Home Stage Guide – Back to Basics
Home Stage Guide – Back to Basics
As a certified home owner, people often ask me how they can best prepare their home for sale in today’s sluggish real estate market. My answer is simple. Go back to the fundamentals of good design to create multiple, memorable, ‘first impression’!
Today’s prospective homebuyer is more savvy than ever. Statistics show that 85% of people first look at MLS listings online to determine which homes they want to see in person. Therefore, fascinating photos presenting a staged home in showcase condition are critical important. This can often make the difference between a house that sells quickly and one that will sit on the market for months, unseen.
The art of successfully staging homes to sell properties quickly and at the best possible price is a service that is widely accepted. Home builders have used this marketing technique for many years to create an emotional connection with their prospective buyer. They have known that a well marketed model is a minimum investment with a maximum return, giving them this important advantage in a competitive market. What model merchandising did for home builders, home staging is now doing for individual home sellers and realtors nationally.
Barbara Corcoran, the dynamic and successful New York real estate mogul, was recently quoted as saying, “Home staging, once considered an option by real estate professionals, has now become a necessity.” The benefits of home staging are obvious.
The following is a simple guide outlining the basics of good home planning for both professionals and individuals who want to prepare their homes for a faster and more profitable sale. . .
A good home staging is . . .
. . . just. Less is more when preparing your home for sale. It’s important to remember that you’re selling square footage and therefore need to make the rooms look and feel as large and open as possible. Dilute – clear – then clear again. When you have too much furniture, artwork, accessories, or just plain “fluff,” you risk sending your potential buyer into sensory overload!
. . . organized. I’m getting organized! Reduce what’s in your closets, garage, pantry, etc. Clear kitchen and bathroom counters. Keep refrigerator surfaces free of magnets and pictures of children. Have a garage sale to get rid of all the extra stuff you haven’t used or worn in years. Pack out-of-season clothes, toys you won’t miss, and stacks of books you’ve been meaning to read. And as a special reminder, organize your underwear closet. It is hotspot for potential buyers. An indicator to them of how well you paid attention to detail in maintaining your home. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but customer surveys show that it isn’t!
. . . balanced. Have you ever been in a room where you felt uncomfortable and you weren’t sure exactly why? The room was probably unbalanced due to furniture that was out of scale and proportion for the room. Colors, textures, or lighting may also not be evenly distributed. Maintaining a visual balance with your furnishings is essential to achieving a sense of comfort, well-being and good home layout.
. . . cohesive. Your eye carries color from room to room. It’s important to determine an overall color scheme for your home, usually a combination of 3 to 5 colors, and stick to it. This does not mean that every room will look the same. On the contrary, each room should have its own individuality while maintaining a cohesive flow of color and style. And remember that your choice of color will communicate psychologically with your potential buyers. For example: red conveys excitement, blue evokes calmness, pink has a calming effect, yellow sends the message of happiness and light, and green means life and growth. And when you use black, you convey the feeling of sophistication and elegance. Know what message you want to convey when you make your choice.
. . . descriptive. A home should tell a story depicting a lifestyle that will encourage buyers to imagine living there, entertaining there, raising their family there. Every room in the home should be a designated space that is memorable and inclusive EHA factor!
. . . staged with the potential buyer in mind. Pay attention to demographics. Who is your target market? Young professionals with children, empty nesters? Is this a golf club community or on the water? Your staging should reflect and include fine furnishings that relate to them, again forming that all-important emotional connection with your potential buyer, making them feel like ‘home’.
Finally, two main things to remember when preparing a home for sale: #1. The way you live in a home and the way you stage a home for sale are two different things. A house on the market should be seen as a product and organized to appeal to a wide range of people. Depersonalizing the house is necessary so that buyers can emotionally connect with the home and imagine living there. #2. First impressions are made within seconds of entering any part of the home. You only have one chance to do them “first impressions” memorable!
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