for Selling Your Home
I think the most important thing to consider when staging your home for resale is to try and see your home through the lens of a buyer and be as objective as possible. If you find yourself having a hard time with this (and it's quite normal) ask a good friend to come over who will give you honest and constructive criticism.
If you're selling your home through a real estate agent, he or she will also be able to point out the areas that need work.
- I often tell clients to remove all their family pictures, all collections of any kind and de-clutter from top to bottom. When we live with our own personal little collections we don't seem to notice the amount of space they take up on walls, dressers and in bookcases. You want the potential buyer to come into your home and be awed by the amount of space and be able to picture themselves living there. That's hard to do when your family portraits are staring at them in every room. It makes them feel like they're invading YOUR space. So please, de-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter.
- When we live in a home day in and day out we never seem to notice the smells that come with it. Smells like home, doesn't it? But to a potential buyer, it smells like YOUR home, not theirs. Even if the carpeting doesn't appear dirty, have it steam cleaned so when you're showing your home it smells fresh and no odours are clinging to it.
- If you can afford it, a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color (think taupe, beige, dove grey) will appeal to many buyers. The number one reason it appeals to them is that they can picture themselves moving their own personal belongings in with little change to the decor. A house will sell even if it's painted in wild and wacky colors but those wild and wacky colors will cost you. Why take that chance? A fresh coat of paint is one of the least expensive ways to give a home a fresh, clean look.
- Clean, clean and more clean. I know we all don't live that way but an important part of staging your home is keeping it clean. Surfaces should be free of dust, no stains on flooring and bathrooms should be shiny and spotless. Even places you think no one will look into should be cleaned. Buyers will open cupboards, drawers and closets. It's important that every space in your home look uncluttered and spacious.
And don't forget to clean your light bulbs! I can see you shaking your head "what is she talking about?". But yes, clean your light bulbs. An incredible amount of dust settles on bulbs and makes the light appear dull.
- Repair anything that needs repairing even if it's a minor repair to you and you've lived with it for years. No leaky faucets, no running toilets, no burned out light bulbs, no missing hardware, no rips in screens or even cracked windows and ensure that locks on doors and windows are operating smoothly.
There are some costly repairs that you may not want to do but that should be mentioned to potential buyers or their agents. Any items that would not pass a home inspection should be reported up front. If there's a leak in your roof or your basement floods every spring, repair it or declare it.
- I know we all love our pets but a truly important secret to staging is having a buyer walk into a home and not even realize you have a cat (that uses a litter box) or a dog (that uses a back yard). That means removing all traces of the animal (including hair) from the home while having an open house. Kitty litter boxes should be clean and odour free and put in a corner of the basement out of high traffic areas. There should be no trace of dog "droppings" in a backyard. It can be extremely stressful for some animals to have strangers coming into your home. If your animals react to strangers, it might be a good idea to remove them from the house while your home is being shown.
- Open the drapes and keep all the lights on. You want your home to appear bright and spacious This is especially important in the winter or on a cloudy day. If it's summertime open up the windows and don't forget your outdoor patio or deck area. Just because you can't see the back of the home from the front doesn't mean it should be neglected in the staging plans. Beautifying this area shows potential buyers that this is a well cared for home and one they will remember,
- A nice touch (and something you can definitely enjoy at the same time) is having a couple of vases of fresh cut flowers scattered throughout your home, perhaps in the living room, dining room and kitchen.
- Smells in a home can be very personal. Avoid using artificial room sprays just before you're ready to have an open house. Instead, simmer a teaspoon of vanilla (or applie pie spice) in a pot of warm water on the stove a couple of hours prior to your showing. You can also use vanilla tea lights for a subtle hint of scent. If you're closets smell musty, hide a Fabreeze or Bounce dryer sheet on a shelf to mask the mustiness.
- Set your table as if you're having a lunch or dinner for two. Nothing too fancy, just a nice casual setting with plates, cutlery, napkins accented by a small vase of flowers. Women fall in love with beautiful settings and women DO make the decisions on buying the family home. Those small yet little touches mean a lot.
Open House Tip
Treat Them Like a Guest and They'll Remember Your Home!
Keurig Single Cup CHECK PRICE
K-Cup Samplers CHECK PRICE
Coffee Mug Set CHECK PRICE
More Home Staging Ideas
Even if your home is designed beautifully, it's always nice to add a little extra piece to a room if you can. That could be a new throw cushion or something as small as having scented guest soaps in a bathroom. You'll find it's the little things that count. That personal touch that impresses buyers and helps them remember your home out of a sea of homes.
Last but not least, make your home a relaxing experience for buyers by playing soft "mood" music in the background. There are a wide variety of CD's available from "sounds of the forest" to "babbling brooks". It's a wonderful touch and people really will remember your home for its' ambience. .
And to Set the Stage, you might enjoy:
After reading this lens, will you stage your home yourself or hire a professional?