As the real estate market continues to recover from one of the deepest recessions in history, homeowners who have been trapped in their current homes are starting to look at pulling up stakes and moving on. As the market becomes saturated with homes for sale, a highly competitive marketplace is sure to appear. Real estate agents with clients looking to make a change need to create any advantage they can find.
While price will always be an important motivator for buyers, most people looking for a new home are pragmatic. They still want to find their “dream house” that makes them feel like they have found a home. It’s up to real estate agents to help create a vision that draws buyers in. The best way to do this is by staging. Investing the time and money to properly stage a home for sale should drastically improve the chances of selling the property quickly while securing the best possible sales prices.
10 Best Practices for Staging A Home that are Sure to Attract Potential Buyers
While realizing every buyer’s taste is going to be a little different, there are still a number of standard staging practices that can be employed to attract the right buyer(s). The goal is to accentuate the positives and deflect from the negatives.
1. Love at First Site – The outside of the home is just as important as the inside. The necessary steps should be taken to make sure the outside area looks inviting. This could include power washing the outside walls, painting (including trim), fixing the roof and driveway, mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges and planting flowers.
2. Wash the Windows – This includes inside and outside windows. Nothing will distract from the cleanliness of the home faster than dirty windows. If the home has a marketable view, washing windows escalates in importance.
3. Clean the Interior – By cleaning the interior from floor to ceiling, potential buyers will sense this is an important home. The best the home is ever going to look is the moment the cleaning process has been completed.
4. Modernize – Bathrooms and kitchens have a habit of becoming outdated as new trends and appliances come into the marketplace. Sellers are competing with new homes for buyer dollars. New flooring, cabinets and counter-tops are an easy way to keep the house looking modern.
5. Do Away with Eccentric – If anything is the home would be considered eccentric and/or personal, it needs to be changed and standardized a bit. Most buyers will have tastes that are significantly different from that of the seller.
6. Style the Tabletops – This includes kitchen, dining room and coffee tables. By setting the dining room table and putting nick knacks around the house, potential buyers might get a glimpse of the possibilities.
7. Clean/Replace Damaged Flooring – No matter how good the rest of the house looks, cracked tiles and dirty, worn out carpets will send buyers running for the front door.
8. De-Clutter – No one is interested in seeing how poorly a seller keeps house. If the agent wants the house to look its best, things should be put away neatly in the proper place, which helps each room look well-organized.
9. Gender-Neutralize the Home – Since potential buyers will come from both genders, agents want to avoid having any room in the house that looks too feminine or masculine. Failure to do this might eliminate 50% of the potential buyers.
10. Room Flow – It’s up to the real estate agent to make sure the house is staged in a manner that creates a nice flow from one room to another. There is a great deal of appeal in a house that makes sense.