Home staging is one aspect of real estate that can get overlooked, but shouldn’t, as it’s been proven to directly correlate to a better price for the seller – and a faster sale. Keep reading to see top tips for sellers when it comes to staging the house for sale.
Home Staging: What Is It?
You may hear the term “home staging” and think of removing your personal photos from the walls, and maybe your college diploma as well. This is only a small piece of the pie!
Home staging goes above and beyond depersonalizing the home, so that buyers can better imagine themselves living in this house, and it showcases the home’s attractive qualities while downplaying the flaws. And, it makes the home look better in photos, which is important in a time when buyers are browsing the internet before heading to a showing.
A Quick Look at the Stats
We chatted with Shelly Yeager of Shelly by Design, a Saratoga Springs-based professional home staging company, to get a better understanding of how a properly staged home can benefit the seller (and the buyer!).
“A house that is staged is going to sell much quicker and for more money than a house that is not staged,” Yeager told us. “A statistic from a recent RESA study of over 13,000 homes showed that 85% sold for 5 to 23% of the listing price. And, over 77% of buyers find it easier to visualize the property as their future home when it’s staged.”
In addition, according to the 2021 Profile of Home Staging from the National Association of Realtors, 47% of agents said that staging affected most buyers’ view of a home.
The Main Rooms That Need Staging
Although Yeager has found with her clients that decluttering is often the most important factor of staging (more on that soon!), many sellers are asking which rooms are the most important. The general answer is: the living room (or family room), the primary bedroom, and the kitchen/dining area. These are the rooms that are most important to the majority of buyers, followed by office space.
Helpful Tips for Home Staging Inside & Out
Create Curb Appeal
You may have heard us or other real estate professionals mention “curb appeal.” Although prospective buyers will have looked at photos of the house online beforehand, when they drive up, the outside is going to be the first in-person impression they have.
Things you can do to enhance curb appeal, depending on the house and what’s needed: repaint the front door and/or shutters, replace the mailbox and/or house numbers, ensure sidewalks are swept, and definitely spruce up flower gardens, shrubs, and the lawn.
Of course, we can have some harsh winters here in the Saratoga Springs area, and outdoor home staging cannot be neglected during colder weather. The walkway to the entrance should be free from snow or ice, and cold-hardy annuals can go a long way.
Clean From the Floors to the Ceilings
Accessorizing your primary bedroom or maximizing space in your living room won’t do much to appeal to buyers if the house itself isn’t clean. Give the entire home a good scrubbing from top to bottom, remembering that prospective buyers will go into your basement and garage as well.
Make appliances shine like new, and replace small elements of the home that aren’t too expensive to upgrade, like a corroded faucet in the kitchen. And, erase all signs of pets, from odors to pet beds left out.
Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
When we asked Yeager what’s the one aspect of home staging that individuals tend to neglect but shouldn’t, she said decluttering without hesitation.
“Especially families that use a room for the kids playrooms – a family room, dining room, etc,” Yeager said. “I have staged beautiful homes that literally are using the kitchen/dining room for their kid’s playroom, packed with toys.”
Yeager also pointed out that removing large pieces of furniture can impact the look of a room and can create a larger space.
Show Off Your Storage
Storage space is always a concern for buyers. Make sure closets and cabinets are decluttered and maximized for their space. Attractive bins or baskets could show off how the space can be used, and how a buyer’s things might be organized in the home.
Think “Spa” With the Bathrooms
Coming back to the cleaning aspect of home staging, this is perhaps never more important than in the bathroom. Although bathrooms are not typically within the top three or four rooms that buyers tend to focus on, a mildewed shower curtain, corroding wallpaper, or sopping wet sink can be a huge turnoff.
Investing in new show curtains, rugs, and bathmats are an inexpensive way to spruce the space up. Once it’s clean, think “spa:” fluffy towels, a fancy candle (with a vanilla, jasmine, or citrus scent), and maybe a fancy lotion or soap on the (otherwise mostly empty) sink.
Consider Hiring a Professional
While home staging can be very DIY, professional home stagers have the skills and experience to transform your home into a perfect possibility for prospective buyers.
When it comes to decluttering and knowing how much is too much (you don’t want to leave a cold, empty space), how you can best showcase that odd-shaped room, and what colors the walls should be painted, a professional stager has the answers for your specific home.
And, did you know? Depending on the listing price of the house, we here at Sterling Real Estate Group may be able to include staging with our services offered.