Steps to Stage Your Home for Successful Sale
Simply cleaning a house and doing routine maintenance is only a small part of staging. There are many other steps involved. Spending the time and money on all the facets of home staging provides you with the best opportunity for a fast sale at market value. Here are the steps involved in home staging:
This is the removing of your personal belongings from the viewer’s sight. It helps in taking away the personality that comes with your own belongings. Usually, buyers visualize their own belongings in your home when planning to buy it and with your own items all over the place this might just hinder their decision-making. It also makes your home appear fresher and more spacious.
Clutter is off-putting not only to prospective buyers but even to a person who loves to be neat and organized. Clutter makes a place look unnecessarily busy, confusing and the room’s dimension look and feel much smaller.
Homes crammed with photos, certificates, memorabilia etc., make it hard for buyers to envisage fitting in their own belongings. For this reason, it is of utmost importance to minimize surface clutter in particular. Take all ornaments, stacks of old newspapers and magazines, vases, photo frames, other bits & pieces and remove as much as you can, or if you are not sure, at least half of it (also known as the 50% rule). If you need to, pack things away in cupboards or in a storage area to be brought out again once the contracts have been signed and exchanged.
It is believed that cleanliness is next to Godliness. This is the first and most obvious task to complete just before inspections. Your home must be spotlessly clean and hygienic so buyers can look forward to moving into a sparkling and healthy home.
Dust, grime, stains, slime and spillages are some of the major turn offs and so are dirty carpets, scuffed and scummy-looking floors, cupboards with food crusted onto the doors, cockroach droppings, dirty windowsills, grubby light switches and door handles, just to name a few.
Wash and put the dishes away, stow away the washing basket, make the beds and arrange the shoes. Ensure all surfaces gleam and keep away anything a potential buyer might not want to see or touch. This goes for all the rooms and surfaces in the house.
Re-arranging, removing and/or replacing furniture
Usually, if your furniture is up to par, is stylish and fits well with the room, then you can go ahead and place them in their most suited locations to create a welcoming feel when buyers walk into your home.
If your furniture is not up to the standard of the rest of your home, you have the option of renting furniture to ensure you show the best. The key is to choose the most appealing, quality pieces and arrange them to give each room a stylish and welcoming feel.
This is ensuring that every space in your house is put into good use. The efficient use of space ensures that even homes that are small in dimension can still offer spaces with specialised purposes and functions. One can easily create extra living areas, a home office, a study room, an entertainment room, spare rooms for guests and children, all without knocking down any walls.
To achieve this, take out any unnecessary furniture and fixtures. If there’s room under the staircase for a compact office, place a desk and chair there so that the buyer can clearly see its potential. For an unused patio or balcony, have some comfortable chairs or a hammock there to suggest room for relaxation.
Use of bright and fluffy cushions on a contemporary bedding, and an elegant table setting, for example, can add to the warmth and appeal of your home. Complementing wall hangings (paintings or canvas’) would also add to the appeal.
Light it up
Natural light should be featured predominantly as much as possible in the staging of your home. Draw your curtains, blinds or window coverings to let it in. It gives the room a fresh, airy and wholesome atmosphere.
Although artificial lighting can be used to enhance the interiors of your house, it can sometimes leave a gloomy impression. Fluorescent lights can seem alienating. To create a warm impression, down lights, lamps and studio lighting can be used.
The process of airing the entire house before an inspection is of utmost importance. Locked up, sealed or poorly ventilated homes smell stuffy and have an unwelcome feel to them. Air the house daily or at least hours before an inspection.
Have the contents of your walk-in-wardrobe, drawers and pantry neatly arranged. Some buyers are nosy enough to want to look inside, partly to ensure a lack of wear or damage, but also to ensure there is enough room for their stuff. A well-organised house gives an impression of order and hence the buyer feels a sense of an orderly life once settled in.
By organising, you will reassure the potential buyers that there is ample storage space for their needs and inspire confidence that your home is well taken care of.
A little gardening or weeding of the garden and lawn mowing presents well. Placing elegant ceramic flower pots with small trees, or attractive flowers or shrubs might just be the thing to create a welcoming impression of a home well cared for and loved.
Small enhancements to the fence and the general outdoor look can also aid in attaining the maximum impact and help create a positive first impression.
Leave Your House
Buyers don’t want to feel intimidated or restricted when it comes to asking questions and thoroughly inspecting the house. It is, at times, advisable to step out or be away especially if an agent is taking care of the sale. If the buyers feel inhibited by your presence, then it doesn’t augur well for a quick sale. You may also appear over-anxious to sell which is not a good impression to relay to potential buyers.
Before listing your home for a sale, ensure all obvious and critical repair work is complete. The fact is, the more faults buyers find with your home, the greater their bargaining position and the fewer dollars you will put in your pocket at the end of it all.
A poorly kept home gives the buyer a bad first impression, which is normally imprinted in their mind within the first eight seconds of entering your home. Convincing them otherwise will be quite difficult, if not impossible.
The only exception would be if they were planning full-scale renovations for the place. This would mean that the major repairs wouldn’t really matter. Buyers would be turned off by the prospect of having to immediately fix up a home they purchase. They feel overwhelmed by it and it also gives them leverage with which to try and negotiate down your asking price.
Try to make sure that you are available to answer any questions prospective buyers might have about your house despite your schedule. It gives an impression that you have confidence in it and it also ensures your house gets sold quickly and for the right amount. Untraceable owners lose many potential buyers purely by being inaccessible.
Dogs and Pets
Unusual or weird pets, such as snakes, spiders or rats, might not make the desired impression to most buyers.
Dogs are also best kept outside, or taken away from the house, during an inspection just in case the buyer inspecting is allergic or does not like dogs or pets in general. Cat or dog fur on the furniture upholstery is also a big turn-off.
The Stink Factor
Nobody loves foul smell. This can be the easiest and swiftest way to get rid of a potential buyer. Blocked drains, smell of urine or worse in the bathroom, cigarette smoke impregnating the furniture, rotten smells in the kitchen, burnt food, mildew, staleness, dust, and bleach are just a few of the unwanted smells in a house. Even spraying the whole house with a fancy deodorant won’t do it. If a pet soils a rug or carpet and there is that smell you can’t seem to get rid of, put it in rug storage until you’ve sold the house.
For any repainting being done on your home before selling, seriously consider sticking with white or another neutral colour. This actually creates a sense of spaciousness and light, the two most desirable factors buyers seek while looking to purchase.
Vases of fresh flowers, freshly baked biscuits, and scented candles tend to invite in the potential buyers inspecting the home. They make them want to linger and imagine themselves living there.
Fresh flowers, ventilation, light and good smells are simple details that matter quite a lot in home staging. It also helps in creating the good first impression that might very well influence the buyer to invest in your home.
Continuous and regular inspections are vital to see everything is in place as long as the house is on the market. Although staging a home might be tiresome, imagine the feeling when your home sells faster and at the price you asked.