Top 10 Tips - Staging (Part 2)
Staging is a key part of creating a 'product' that potential buyers will fall in love with. In this blog we outline the Top-10 Staging Tips (6-10).
What is staging?
When selling a home, presentation is critical. The home should look like a model home – comfortable, clean and inviting, with a decorative touch making it stand out from the rest of the homes on the market. The end goal is to have the buyers imagine themselves living in the home by highlighting the positive aspects of the home, and creating a sense of possibility and potential, inspiring buyers to have an emotional response of ‘I want to live here’.
How does it work?
The MA Properties Online team start the staging process with a pre-stage visit. During this visit we take the time to walk through the home with you and discuss some proactive measures you can take leading up to the day of staging. On the day of staging we come in with any furniture or accent pieces that will complement the style of your home and transform it into a space that will create an emotional response from everyone.
6. Impersonal Is Better
As we mentioned before about decluttering, de-personalizing is key.
You’d be surprised to see how many buyers are drawn to diplomas on the wall and checking out who lives in the home, rather than ‘seeing’ the room. Buyers are curious about who lives in the home but we don’t want them to be so focused on who lives in the home that they forget about looking at the home!
The key to getting the highest price for your home is to have 80% of the buyers who walk in your home fall in love with it and imagine themselves living in your home. If there is evidence of you living in the home then it is harder for the buyers to imagine themselves living in the home. We want them to feel as if all they need to do is bring their suitcase, unpack and enjoy.
To do this it’s important for your home to be as ‘vanilla’ as possible. No religious items, not ‘tchotchkes’ from your travels, no personal photos, no identifying information about who you are – in other words, we want the buyers to think that you have already moved out. Just remember that you need to pack these things to move anyway, so do it now when it really matters.
7. As Easy As Possible For The Kids
We know it’s hard to change the routine with young ones! When we come in for our pre-staging visit we’ll chat about what would be best for the toys and the kids room. These should be the last to be done prior to our staging visit so that it’s as easy as possible for the kids. On the day of staging we will ask for the toys, play items and kids paraphernalia to be packed up and temporarily removed so that we present your home in its ‘in your dreams’ state to the buyers. We’ll then take our photos, video and 3D tours done the same day and then you can go back to living ‘normally’ for just a little while longer. When we go on the market one week later we will ask if you can get the home back to its ‘in your dreams’ state for the Open Houses and private showings.
For the first weekend your home is on the market some folks decide that it makes sense to go away for the weekend to make it as easy as possible on the kids, and parents, with keeping the home in ‘show’ condition. There’s nothing worse for the family when your home is so popular with the buyers that you are in and out of the home, because of all the showings, for the whole weekend. But remember, if that is happening then that’s a really, really good thing!
8. It's The Small Stuff
It may be obvious, but having a clean home is paramount for appealing to the buyers.
Don’t leave a sink full of dirty dishes, or a refrigerator that is so dirty that buyers gasp when opening it, the laundry piled high with dirty, smelly clothes, the trash bin overflowing, counters needing wiping down, the bathroom sink and toilet looking dirty, the carpets dirty, and so many other things that the first thought the buyers have when coming in and seeing your home is ‘these people don’t care about their home’.
When it looks like a seller doesn’t care about their home the buyers walk away thinking that the seller will have only done the bare minimum in maintaining their home in the past, and that is a bad sign to a buyer.
A home that is immaculate tells a buyer that ‘these sellers care’.
We bring in the décor, but you need to take care of the cleaning!
9. Less Is More
A room looks much larger when it is not crowded with furniture or items. You’d be amazed at the difference it makes to a room. During our pre-staging visit we may ask you to relocate some pieces – its not because we don’t like your style or your furniture! We’re just trying to create an emotional response from the buyer.
Floor rugs are often a culprit in making a room feel smaller. Floor rugs break up the ‘long view’ and ‘stop the eye’. We may ask you to remove most of your rugs and only ask for 1 or 2 to be left behind. Light colored rugs are the best – bright colored rugs tend to distract the eye unless your home has white walls and white ceilings. We are trying to create a simple and elegant design and ‘loud’ rugs are counter to that impression. We’ve got it covered if you don’t have any light colored rugs – we’ll bring some in from our staging inventory during the period of time we are selling your home.
We also focus on removing ‘choke points’ in a room. Imagine how ‘small’ your home will feel if buyers have to shuffle around each other to move through a room. Imagine a busy open house with lots of buyers crowding each other (a very good thing) trying to get past that amazing, but large, console table in the living room. Having clear and open pathways for buyers to move through is important.
10. First Impressions
Entryways are sacred - they are the first impression a buyer has of your home. Go to your pathway as if you’re about to walk up to your front door. What do you see? This is what your buyers will see. Make sure that there is no chipping paint, or cobwebs, or a dead plant you’ve been meaning to dig out. Make the first impression a really good one. Buy some flowering pots of plants to have to frame your entry – remember, if they’re in pots then they go with you when you move!
It doesn’t stop with the exterior though. The first impression when they enter your home is also vital. With this, it helps to clear out the space around the front door of items such as shoes, coats, hanging items and furniture. If buyers see lots of coats, and shoes lying around near the doors then it immediately makes them look for a coat closet, and if there isn’t one, it highlights that its missing!
Buyers will be getting a visceral ‘feel’ for the home within the first minute or so of them arriving. Make it a good one! First impressions are vitally important!
If you are thinking about selling and want to see how the MA Properties Online Staging Team can transform your home please contact us.