You’ve probably heard or read about the benefits of home staging. To put it simply, first impressions are everything. Buyers tend to decide within the first eight seconds whether they like a home, and staging is an effective way to wow a buyer from the start.
Today’s homebuyers are informed and harbor certain expectations about the type of home they are seeking. They’re exposed to interior design TV shows, design blogs and DIY videos, and have the ability to browse hundreds of listings online at their fingertips. Buyers desire not only a home but also a lifestyle, and staging plays a huge role in how any given property is perceived. Most buyers spend time searching online before deciding which homes to view in person, so capturing their visual interest immediately is of utmost importance. The goal with staging is to create an emotional attachment to a home, highlight a property’s very best features, and eliminate any distractions or obstacles.
We know a thing or two about staging (as you can see from our fabulous listing photos in this blog post) and we’re happy to give you a quick rundown on how it can benefit you as a seller. When representing buyers, we can given you the lowdown on identifying hidden faults that have been expertly masked via the magic of home staging and/or help you to see an un-staged home’s potential.
Different real estate firms offer different home staging options, but you will mostly find service offerings such as deep cleaning, decluttering, painting, cosmetic renovations, custom closets, pest control and landscaping, in addition to rearranging, adding, or swapping out the furnishings and décor to highlight a room’s best features.
The most commonly staged rooms of a home are the living room, kitchen, primary bedroom and dining room, but deciding which rooms to stage really comes down to which ones could be most improved with the least amount of renovation and what current buyers are prioritizing at the moment. For instance, home offices have become sought after in the past year so depending on the layout of your home it might be wise to stage a home office even if that means creating an office nook.
You can of course stage your own home—especially if you have interior design skills. But even with those skills, real estate agents and home stagers have specific insight about what works and doesn’t, what best appeals to buyers and how to perfectly balance a pristine, polished look while still appearing homey and welcoming.
Costs vary depending on the real estate firm. Those who do offer staging often offer an option where they pay for all costs upfront but the seller reimburses them upon the home’s sale. Others break out the cost and ask for it upfront. And some offer home staging free of charge.
Regardless of whether you stage your home yourself or hire a professional to do it for you, just remember to be objective when it comes to aesthetic—rather than decorating in a way that you normally would, try to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes by asking yourself questions like: What might excite them upon entering? Is your home clean? Are there too many personal items on display? How can you play up each room’s best features? Is there a way to optimize natural light? Do you have a home office? Are your kitchen and closet storage spaces organized?