The residential real estate market is on fire right now and as home prices continue to go up, preparing your home for a productive and lucrative sale is as important now as it ever was. Now is not the time to get complacent and drop the ball on staging and getting your home in top showing condition.
While some buyers are still visiting homes in person, many are also choosing virtual tours and open houses. But guess what? Your home still has to look fabulous on video to hook a buyer who can’t physically walk through your house, open doors, be mesmerized by the view, the yard and all the intangibles that may or may not translate to a virtual setting.
In honor of Hanukkah this week, we’ve compiled our top 8 staging tips (one for each day!) to help ensure your home sale is quick, easy and financially rewarding. It’s proven that a beautifully staged home sells faster and for a higher price than a similar un-staged home.
According to industry reports, 77% of buyer’s agents have said home staging makes it easier for prospective buyers to visualize the property as a future home. Here are our 8 must-do tips when staging your home:
Nobody likes clutter and home buyers especially don’t like seeing someone else’s clutter. Potential buyers need to be able to see countertops, sinks and even flooring. As you clean your home in preparation for listing it, take moving boxes into every room, fill them with knick-knacks and consider it a head start on packing for you impending move. Then consider storing those boxes off-site. Don’t simply stack them in the garage if you can help it.
- Remove personal items
This goes along with decluttering but takes it an important step further. You may love your mantel that is packed with gorgeous family photos and mementos. But prospective home buyers don’t want to see your family or a souvenir from your most recent trip to Chicago in their potential new home. They want to picture their own photos and memories on that mantel. Don’t make it hard for them. This goes for a refrigerator door full of your child’s most beautiful finger paintings as well. They need to go to storage with the rest of your boxed-up treasures.
- Curb appeal
Don’t neglect the outside of your home when thinking about staging. The curb appeal is the first thing a potential buyer sees. Make sure the lawn is mowed, weeds are gone, flower beds look colorful and the front porch is inviting. Maybe a fun, fresh coat of paint on the front door and some new house numbers will add a much-needed pop. At the very least, make sure the mailbox looks clean, the walk to the front door is edged and paint or stain is fresh.
- Create functional office or school room
More people than ever are working and schooling from home, so in today’s market, it’s important to show a space that could be a dedicated office, even if that’s not how you are using it. Maybe you have a spare bedroom that has become the landing space for everything you don’t know what to do with. This is a great opportunity to remove the clutter and turn the space into an office. Find or borrow a desk, add some good lighting, some artwork and set it up as a functional workspace.
- Show off storage – don’t use it as storage
OK, so we are all guilty of throwing clutter, laundry and who knows what else into a closet when guests come over to create the appearance of a decluttered space. But typically, dinner guests aren’t interested in looking in your closets like a potential home buyer would be. So when staging your home, don’t use the closets and storage space to store everything you want to hide. You need to show off those spaces just as much as the more visible spaces in your home. Rent a storage space so that clutter, extra furniture and personal items can be completely out of the picture.
- Deep clean
When we say deep clean, we don’t just mean running the vacuum over the carpets twice. Think like a buyer and try to notice things you may not ordinarily pay too much attention to as a full-time resident of the home. Check your bathroom grout for dirt. Does your glass shower show hard water stains? Does the caulk in your crown molding need a refresh? These are things that if left untouched can make a home feel uncared for. They are easy fixes and can make a huge difference.
As you are looking at grout lines and caulking, take a fresh look at the paint on the walls. Maybe you’ve removed an extra piece of furniture (good for you!) that reveals some scuff marks on the walls. It’s worth your time to either touch up trouble spots or have a professional painter come in and give the entire home a fresh coat of light-colored neutral paint. Your son might have loved his bedroom’s Bama-crimson walls, but the next owner probably won’t.
- Hire a Professional
If any of this seems overwhelming, stressful or intimidating, we recommend hiring a professional home stager. Yes, there are costs involved, but it will almost always pay off in the long run. If you work with an experienced realtor, like a member of The Pargh Team, they can help arrange for professional stagers come into your home with a fresh eye and help take the guesswork out of what needs to be done. In some cases, they bring in new furniture. Other times, they make recommendations about what clutter to remove and how to best show off a master bedroom closet.