After spending over a decade learning how to help homeowners earn top dollar from their home sale, I am convinced that staging your home to sell is a vital part of the process. As Will Rogers so aptly wrote, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” The goal is to create an experience for home buyers that will cause them to build an emotional connection with your home. Buyers who are in love with your home will be willing to pay more money and give you better terms.
Homes staging is defined by Wikipedia as,
The act of preparing a private residence for sale in the real estate marketplace. The goal of staging is to make a home appeal to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money. Staging techniques focus on improving a property’s appeal by transforming it into a welcoming, attractive product that anyone might want.
Many people think of staging your home to sell in a very narrow way. They imagine being asked to remove all of their furniture and personal items in order to make room for a truck-load of cream-colored couches, vibrant throw pillows, and dining tables set and ready for a dinner party. Although this is sometimes the way to go, my approach to staging is usually quite a bit less extreme.
Most of the sellers I work with have an abundance of good furniture, artwork, and home accessories. The problem is that they have too much of it. Too much “stuff” hinders buyers from actually seeing the space. Furniture should define spaces and help viewers get a sense of how the space can be used without overwhelming it. A lot of the staging I do involves paring down personal possessions, re-arranging furniture, and adding some extra pizzaz.
There is no doubt that great furniture, artwork, and accessories have an effect on buyers. Even though they know in their heads that these items are not included in the purchase, buyers are much more likely to fall in love with a well-staged home. Think of it a bit like a movie set. You are setting the stage for buyers to have an extraordinary tour of your home. You want them to focus on the best qualities of the home and to be willing to overlook its challenges.
Staging your home to sell might look very different depending on the overall condition of the house and property. Staging your grandma’s house that has not seen a paintbrush in decades will look very different from staging your personal residence that you have spent years improving and decorating. Whatever the house or the situation, It is about optimizing the buyer experience.
Adding furniture and decor is secondary to attending to the overall condition of the home. Often times preparing a home for sale well involves some paint, a few important repairs, and a couple of upgrades. An old rotted shower door, a leaky sink, a broken dishwasher, or a damaged wall will stand out to buyers no matter how much great furniture you have in the house.
I advocate taking care of these deferred maintenance projects over time and not waiting until it is time to sell. This will not only spread out the cost but will also make the sales process more efficient when that time comes. I offer a complimentary home evaluation that will help you develop a punch list you can take on over an extended period of time in preparation for a future sale. Click here to schedule a walkthrough and consultation.
To learn more about the San Marino and Arcadia real estate markets read, “Arcadia CA and San Marino CA Real Estate Update” and “An Extraordinary Home Sale – Arcadia CA Real Estate.”
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Carrie Benuska, Keller Williams Realty, 125 S Lake Ave, Suite 150, Pasadena, CA 91101