The first step to falling in love can be "swipe right” and similarly for homes, it’s online where home buyers first connect with a home and begin the courtship. For this reason, when I am frequently asked, “Do I need to stage?” I answer with a resounding “YES”! Even the seller with designer tastes and a RH catalog-ready home needs to consider how to present a home to buyers in the best way possible. This is often different from how we present our house while living in it.
Staging your home directly translates into extra dollars as it is simple math: the more buyers who wish to purchase your home creates competition and a higher sales price. Studies show that homes will sell for 8-10 percent higher, with an investment into staging.
When we decorate our house, we convey our personality, and when we stage our house, we try to de-personalize it so that any buyer can imagine living there. Staging can be something as simple as de-cluttering and packing items away for a more stark, model-like look to a full house professional stage with furniture and accessories inside and out. I tell all my clients who are getting ready to shoot photos: when in doubt, take it out!
Staging a property impacts the way it is perceived in photography (bigger, brighter, more cohesive) and now it feels when you walk into the home (warmer, more luxurious, cozier). Most buyers are scrolling properties online and professional photography is key so preparing a home to be photographed means removing extra furniture, packing away personal items, clearing surfaces so the focus is on the features of the home and not the features of the family. Family photos are distracting and buyers will go straight for them, wondering who lives here and subconsciously judging whether or not they identify with them.
The main effects of staging impact visualization and the goal is to make your home a blank canvas, where buyers can imagine their personal belongings and what it would be like for them to live at this home. A pop of color, especially green plants can help photos stand out and have a refreshing and tranquil feeling but too much color elicits a strong psychological response in buyers and neutral wall colors are best. A vacant home without furniture will sell for less because it feels abandoned, not cared for, and the seller appears more desperate. On the internet, empty room photos appear bland and meld into each other.
If your home is feeling a bit dated, you may want to consider tackling some key upgrades. Compass Concierge is a great program where we can front you the costs of the updating for no fees, and this can be paid back upon closing the sale. The return is astounding as the modern buyer is willing to pay a lot more for a home that is considered “turn-key”, since many people don’t have the time, money or energy to tackle it. Taking care of even the smallest bit of disrepair is critical because many buyers think if that’s the poor state of what I can see, what other maintenance and repairs are lurking within? The front door is your profile pic and the first impression, if bad, maybe the last impression.