What is Home Staging?
Have you ever heard the expression “Staging Your Home?” If you haven’t you are not alone. Although the concept has been around for many years it is only just becoming a frequently used phrase among home sellers. Let me make understanding this concept easy for you.
Do you remember the last time you went on a job interview? What did you do to prepare for it? Let me guess … you put on your most professional clothing, arranged your hair in it’s most appealing style, thought about any negative personality traits you may have and how to keep them hidden and most likely spent time thinking about your best qualities and how to get them to be obvious to the person doing the interviewing. Am I close?
Now let me ask you, was that how you normally appeared? Was that how you normally acted? I’m going to guess again with a resounding “NO”, however isn’t it is what we all do when faced with trying to sell ourselves to a new employer? What you did was you “staged” yourself. In reality selling your home is a very similar process to going on a job interview and it too requires “staging”.
"Staging" is presenting your home in its best and most appealing light to home-buyers. You want potential buyers to see the positive, ignore the negative and to be impressed enough to want to buy your home. Staging isn’t difficult or expensive. It requires standing back and looking at your home objectively and this can be very tough when it has been your home for a long time, full of your “things”, your “memories”, your “treasures”. For that reason it is helpful to get an objective opinion from someone not quite as attached to your things as you are. To get the most in selling your home you must present it in the best possible light to the greatest number of buyers. In real estate first impressions count – big time. Here are just a few suggestions to get you to start looking at your house like potential buyers will.
Curb Appeal: Drive up and park at your front door. As you get out of the car and start up the walkway, what do you see? Peeling paint, chipped cement, weeds in the flower beds, rusty mailbox? The inside of your house may be spotless however the buyer walking up to your front door already feels that this home has been neglected. They are already in a negative mindset and are going to look hard for the same signs of neglect inside. This first impression was not a good one and it will reflect on the rest of the house.
Front Entry: OK let’s say you passed the curb appeal test with flying colours. The prospective buyer is walking in your front door. What to they see first? What do they smell? Do they hear anything? Is the mat on the floor dirty or frayed? Is the smell of that fish you cooked for supper lingering in the air? Is the dog in the back yard barking his fool head off because he knows strangers are in his home?? (As the owner of two large Airedale Terriers who are the love of my life, I know how protective, intimidating AND noisy they can be!)
All of these things matter. Buy a new door mat. Don’t cook anything smelly as long as you have your house for sale and maybe even consider sending your dog for a sleepover! Make sure your entrance way is cleared of clutter, shoes, schoolbags etc. The only smells that should assault the prospective buyer is potpourri or freshly baked cookies. I can hear you now, “You want me to bake cookies before I show my house??” Well why not? Investing in a store bought roll of cookie dough is not a big expense. Cook just a dozen and leave them cooling on the counter. If your visitors resist the temptation to eat them at least you’ll have a snack to have with your cup of tea when you come back home later on! And instead of the dog barking put on a CD of soft, instrumental music, before you leave and hit the “repeat” button so that it’s still playing when they arrive.
I have loads more tips for staging your home for sale. Allow me to give you a hand when you’re ready to prepare your house for that all important “interview”. I will “stage” your home, “sell” your home PLUS give you valuable decorating assistance as you move into your new one. Call me for a no-obligation market analysis.
P.S. There are two terrific television programs to get you into the swing of Home Staging: Sell This House Sunday’s on A & E and House Doctor on The Women’s Network.
The Right Realtor Makes all the Difference!