When it comes to marketing, staging your home to appeal to the highest amount of potential buyers plays an integral part in how fast it sells, and whether or not you get top dollar.
So what is "staging" when it comes to selling your home? Simply speaking, it is the process of highlighting your homes positives and downplaying its negatives. If you've read our previous tip on decluttering and cleaning your home, then you are well on your way to getting your home staged and ready for sale.
A properly staged home is important if you want it to sell quickly. Keep in mind, that staging is key to both the initial photography and the showing of your home.
There are companies that you can hire that will come to your home and their designers will evaluate each and every room and they will even bring their own pictures, accessories, and knick-knacks to make each room appealing to potential buyers.
They will take into account your flooring, colors of the walls and current furniture and make each room pop. A great home stager can do wonders with very little and will make your rooms beautiful and inviting.
The only draw back to hiring a home staging company is the cost. It can be as much as $5000 to stage an empty average size home, which is why a majority of home stagers work with housing developers or home flippers since they have accounted for the expense up-front.
When staging your home yourself, less is more. A helpful tip is to watch a couple of those home flipping shows that actually show what their professional home stagers do, such as Property Brothers, Flip or Flop, or our favorite Fixer Upper. It will help with inspiration and ideas.
Once you have arranged your rooms, consider items that are inexpensive, but that can make a big difference.
Couch and chair covers are one of those items that can transform your furniture from aging to like new. They won't be snazzy, typically one solid color, but you can always spruce them up with an inexpensive throw blanket and some pillows that accent the cover, but also add some color.
Curtains also can make a big difference and they are relatively inexpensive. Curtains and blinds are considered fixtures and will go to the new buyers unless you specify otherwise in the purchase contract.
You can also get some great deals at stores like the Dollar Tree, Ross or Big Lots on little additions like vases, window box items, and items that will add a splash of color to your rooms.
Lighting makes a huge difference in the appearance of both the outside and inside of your home. Poor lighting can make even the most beautiful room in your house look dark and dreary. A home that it lit properly with natural and light will appear to have more space, be more inviting, and make your potential buyers feel more relaxed.
If you're showing your home during the day, natural lighting can really add to the effect. Make sure all of the windows and blinds are clean. If possible, raise the blinds and open the windows to let the fresh air and sunlight in.
Check the light bulbs and make sure none of them burned out. If possible, try replacing the bulbs with ones that are specifically designed for the room. There are specific "shades" of bulbs that are recommended for different rooms in the house. For instance, a "true white" bulb is often best for Kitchens, Bathrooms, and offices, while a "warm white" is normally used areas like bedrooms and hallways for its calming effect.
Staging is not just about the visual aspects of your home when it comes to showing the home to potential buyers. The smell of your home can make a big difference in how fast or even if it sells. Many buyers will simply walk out rather than see the entire home if it smells bad.
You want your home to smell wonderful and inviting or at worst, not at all. Potential buyers will remember a wonderful smelling house and it will help them feel at home. Wonderful smells will remind them of happy times and events and will help create a link between them and your property.
There are several simple and inexpensive ways to ensure your home smells its best. Glade plugins (or any other plugin air fragrance) are great and they can be installed in every room and the fragrance amount can be adjusted based on the room's needs. Fragrances like vanilla, lavender, or jasmine are calming and inviting.
Be careful not to get too creative when choosing the scents. You don't want to overwhelm potential buyers with an overly fruity or flowery scent. A very light underlying calming scent is all that you need.
A couple of tricks of the trade are baking cookies or putting a small bowl of vanilla extract and water in the oven at a low heat. I prefer the cookies as you get the extra benefit of having fresh baked treats that you can share with any potential buyers that may stop by.
Make a cute a little sign telling potential buyers to take one and leave it next to a freshly baked plate of cookies. Talk about leaving a good taste in the mouth of potential buyers.
It's always important to get a second and third opinion when it comes to staging your own home. It's very easy to become numb or accustomed to your own home, its flaws, and its smells.
You'll want to invite a friend or two (Whom you trust to give you an honest opinion) to come over and walk the property with eyes of a potential buyer. They will undoubtedly see and smell things that you have missed.
Take notes and then evaluate what you can do in order to make those things more appealing. If you get two or three opinions and they all point out a couple of the same things, you'll want to be sure to pay special attention to those areas.