Lots of contributing factors determine how fast your house will sell, or for what sales price, but one thing you can do to directly impact the success of your journey is to stage your house for sale. Let’s take a look at what that means.
What is Staging
Staging a house is a set of goals, objectives, and tasks designed to prepare the home for show-ready condition. You’re dressing your house for success; positively influencing first-impressions, and doing your best to let your house reach into the heart of a buyer and give a little tug on the doorbell.
How Staging Influences Perceived Value
When we see an item that is shiny, polished, fancy, well groomed, in good condition, we consider that item to be of high value – no matter the age or style. On the contrary, when we see an item, no matter how luxurious, that is in a state of disarray, disrepair, weather-damaged, or that hasn’t been well cared for, that item has a lower perceived value.
To stage a home for sale is to positively influence its perceived value to potential buyers. Although the property may not be new, the goal is to give it an appeal of being well cared for, excellently maintained, and move-in-ready.
There’s something to be said, too, for move-in-ready. When a house is staged for showings, buyers can imagine themselves unloading a truck in the morning and watching a movie on the flat screen that evening in the new house. That is worth a lot to buyers, that move-in-ready quality. Flip that to a house that looks like it needs work before its “livable” by some standards. The buyer starts seeing dollar signs attached to carpet shampooers, landscapers, painters. Not only do they see dollar signs, but also they begin to feel the anxiety pains of working with contractors and projects. What happened to relaxing at home? Suddenly the house feels less valuable and more like a heavy weight.
With the power of artful staging, you have the ability to influence whether a buyer sees your house as a move-in-ready opportunity to relax and unwind, or a tension-ridden collection of projects and expenses. Create the vision the house-hunter wants to buy.
The Phases of Staging
Staging can be broken down into essential steps.
- Begin with de-cluttering and reducing the amount of possessions in the house.
- Next, neutralize by removing personal items and creating a soft, warm color palette. Repair or replace any items that are in disarray.
- Then, clean like the dickens. Clean again. Keep cleaning.
- Arrange & Design
- Touch the senses with things like natural light, sweet aroma, fresh flowers, or other embellishments that extend a silent invitation to take your shoes off and stay for a while.
- Repeat on the outside.
Who is Responsible for Staging?
As the seller, it is your responsibility to arrange your house in such a way that buyers can envision themselves feeling at home. Your real estate agent should encourage staging. You can do the staging yourself, can hire a company to do it for you, or you can piece it out by task such as a professional organizer to help with the decluttering process, a cleaning company to apply the elbow grease, and an interior designer who can help complement the home’s features with intelligently applied design.
When does Staging Take Place
The moment you decide to list your property for sale is the moment you should be thinking about staging. Your house should be fully staged before being listed on the market. Furthermore, once the initial staging is complete, tenants need to maintain that show-ready loo until the day the house is sold and the keys and title change hands. So, in essence, staging starts the moment you decide to sell your house and continues through the close of sale.
A Systematic Approach
Now that you have a general understanding of what it is to stage a home for sale and why it’s important to the perceived value of your property, think about how you can conquer the task of staging your house with a systematic approach. Declutter. Neutralize. Sterilize. Organize. Implement smart design elements and intelligent strategies to make potential buyers feel right at home in your house.
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Jeremy Mellick a call today at 206-260-1260 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.