Clean, Uncluttered and Tastefully Presented is What Buyers Want
In a saturated real estate market, sellers may be tempted to spend vast amounts of time and money upgrading, decorating, and staging a house to attract attention and encourage a fast, top-dollar sale.
However, it is tremendously important that you spend your money on things that will increase value and not every dollar spent does that! When staging to sell, think like a buyer, focus on the right rooms, and avoid overdoing it.
Think Like a Buyer
To be sure, appropriate staging can be well worth the cost and effort. Professionally staged homes sell in about half the time and at a 6-percent premium over non-staged homes according to a recent Realtor survey. (When you list your home with me, Rein Hollar, I will professionally stage it for free using my staging company, Stage It Hawaii.)
“The competition out there is fierce these days…sellers have to get their home in marketable condition to sell so that it shows like a model home, period!! Calling for a free consultation is the first step. A common mistake most homeowners make is leaving too much furniture and other belongings out in the home. Let us help you determine what you need to leave and what needs to be moved out.
“Most of the time, (sellers) have not de-cluttered the home enough, and it just does not have that ‘wow’ factor buyers are looking for when viewing numerous homes. The home has to be pristine and literally move-in ready as the buyers are being very picky and looking for the most bang for the buck these days. They have to be “wowed” from the street entrance, through every room in the house. They are buying the “whole” house — we fully stage the whole house!
The key is simplicity and broad appeal. It’s not about “decorating,” it’s about “marketing!” Removing personal items such as family photos, things that are religious or political in nature, or other decor that wouldn’t appeal to the majority of buyers is just the first step. Once we have done that, then we start staging.
A home for sale should reflect a clean style and be depersonalized. With staging, the ultimate goal is to make the potential buyer feel that the house they’re seeing fits their wish list and lifestyle, or a lifestyle they desire. That is what we do as it is very difficult for the average seller to change the way they have lived in their home. While it was very comfortable for them, it may not appeal to the broadest range of buyers.
Remember, once you decide to sell your home it becomes a product and now has to be the best looking product on the market. Your kids’ artwork and stacks of magazines may not be part of the lifestyle they desire. Likewise, period-heavy looks or stylized designs should be avoided.
Focus on the Right Rooms
Experts agree that buyers typically focus on the entryway, kitchen, bathrooms, main living room, and master bedroom, or the “zones of influence.” Focus staging efforts on these areas to make sure they look updated, clean, and inviting. However, do not overlook the other rooms as buyers don’t want to get excited in the living room to only be disappointed by an ancillary bedroom.
Don’t assume you need to replace all the major appliances. Let us give you a free consultation before you start spending money to make sure you are not pricing the home out of the market, and have spent your dollars wisely. You don’t want to get caught up in having to redo your whole house, as no house on the market is perfect.
With home prices continuing to decline from their peak in most areas, it is difficult to get 100-percent return on investment. On the other hand, if every other home sold in the neighborhood has granite counters and new, efficient refrigerators, it might be time to go shopping.
Updating kitchen counter tops, replacing carpet in bedrooms, and refinishing hardwood floors seem to be at the top of the list of updates and repairs these days. Let me evaluate your home first so you spend money that will be a return on your investment.
Bathrooms must, above all, “be impeccably clean.” Also, bathroom fixtures are relatively inexpensive and often worth replacing. “Old, dated, and leaky faucets and toilets are a definite turn-off for buyers and are definitely worth the cost of repair. Staging should be simple but attractive. Stage it Hawaii suggests completing bathrooms with “a nice throw rug, lush towels, a few decorative items, and maybe a green plant.”
For the exterior of the home, you might also add fresh, neutral paint, get a professional cleaning and clean up the front landscaping to improve curb appeal.
Avoid Too Much Staging
We make sure that homeowners avoid getting into decorating the home rather than staging, as professional staging is all about marketing – and we will professionally stage your home at no cost to you.
Sellers don’t need to put out their best china or buy candle holders for the dining room table. Rather, less is best and a beautiful flower arrangement, or a bowl with fresh fruit or decorative balls centered on the table is just enough. We know what works and have over $140,000 in furnishings, so you don’t have to go out and buy things as we will bring them in, for free.
The key to appropriate staging is allowing buyers to picture themselves in a home rather than impressing them with your style and taste. We keep staging simple for maximum effect, but we have the key pieces to create that “wow factor” that could sell your home faster and for more money.
You are paying a lot to sell your home, let me give you the extra value that professional staging brings, at no cost to you. Listen to my radio show, “Stage It To Sell It” on Saturday at 4 PM on AM Channel 830 for some great tips. And remember, when listing your home always interview more than one Realtor, and make sure I am one of them.