A few weeks ago, I had the great opportunity to participate in the Accredited Staging Professional (ASP®) Home Staging Class and become an ASP® Real Estate Agent. During the training, we heard many tips and pieces of advice about home staging, and I wanted to share my top 10* for those of you selling your homes:
1. Keep in mind that the way you live in your “home,” and the way you market and sell your “house” are two different things. Begin to think of your “home” not as where you have lived for 20 years and where you raised your children, for example, but as a “house” and a product to sell. Make the distinction between home (a.k.a. a place where beloved and emotional memories were made) and house (a.k.a. a product to sell). This will allow you to take some of the necessary home staging steps listed below.
2. Understand that buyers only know what they see, not the way it’s going to be or the way it could be. Again this will help you embrace and follow the essential staging steps and process, especially the de-cluttering aspect.
3. Invest in staging your house – it’s better than having to do a more expensive price reduction to help sell your home. The goal of staging your house – and presenting it in its best possible state – is to minimize the days on the market and maximize the sale price. If you sell your home quickly, there is no need for a price reduction. Mission accomplished!
4. Place special emphasis on the first room in the house that buyers see. This room is by far the most important one in the house for just that reason. It can make or break a positive first impression. Hence my recent post – Selling your Home: Tips to Make Your Foyer Fabulous – as the entryway is usually the first glance that buyers have of your home.
5. Remember the three C’s – (1) Clean, (2) Clutter Free and (3) Color. First, think about detailing your house like you detail your car. Clean, more and more clean and then spotless. Selling a shiny, clean and sparkling home is crucial. Second, remember that old adage “less is more.” In other words, you can’t sell your home if buyers can’t see it. Put another way – clutter eats equity. If there are too many pieces of furniture, artwork, lamps and accessories in a room, buyers will have difficulty getting a sense of space, room dimensions and overall feel. This will detract from the way buyers experience your home and can stand in the way of its sale. Finally, look at the colors of your rooms, and add or subtract where necessary. For example, a living room that is completely neutral in color (think beiges and creams) will need a pop in a complimentary color which you can do with artwork, accessories, flower or plants.
6. Stand in the doorway and find the focal point. When you are determining where to place items, it’s best to stand in the room’s doorway – where most buyers will be standing when they first view the room – and find the focal point. Is it the fireplace, picture window or piece of art? Once you identify the room’s primary focal point, you can build your strategic staging plan around it.
7. Position furniture first, then walls and artwork, then lighting and finally accessories. When you are deciding where to place items, start with the furniture. Once you’ve positioned those pieces, move to the walls and hanging art. Then it’s on to the lighting and lastly the accessories. Following this order of placing items optimizes the staging results.
8. Let in the light and nature. You can never have enough natural light in your home when you are selling it. Have you ever heard buyers say they want to buy a dark house? Never. Bringing in the outside or nature can also have an extremely positive effect. Plants can serve as a perfect accessory or can add a creative element to something in the room. Nature keeps us and our homes grounded – always a good thing.
9. Accessorize with the right number and appropriate levels. First, use odd-numbered items with three being the magic staging number. For example, when you are staging a table, begin with three items to display. This leads to the second point. On that table, be sure to feature high, medium and low levels together. This will result in an arrangement that is pleasing to the eye.
10. Purge any yucky odors; remember the saying, “If you can smell it, you can’t sell it.” In other words, a malodorous smell can be a big turn-off for buyers so make sure these distasteful scents have been eradicated from your house prior to putting it on the market. It’s vital to make sure the smelling of your home is optimal and yummy.
What are your thoughts on these tips? Have you staged your home when selling it? Did you hire a professional or stage it yourself? And did the staging make a difference? I can’t wait to hear….
For more information on ASP® Home Staging or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (781-267-2844 or www.homesalesbylisa.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.
*There are many more home staging tips but these 10 especially resonated with me, and I hope they resonate with you too.