Staging to Increase Your Selling Value
Home staging is a term gaining more and more attention every day.
With increasing influence on the real estate market in the United States and Canada, recent shows like Designed to Sell, Sell This House and Buy Me have brought Staging even more public interest.
The concept of Home Staging is very simple; it is turning a home into a house that can be sold quickly for a high return. It allows buyers to see the best the house has to offer. Some main aspects of Home Staging include depersonalizing, cleaning, removing clutter, and making the best use of color.
A well-staged house allows potential buyers to envision living there. They can imagine their furniture in the rooms and picture happy times after the house has become their home. Staging is not decorating. When you decorate, the goal is to have the home reflect your unique personality and taste. Staging is really the opposite; it is depersonalizing, yet still leaving the home warm and inviting. Remember, when you sell your home it is square footage you are selling; the things inside your home should never distract the buyer. "The way you live in your home and the way you sell your house are two different things" (Barb Schwartz, Home Staging)
It all comes down to the fact that visual value sells. Staging is what allows the visual value of your house to shine through. "The average buyer who comes to see your place has seen (or will see) anywhere from 7-41 homes before making a purchase decision... "If there are two similar homes at close to the same price, one that shows beautifully and the other that shows just OK, that buyer is going to go with the home that shows best every time." (Robert Irwin)
One way to sell your house is to drop your price. A better approach, however is to improve your product. Many simple and inexpensive changes can have a big impact.
Some things to consider: First impressions are lasting impressions. Within the first 10-30 seconds in a house, a potential buyer has already formed an initial "Yes" or "No" about the place. Buying a home is an emotional decision and how a house resonates with a potential buyer on an emotional level is very important.
Consider how you might detail a car before selling it. Put the same consideration into "detailing" your home before it goes on the market. It is, after all, very likely your biggest financial investment.
People always find bright, fresh, uncluttered space appealing. A potential buyer's own home may be very cluttered and even if the new one may also be in a few months, they will still be more attracted to a home that is less cluttered.
People buy "what they see" and not the way it "could be". Statistics show that most new homeowners even arrange their furniture exactly how they saw the previous homeowners do it! Do not count on buyers looking past the dated wallpaper or bold paint colors.
Selling is a time to take an honest look at your home and leave unrealistic expectations behind. It can be very challenging however, for homeowners to look objectively at their space. The cosmetic issues and clutter that may be very obvious to someone else do not even get noticed after a short time. Having your house viewed with "fresh eyes", can provide you with important information you will need before you sell.
Home Staging can give sellers an advantage in a competitive market and can take much of the stress out of selling. It is a commitment that pays off.
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