Think about the last time you had friends over for dinner. Chances are in the hour leading up to it you were vacuuming, wiping surfaces, arranging the decorative couch pillows, putting things in drawers, and anything else to make your home look less “lived in”. This is all in an effort to maintain the illusion that your house always looks this good on a weekday with two kids and a dog.
Staging your home as a seller leverages that same strategy to influence buyers. According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2021 Profile of Home Staging:
- Forty-seven percent of buyers’ agents cited that home staging had an effect on most buyers’ view of the home.
- Eighty-two percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home
- When staging a home, 23 percent of sellers’ agents reported an increase of one percent to five percent of the dollar value offered by buyers, in comparison to similar homes, and eighteen percent of respondents stated that staging a home increased the dollar value of the home between six and 10 percent.
So, if you’re serious about selling your home for top dollar, consider these three staging techniques:
1. Depersonalize the space
Depersonalization is one of the trickier staging tools to use without professional help because it requires objective decision making. The goal is to make it easy for buyers to visualize the home as their own. The problem is that won’t happen if they’re bombarded by your sentimental belongings, family photos, and clutter from hobbies or pets. It’s why mannequins have blank faces — they’re surrogates for the customer’s imagination.
2. Create a welcoming atmosphere
Nothing puts buyers off like dirty, unkempt homes. The simplest staging tool is to perform a deep clean on everything. Curtains, carpets, furniture, appliances, and especially basements and garages are culprits for odor, grime, and clutter that could send potential buyers running.
3. Showcase your strengths
Showcasing is about distinguishing your home from others and creating broad market appeal through strategic design. Even though some of your style choices may be totally you, if they have niche appeal they will cast a smaller net for buyers. That doesn’t mean you must buy all new furniture. Instead you can rearrange your existing furniture, downplay niche items, create focal points in each room, and play to your home’s strengths. Take advantage of any rooms with natural light. Design a color palette that suits the tone of the floors and walls and accent them with complementary colors. Lastly, consider any synergies between decorative pieces – an item from the living room might perfectly accentuate something from one of the bedrooms. You want to present your home as being aesthetically pleasing and “move-in ready”. If a home appears move-in ready then buyers may pay more for it.
The idea behind staging is to present your home in the best possible light to attract buyers. Whether or not you choose to use the services of a professional stager is up to you, however having an objective pair of eyes review your handiwork will always be an asset when preparing your home to sell.