Knowledge is power. Learning some simple tips and how-to’s for preparing your home for the market can mean the difference between selling your home quickly and a home that sits on the market for months. I invite you to read this article titled, ”Staging Your Home to Sell for Top Dollar," and arm yourself with these quick-sell techniques.
Staging Your Home to Sell for Top Dollar
By Bob FooteThe scenario: Your house has been on the market for longer than you want. You don't have the time or money for any remodeling projects. What do you do? You "Stage" your home to sell. If you don't know what staging is, well, just keep reading.
Staging your home doesn't mean you have to go out and spend hundreds on new furniture or even hire a professional. Even the most successfully staged homes are staged using what you already own. The keys to a successfully staged home are a little reorganization, some well-placed furniture and accessories, and maybe a little clean up. With my simple tips and suggestions you can transform your home into a more attractive space that will stand out above the rest and sell quicker. And who knows, you may even get more for your home than if you didn't stage it. StagedHomes.com found that staged homes sold for 6.9 percent more and sold two to three times faster than comparable homes. (1)
Your staging questions answered:
Can I "stage" my home myself or do I need to hire a professional?
There are several ways you can go about staging your home says interior designer turned real estate agent Barb Schwarz(2), now president of StagedHhomes.com. First, you can hire a professional stager to provide you with a free consultation. Once you have the report from the consultation, you can go through the house and make all the needed changes yourself, or you can pay the stager to make the changes. Second, do it yourself. Follow our suggested tips (See "10 Simple Steps to Stage Your Home" below) and then ask your realtor for any additional suggestions he or she may have.
Do I have to stage my entire house?
Professional stager and trainer Lori Matzke stages only key rooms--the entryway and any room visible from it (first impressions count), the main living area, the kitchen, the master bedroom, and one extra room, such as a den or deck. "Those are what buyers usually base their decision on anyway," she says. She also encourages sellers to pack away any items smaller than a football.(3)
What if the home I am trying to sell is empty?
Don't show an empty house. A vacant home seems cold and uninviting. Renting a few key pieces of furniture and placing a few accessories is a good way to warm up a home. You don't have to fill the house with furniture and accessories. Just the main living areas are the most important areas to give the home a warm inviting feeling.
Do I need to change my décor?
If your décor is outdated, in bad shape
or unusual it's best to pack it up and purchase or borrow a few new
pieces. In most cases you just need to pack up some of what you have to
allow for a more simple and clean look. Too much decor can detract a
potential buyer from the home's strong selling points. The bottom line
is to keep your décor simple and appealing to the masses.
10 Simple Steps to "Stage" Your Home
"After living in your home for a long time you stop seeing the clutter in your home," says Dede Banks, of Renaissance Realty Partners in Lake Forest, Ill. (4) Pack away any items smaller than a football. If in doubt take pictures of your main living areas and show them to a friend to get an outside perspective. A good place to start is to clear everything off your fridge, windowsills and coffee tables. Ask yourself what you can live without and pack it away.
Just as you don't notice the clutter, many homeowners also don't notice the dirt. Be sure to clean areas such as windows, baseboards, and light fixtures as well as floors, carpets and dusting furniture. Just as you would detail your car before you sell it, homeowners who are anxious to sell (and what homeowner isn't?) need to "detail" their home before putting in on the market.
The walls should be a neutral color to help the space look bigger. Any bright or unusually colored walls should be repainted. Bring color into a room with small throw pillows or wall art.
Try moving items from room to room. Try flipping a multi-colored bedspread over to a single colored side.
In multi-use living areas, such as a family room with a TV and computer, remove patterned rugs and busy wall art. This gives the illusion of a larger space and a more calm and relaxed atmosphere. Keep layout of furniture clean and simple. Multifunction rooms are often confusing to buyers. Carefully placed furniture can help a prospective buyer see the possibilities of the space.
Play up your assets:
Play up a room's focal point such as a fireplace by repainting the wall surrounding the fireplace a rich color and clean up any soot on the mantle.
Turn furniture to an angle, such as a bed or a desk in the corner of the room. "The angle [of the desk] created openness and entices the buyers to want to see more of the room.
Add a lamp to lighten a dark corner. Add light and create the illusion of more space by adding a mirror to a room.
Add fresh flowers or potted plants to add life and warmth to a room.
Remove family photos and memorabilia. These items can be distracting to a buyer and make it difficult for them to picture themselves living there.
Remember, the changes you make to your home are only temporary and if done right may mean selling your home more quickly and for a higher price. "Staging will sell the property more than advertising, more than open houses," says Realtor and professional stager Kay Kunkel(5). "The results are spectacular."
2. Utah Realtor Magazine, "Staging sets the scene for success."
3. July 2007 Realtor Magazine "Stage this Room!" by Christina Hoffman Spira
4. July 2007 Realtor Magazine "Stage this Room!" by Christina Hoffman Spira
5. Utah Realtor Magazine, "Staging sets the scene for success."
*Photos provided by Sticks & Stones furniture in Park City, Utah. www.sticksandstonespc.com