I wanted to share with you why I believe in home staging….and what service I offer my clients. Home staging is when an individual hires a design company to bring in furniture, artwork, dishes, etc, and make a home for sale look lived in and updated. It gives buyers a feel for the size of the room and the layout of the house. It makes a cold, empty, sad home look warm and inviting. I believe that visiting a home should be treated as an experience. That sounds ridiculous now that I wrote that down, but really, a home visit should comfortable capture all of your senses….sight, sound, and smell in particular. You have one shot to impress. It’s like an interview. And it’s best to prepare.
A while back, I was working quite a bit with investor clients who were purchasing homes to flip and sell. There’s a BIG difference between a vacant home and a staged home. That’s where I come in. I gathered pieces bit by bit and created a collection of staging décor that I constantly update over time. I just recently added to my collection with new pieces to match the home I’m staging and what’s currently in style. I sat on my living room floor building dressers and end tables and had way too much fun doing so.
While a staged home may cost a seller or agent over $2,500 or so for a four to six week span, it’s a service I include my sellers at no additional cost other than the commission they agree to hire me at to sell their home. I use my own set of staging furniture & decor to prepare the home for sale. I can also consult with my sellers and use the clients’ own furniture, or a combination of both, to prepare their home for sale, if they are planning on staying in the home during the listing period.
Here’s an example of my staged listing that just went live yesterday…
How can you stage your own house? Walking through brand new model homes is a great way to get a feel for what a clean/staged home ‘should’ look like. Or have your most critical friend come over and tell you what to pack up. Or….keep reading….
- Always have a new welcome mat. There’s nothing more off putting than a dingy, dirty welcome mat to kick off your home visit
. What you see when you first enter a home will put you in a mood, and you want it to be a good one. They’re $20 bucks friends. Splurge.
- Air fresheners….on LOW. My preference is the Glade brand of plugins because they are refillable – the clean linen scent. (Careful with the icky sweet cookie ones…sounds like a good idea because you’ve always been told to bake cookies….danger Will Robinson.) The key is not to kill the buyers with air freshener. The lowest setting possible is sufficient. Go easy there, essential oil lover…no need to make us want to leave the home the moment we enter. I put two downstairs on opposite sides of the home and we’re good to go. Smells good but not overpowering.
- Keep your artwork at eye level. Growing up, my mom was always telling us to hang artwork lower…now lower….still lower… It’s often lower than what comes natural to most people, and it stuck with me til this day. You shouldn’t have to lift your chin to look at the focal point of artwork. Your head and neck’s natural resting position (for an adult) should be staring into the middle of the frame or canvas without raising your head.
- Keep it PG and neutral. For the sake of this argument, let’s just say I’ve seen some pretty risqué décor over my last few years. Really? Yes. You think someone’s going to love your naked lady motorcycle poster? Well, they’re not. This client probably is not going to be the prime candidate for staging, but nevertheless, neutralize your home of politics, religion, and anything not PG or G rated. If you lose just one buyer over the bumper sticker you have on your fridge, or the artwork in your bedroom, then you’re probably losing others as well. A good agent will help you swap it out with something neutral at no cost that you can live with for 30 days.
- No cropped curtains. It’s like flooded pant legs that are too short. For some reason they just drive me nuts. Long and tall friends, long and tall. Just about the ground…or even sitting on the ground a bit if you like that….but please don’t stop them short. I know curtains are expensive – way too expensive IMHO, but remove them if they are short and fill the holes. Tall curtains look the room look larger, which is important for a small house/room.
- Remove the clutter and de-personalize. Even I stop to look at personal photos when they are in someone’s home to see if I know them or to simply be nosy. Best to remove the 800 magnets on your fridge and pair down the non-essentials. Remove most if not all of your personal photos. Start boxing things up – you’re moving anyways, so why not get a head start. Closets overstuffed? Box it up. Book cases full? Box it up. Putting things in boxes and storing them in your garage during your listing is fine – buyers expect it. The more horizontal surfaces you can see (think countertops, table tops, etc) the larger your room will feel.
- Clean. This should be an obvious one, but trust me when I tell you it’s not. Clean your house really well or hire someone to do it who knows what they’re doing. A professional cleaning goes a LONG way. Dirty houses lose buyers.
Thanks for reading this far….hope this helps some….if not, hire me and I’ll help you out! 🙂 Have a great day, and an even better evening…