Monday, March 2, 2009

Home Staging

Why is home staging important?

The home seller wants to show their house in its best possible light, so that the home buyers see the potential of the house. If they see the potential, then they will more likely make an offer and maybe even one that is higher than the seller might expect. The seller can't assume that the buyer can visualize that potential. That is where home staging comes into play.

What are some basics that a seller needs to consider?

First and foremost, and the easiest change, is to declutter. The biggest reason for this is to show the amount of space that the home has. The seller will be able to see that, yes, my furniture will fit in the space. So clean up the children's toys, the dirty laundry, the mail from the past week, the dishes in the sink. This would also include cleaning up the closets, especially the walk-ins and pantries.

Closely linked to decluttering is depersonalizing. The seller doesn't want the buyer to see who is living in the house, but the seller wants the buyer to see themselves living in this house. This would include removing all family photos, knick knacks/collectibles, and anything thematic.

The next step would be to fix problem areas. Is the linoleum coming up? Is the wallpaper pealing? Is there a cracked tile? Are there spots on the carpet? And so on. If the buyer were to see all these negatives that they are going to have to spend more money on, it may possibly lose the sale. Even if it doesn't lose the sale, it will definitely lower the offer.

But that is not all there is to staging.

Let's say that these steps are the prequel to staging. Now you want to stage rooms so that any potential buyer that walks into the house is not confused by its purpose so they can easily picture themselves living there.

1. The rooms should be neutral in color, but warm and inviting. The seller doesn't want to scare away a buyer because of a pink bathroom. Or because of a dark blue master bedroom.

2. The rooms should be well lit, according to their purpose. For instance, if there is a reading area, it should be lit for reading. If it is a bedroom, a softer lighting scheme would be appropriate. In a kitchen, task lighting is important.

3. Space planning is also important. Does the furniture take up too much space? Is there too much furniture for the space? Is it laid out to give a comfortable feel?

4. Another thing to consider is using a room for multiple purposes. In certain cases, this is doable, but most of the time, it is too confusing for the buyer. If the house is on the market as a three bedroom, there should be three rooms used as bedrooms. The dining room should look like a dining room.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. There is a lot more to selling a house if you want the best return. Home Staging will make a big impact.