Do you want to use staging to better prepare your home for sale? Here are 10 ways to do it right.
- What Does a Home Stager Do?
- Hiring a Home Stager
- 10 Ideas for Better Staging
- Finding Your New Home
What Does a Home Stager Do?
To stage means to present something for public display. Home staging, then, is the process of preparing a residence for an open house or other viewings by potential buyers. Staging is intended to improve the way a property looks and feels so that more people will submit bids.
Professional home staging, for the most part, is a relatively new phenomenon. The need for home stagers grew out of a desire for specialized expertise to rethink interior design and otherwise improve a home’s appeal.
Home stagers organize belongings, switch out furniture, and can even give you advice for better curb appeal. That way you can captivate buyers from the moment of arrival.
Home staging is essentially a makeover, allowing your home to look as good as it can to an objective eye. It doesn’t take long for someone to decide whether or not your house is right for them, so seize the moment, explains Minnesota Coldwell Banker real estate agent Jan Van Horne.
“[A] potential buyer has made up their mind ten seconds after they step in the front door,” she says. “To achieve the greatest possible outcome, a home should always be presented at its best the first time around.”
Hiring a Home Stager
You want to find a home stager from a referral, possibly through your real estate agent. Get estimates from three or four so you can compare costs alongside reviews.
In some cases, you may be able to convince your real estate agent to cover part or all of the cost of staging. Depending on the sale price of the house, Minnesota Re/Max agent Pat Cirelli says it sometimes pays off to have staging performed.
“For the most part, an agent should be able to determine if a home is in need of this type of service, and if it would be of benefit or not,” she says. “If it’s a reasonable fee, it is usually a worthwhile investment.”
10 Ideas for Better Staging
Wanting some ideas to get you started with this project? Here are 10 general tips on staging a house from professional home stager Matthew Finlason.
Focus on curb appeal. People will often drive by a home multiple times before deciding whether or not they want to take a look inside. Mow the grass; spray down your deck and sidewalk; and add flowers and plants.
Apply elbow grease to the grime. You want the place to look absolutely spotless. Do everything you can possibly imagine that falls under the heading of cleaning, and also look out for weird smells. Homebuyers are basically inspecting your place. If you are cleaning the place yourself, you can always ask a neighbor or friend to give you their first impressions.
Focus on light and color. It’s important to be careful about overwhelming homebuyers with anything bright or offbeat. Typically neutral colors are ideal – unless you are going for a certain impact following a broader design theme.
Make your home inviting. When someone walks through a house, they want to be able to picture themselves living there. Clutter and personal items disrupt that fantasy, notes Finlason. “They need to see your home, not your stuff,” he says. “Excessive personal items like photos, collections, personal awards, electronics and collectibles will make it difficult for buyers to see past your personal style and may deter a sale.”
Buy new furniture and toss unnecessary items. It’s okay to mix several different styles. Try different arrangements and possibilities. Obviously you want to control your costs, but bringing in some funky used chairs and tables could be pivotal.
Stop by the art gallery. Art can make your home look much more attractive and sophisticated. Finlason particularly recommends photography.
Fix what needs fixing. Is there anything that’s overused or damaged? Oil your door hinges, plane doors that are sticking, and replace whatever blinds or fixtures are in disrepair.
Give it a fresh coat. One of the surest ways to revitalize a home is with paint, Finlason advises. “Slap a fresh, neutral color on the space,” he says. “Choose a beige or taupe for living spaces and a neutral green or blue for bathrooms.”
Roll out the red carpet. Recarpet and refinish as needed. In a pinch, you can use an area rug over worn wood floors.
Upgrade the fixtures. A simple way to modernize your home is to get sleeker, more stylish outlets, light fixtures, light switches, and doorknobs.
Finding Your New Home
By understanding how to stage your home, you will better be able to sell it. But where are you going to go? With Realty.com, you get the quickest, most customer-centric way to search home listings online. Get started now.