Selling your house? 3 home staging tips you need to knowPublished on Tuesday March 13, 2018
All the world’s a stage, and that’s certainly true for a home about to hit the real estate market.
In an active and competitive market, it’s important to make sure that your property doesn’t get lost in the crowd. That’s where home staging comes in.
Dressed to sell
Home staging is the process of decorating your house—inside and out—with the goal of enticing buyers and helping them envision themselves living in the house.
Buyers “need to fall in love,” with the house, real estate agent Jacques Cohen told Forbes. “Large assets like this have more emerging competition. So it is absolutely critical that you have it beautifully staged, that a buyer can walk in and say: ‘OK I am ready to move in.’”
But don’t confuse home staging with interior design. “The difference between interior design and staging is that interior design is targeted to reflect the person you are designing for,” said Cheryl Eisen, founder and CEO of Interior Marketing Group. “Staging is depersonalizing. It is about broad appeal, something everyone will like, without feeling sterile. It has to feel authentic as well.”
In its simplest form home staging could involve rearranging furniture. Or, it could mean renovations and updates. Either way, home staging could be the key to selling your home faster and getting the best price.
According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2017 Profile of Home Staging, 49 percent of buyers’ agents and 38 percent of sellers’ agents said that home staging had an effect on sales. Sixty-two percent of agents said that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market. The same study found that staging a home could increase the dollar value offered on average by 1-5 percent.
Should you stage your home before selling? It certainly can’t hurt to try, according to the NAR study. None of the study’s 1,894 Realtor® respondents reported that staging a home had a negative impact on the home dollar’s value.
Read: 6 home improvement apps to help you renovate your space
3 home staging tips that tip the resale scale
1. Boost curb appeal
The first thing a buyer sees when they pull up to your house is the outside, so make sure your home’s exterior is sparkling clean and extra attractive. Power wash siding and sidewalks, wash the front windows, spruce up your landscaping and front porch, and consider a coat of fresh paint on the door.
“If your house is a neutral hue, use the front door to add a pop of bright color; and if your house is not neutral, paint the door a complementary color,” Sheila Schostok of Your Home Matters Staging and Redesign told Realtor.com.
Or, consider installing a whole new door to update the look of your home and accentuate its architectural features, minus the elbow grease. Long Doors carries a complete line of front door styles that compliment your home and satisfy your budget. Plus, changing a front door is a high-return project. According to Remodeling Magazine, homeowners generally recoup 91.3 percent of the costs of a new front door upon resale.
Read: A warm welcome home: A homeowner’s guide to front door styles
If after all the scrubbing and cleaning, the siding still looks faded and the windows aren’t quite bright and brilliant, you might want to think about replacing them before hosting your first open house.
“Consider updating projects that will make a big impact on the look and resale value of the home. Repairs like roofing, siding and replacing windows are not only considered a cosmetic improvement, but can enhance the structural integrity of the home,” best-selling author, DIY and lifestyle expert Tori Toth notes.
2. Clean, declutter, depersonalize
The easiest and least expensive home staging tip is also one of the most noticed by a potential buyer. Make sure that every surface is shiny and clean and remove the clutter and personal items that can distract potential buyers.
“Pack up unnecessary items and furniture, and move items to your garage or a nearby storage facility,” says Designed to Sell designer Lisa LaPorta. “Clear the way for a sale by letting buyers see your square footage, not your personal belongings.”
However, depersonalizing doesn’t have to mean boring, bare surfaces. Add a vase of flowers to the dining room table, a nicely scented candle on the fireplace mantle, a basket of farmer’s market product on the kitchen island, or a bowl of lemons by the sink.
3. Fix the roof
The condition of a home’s roof can have a big impact on potential buyers and is one of the main features a home inspector will focus on during the inspection process. Don’t let missing, curled, or faded shingles be the reason a qualified buyer walks back out the door.
Read: How do you know if you need a new roof?
“Potential buyers are looking for any red flags when they tour your home. The roof is a key item and can show signs of damage and wear on both the outside and inside of your home. If the roof looks like it is sagging or there are water stains on the ceilings, this is an immediate red flag to buyers. Ensure that you show a well presented home by fixing any roofing issues before you place your house on the market,” home stager Mia Hable writes on her Artfully Arranged Staging blog.
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