Definition: Staging of homes is a growing trend in real estate. It is especially important in slow markets with high inventory and many competing homes. Some of the things that stagers do are:
STAGING YOUR HOME
1. They advise removal of personal items that make the home look crowded, or might distract buyers. Too many personal photos on the walls are a sure way to have buyers commenting on your ski trip instead of your kitchen.
2. In staging a home, many times the furnishings are rearranged to enhance the look of a room or make it look larger. This can mean the rental of a storage building for those that have too much furniture.
3. In new or unoccupied homes, the stager will provide rental furniture that fits the style of the home and makes it look more livable. Large expanses of open floor space may look more spacious, but it's hard for buyers to envision their furniture in the home or get an idea of what would fit where.
- In every room of your home, stand at the doorway and look at the room through the eyes of a buyer. What do you see? Be tough on yourself. The key question to ask yourself is: What can I/we live without while our house is on the market?
- Most carpets need to be cleaned. Have them professionally cleaned before we put your property on the market.
- NOTE: Buyers only know what they see and not what might be. Unless your home is a “fixer” and be sold as such, badly worn and out of date carpets must be replaced in our market. Offering buyer credits to pick out a carpet or any other type of idea can be detrimental and is highly not recommended because it will slow the selling process and cost you money in the end. Berber carpet or short plush in beige is always safest.
- Check all light fixtures. Are they working properly? Replace all burned out light bulbs. Look for dark hallways and corners and increase the wattage of bulbs in those areas.
- Replace all broken light switches and cover plates. Clean dirty areas around them.
- Make sure there are lamps with extra bulbs in dark corners that are turned on for showings. Replace all burned out bulbs immediately.
- Repair and repaint walls with cracks or peeling paint’s
- Keep all curtains and blinds open during the day to let in light and views. The additional cost of heating or cooling is well worth the boost in selling time.
- Reduce the number of pillows on couches to zero or two. Remove all coverings and blankets.
- Pack up all valuable items to protect them. If necessary, take them to a safe deposit box.
- Houseplants that are over-grown or in failing health should be pruned or given away. In general, removing excessive plants will create space; however some need to be present.
- Fireplaces need to be cleaned out. Glass doors should be clean like new. Mantels and hearths need to be cleaned off except for necessary items.
- To create more space a chair or couch might need to be moved. Like a model home, you want to have comfortable open spaces so prospective buyers can mentally move their things in.
- Pack up all collections. The last thing we want to see is damage to a collection of any type. There will be people coming through your home and although everyone can be careful, things happen. More over, we do not want to distract prospective buyers from the real focal point of their visit, your home!
- Reduce the number of books on bookshelves. The earlier books are related items can be packed up and removed, all the better for the selling process.
- Reduce the number of family pictures to absolute minimum. Don’t worry about bare areas, we will come back and hang other art in those areas.
- Wall hung pictures and paintings should be reduced to a maximum one large piece on each wall or a small group of three. Make sure they are hung at eye level.
- Keep soft music playing for all showings. If you are leaving for the day, turn on the music. Easy listening or light jazz is best. Avoid hard rock and funeral music!
- Be sensitive to odors because buyers are! Excessive cooking or smoking odors, dog or cat odors, baby, laundry and mildew odors will turn off buyers. If there is a challenge with odors in your home use room deodorants or disinfectant sprays. Keep the windows cracked open for ventilation even in hot or cold weather. There are some great products for pet smells at pet stores and many professional carpet cleaners can help greatly. Remember, you can’t sell it if you can smell it!
- Wash all windows and keep them spotless for the entire selling process. Be sure the windows operate freely. If there is a broken seal or any other defect, have repairs made before the property goes on the market.
- Repair or throw away any broken item in the home or on the property. You want top show that your home is well taken carte of and small details are not overlooked. In most cases, a buyer will require the repairs to be made, so do it now.
- Feel free to move furniture around. The key is to open up the rooms and help people see the flow of the home. Remember, we are selling your home, not the furnishings, so keep focused that the house should be the focal point.
- Lastly, pack up the little things. Little things create clutter and clutter does not help a home sell.