Yes, staging your home really does help it sell

Sellers often feel their home is perfect, and while every home is special in its own way, it’s important to reframe the process as a business transaction. In other words, it’s not personal.

With 47 percent of buyers’ agents citing that home staging has an effect on a buyer’s view of the home, staging and managing curb appeal instantly increases a home’s likelihood of receiving top offers with a broader buyer audience. It’s essential to prepare your home to look its best if you want it to sell fast. And to sell for more money.


Buyers don’t want the ‘used’ look

The house is what’s for sale — not your lifestyle and living arrangements. Buyers want to envision themselves and their families living in the home, and that’s where their attention needs to be.

Potential buyers can become distracted from the home’s features by focusing on personal items like family pictures, tasteful artwork, collections, awards and more.

Keeping the home clean and feeling uncluttered is essential. To avoid the “used” feel, hire cleaners to do an initial deep clean of the most important rooms in the home. According to the 2021 Profile of Home Staging, the most common rooms staged in a home are the living room (90 percent), kitchen (80 percent), primary bedroom (78 percent) and the dining room (69 percent), because these are the most important for buyers to visualize themselves in.

Add or upgrade lights to improve the home’s feel and eliminate shadows in these areas. Add seasonal accent pillows on the couch, remove everything sitting on kitchen counters that isn’t décor, and declutter all closets to maximize appeal. Minimalistic art and neutral paints lengthen halls and rooms, and make them seem spacious.

In today’s high-demand seller’s market, where homes can sell in days, it’s not unreasonable to rent temporary storage space for all your stuff until the home is sold.

Since you need to vacate your home during showings, which can prove to be disruptive — especially when so many people are working and learning remotely and especially if there are 15 to 20 showings per day — and the home needs to be kept immaculate and clean at all times, consider spending a few days at a hotel if you can afford it.


Home stagers are not interior designers

Many sellers balk at the costs of hiring professional stagers and are often confused about what they do. While you may think stagers are going to revamp your home’s entire aesthetic, that’s not their job.

Stagers aren’t interior designers. Stagers will make a home feel more neutral, open and decluttered. If you’re looking to maximize the sale of your home, professional stagers know the trends driving the highest home sale prices. In fact, staged homes can sell for as much as 20 percent more than the list price.

Additionally, if you’re leasing an investment property, professional stagers can maximize the rent income. Potential renters also want to feel a connection to their living spaces, and staging helps them envision if the space is big enough and is oriented to fit their needs.

This is especially true for long-term rentals that haven’t been on the market for years and may need significant updates.


Tips to extract maximum value

Here are five curb appeal and staging tips that can bring a considerable return on investment (ROI), and help sell homes quickly.


1. Paint the exterior and or interior of the home

Chipped and peeling paint leaves an impression that regular home maintenance was ignored by the previous owner. A neutral exterior colour that complements neighbouring homes can attract buyers looking for a move-in-ready home that doesn’t require too many upfront costs.

Inside the home, neutral is the only colour palette to choose. You want buyers to remember the flow and rooms of the house, not “that terrible turquoise colour in the dining room.”


2. Replace kitchen hardware and paint dated kitchen cabinets white

Older kitchens encourage buyers to think about remodelling, which will become a sticking point as they present below-market offers. Refresh the kitchen’s look to make it acceptable to a wider range of buyers.


3. Manage the curb appeal

Use a gardening service to trim overhanging trees and shrubs. Don’t be afraid to remove a few plants to allow more light into the home. Put a planter or two out on your front porch.


4. Hire a power washing crew to clean the house

This includes the windows. Some homes might have decent exterior paint conditions that are covered by a decade of dirt, and a quick wash can bring back the colours and shine.


5. Consider new kitchen appliances

That is, if they’ll improve an otherwise fine kitchen. If the entire kitchen is severely dated then it’s wiser to skip the appliances that might hinder a needed remodel. º

Buyers are willing to spend more when most of their expectations are met or exceeded through a properly presented home. A properly staged home benefits both sides of the equation. These tips and an experienced REALTOR® can help you maximize your home’s value.

— Inman News