Stage and Sell Your Home for Top Dollar
Moving can be stressful. From packing and transporting your entire life to the process of selling and buying a new house, there’s a lot to be done. However, there’s one thing that you should prioritize in this process – staging your home. Staging your home simply means using creativity and mindfulness in order to transform your home into something that is attractive to a wide variety of different buyers. It helps houses sell faster and often for more money than when homeowners choose not to stage.
In fact, almost all realtors admit that home staging has an impact on prospective buyers and even buyers say that it helps them visualize themselves living there in the future.
Whether or not you want to hire a professional is up to you, but it is absolutely a strong investment. This is due to the fact that it is hard for homeowners to look at their space objectively after living there for so many years. Professionals provide a fresh pair of eyes and are well trained in knowing how to view things from the buyer’s perspective. Professional home stagers are also commonly well versed in marketing as well as interior photography, so they provide a complete package for optimal results.
Regardless of whether or not you decide to hire a professional to stage your home, the following tips for selling your home for top dollar can help you get a better understanding of what you need to do. Here is our list on how to stage your home to sell for top dollar:
1. First Impressions
The first thing to consider is working on a strong first impression. After you stage your home, take pictures and create a strong listing, people will begin showing interest. Oftentimes, listings lead to buyers wanting to know more about the community and wanting to get a quick feel of the home.
That’s why many families usually follow up their interest after viewing the listing by driving past the house to get a better feel for it. This is their first impression of the house in person, so you want to make sure that it is well taken care of.
Some ways to do this are by planting flowers, keeping your lawn mowed and your shrubbery trimmed, as well as weeding and making sure your yard is leaf-free. You should also consider repainting your front door and replacing any tarnished finishing. If your mailbox has seen better days, replace that as well.
Since you want to make your prospective buyers feel at home the second they walk in the door, you need to make each and every room count. If you are moving forward and staging your home without a professional, consider attending a few different model homes or open houses in order to get a good feel about what a professionally staged home looks like.
The next aspect in staging your home is de-cluttering. As a rule of thumb, try to eliminate 50% of the clutter that you have throughout the house. It makes your home seem smaller and more unorganized, which can have negative effects on prospective buyers. Remove your knickknacks, area rugs, throw blankets, personal toiletries, and refrigerator magnets/pictures. The one benefit of this is that you are able to break up the packing process!
You’ll also want to remove enough clothing from your closet so that when you hang a garment it does not touch another one. It will make your closet space look larger, more sophisticated and way more appealing. The same idea goes for your kitchen counters and cabinets. Remove all appliances and only keep appealing designer décor visible. Pack up all of your dishes except for one matching set. Again, the less cluttered, the more spacious and inviting things look.
This step cannot be stressed enough. Your home needs to be cleaner than it’s ever been in order for the best possible reactions. If you’ve never hired a professional cleaning service, this is the one time to splurge. It is a strong investment, as they are professionals in getting out stains and cleaning those overlooked areas. It is also a strong idea to consider getting your windows, inside and outside, professional cleaned. If a buyer feels like your home is not clean, chances are they won’t make an offer. No one wants to purchase a home that they will have to deep clean before moving their stuff in! Believe us when we tell you that a clean home sells faster and for more money than a dirty one.
Another thing to consider is your carpet. If it’s beyond the point of no return and is full of stains, then you might want to consider replacing it before putting your home on the market. People have a hard time picturing what a room would look like if something were different. That’s why it is much more successful to replace stained carpets than offering a “re-carpeting fee.”
Also, avoid cooking anything that will leave a strong lingering odor in your home before staging. Baking cookies, however, is a great way to create that “homey” smell that welcomes everyone.
Another important aspect of staging your home to sell for top dollar is to actually repair things that are broken. Getting things fixed prior to putting your house on the market is the best way to convey a positive message to buyers. If buyers come in during staging and notice that there is a long list of repairs that need to be made, they will focus on what needs to be fixed and how much it would cost rather than picturing a future there.
If a buyer does move forward on making an offer and there is a long list of repairs, they are going to try and lower the asking price considerably. Other buyers might communicate that they will only make an offer once the repairs are done, which means you’ll need to do them anyway. It’s best to get them taken care of ahead of time so that everyone can focus on the positive aspects of your home.
This is another crucial aspect of staging your home. You need to completely de-personalize everything so that the buyer can look at the blank canvas and visualize what their life will look like in the open space. As contradicting as it sounds, when you de-personalize your home, it actually fosters a stronger “at home” feeling for the buyer.
Remove anything that potential buyers might not identify with, which means do not keep anything religious, political or overly personal in your home. You need to create an emotional connection with the buyers and if you display your opinions it will eliminate a large group of people who might not identify with you.
Make sure that your home’s style isn’t stuck in the 80’s. Reflecting the current market trends is a great way to appeal to buyers. Focus on clean lines, scale, rhythm and form in order to create a wow factor that has people yearning to move in1.
An easy way to do this is to go for symmetry in your home. It is pleasing to the eye and, for some reason, calms people down and makes them feel more at home.
7. Pay Attention to Lighting
The lighting of a home can be a huge selling point. In fact, it has been known that brighter rooms tend to have a higher response rate from prospective buyers1. It makes a room feel warmer and more inviting than a room that is dark and dreary. Professional home stagers recommend keeping all of the lights in your house on during staging. It helps to give people an uplifting feel, which is why all professional open houses and models are always so bright.
Finally, focus on neutral colors. If you have any crazy colors painted on the walls, people might not be able to visualize living there. Neutral colors, on the other hand, are inviting and are shown to help houses sell faster.
Staging your home is an important part of the selling process. It allows buyers to visualize themselves and their futures in your home, thus increasing the price and speed of the sale. In addition to more money with faster selling times, homeowners who stage their homes tend to feel more relaxed, as the amount of interested buyers is usually much higher!
When you’re in the process of de-cluttering, consider using The Lockup’s services to store your extra stuff. You can always rent a self storage unit at www.thelockup.com.