Have you ever gone into a new show home and thought to yourself, "Wow, I could live here!" The show home was inviting, tidy, smelled nice, all the furniture looked great together, and it easily to picture yourself living there.
Now, if that same show home had a bunch of stuff on the kitchen counters, had a funny smell, loads of other people's family photos on the walls or it was completely empty you might have a harder time picturing it as your own home.
What is Home Staging?
Home staging is the process of preparing a home for sale by increasing its appeal to a wide range of home buyers. Home buyers need to be able to feel like they can visualize themselves in the home and that's where home staging comes into play.
Home staging is everything from decluttering to rearranging existing furniture, adding new furniture and decor, to depersonalizing and deep-cleaning.
Creating an emotional attachment is what home staging is all about and it is why staged homes sell faster and for more money. Buyers may shop with both logical and financial considerations but it is the heart that first attracts them.
1. Need to Appeal to Buyer's Emotions
Buyers must be able to envision already living there. "Yes, this feels like home!" Now especially, with 95% of home buyers searching online, the process of putting your home on the market, needs to start with staging. With great staging comes great listing photos.
83% of interested buyers say it's easier to visualize a staged property as their future home.
38% of people are more willing to walk through a staged home they've seen online.
23% of buyers will overlook other property faults.
2. Faster Sale
When searching online buyers click through listing photos at warp speed. Seeing great listing photos of staged homes, will get them to spend more time viewing the listing. More eyes on your listing means a greater number of buyers who will want to view in person. That leads to greater odds of selling faster.
Of course, an un-staged home can sell, but when there are obstacles in the way that buyers have to think about, "Can I fit all my furniture there?", "Can I get rid of that smell?" it can make for a slower purchase.
25% of homes greatly decreased their time on the market once the home was staged.
3. More Money
While staging a home is no guarantee of getting a higher sale price, it does leave buyers with a better impression than one that hasn’t been staged. More buyers seeing your home increases your odds of selling faster, which increases your odds of selling for more money.
The longer a home stays on the market, typically the more a buyer will expect to get off the list price.
39% of staged homes increased in dollar value between 1%-10%. That's the difference between a $500,000 home selling for $5,000 to $50,000 more.
4. Hire a Professional Home Stager
When selling a home, you are most likely selling your biggest financial investment. It makes sense then, that you would want to hire a professional to help you increase the odds of selling faster and for more money. Unless you are in a sellers market, you should invest a little money in hiring a professional Home Stager to help protect your biggest investment.
Buyers often have trouble visualizing space, so when a home is vacant a full home stage is the best option.
Home Stagers can often work with a sellers existing furniture. Simply by bringing in additional decor and moving furniture around, a whole new look can be created.
5. Even a Little Makes a Big Difference
An un-staged home can sell under the right market conditions, but in a buyers market (more homes for sale than there are buyers) a staged home could tip the scales in your favour.
You don't need to stage your entire home! Buyers believe the most important places to stage are the living room, master bedroom, kitchen and dining room. Look around your home with the eyes of a buyer. Declutter, depersonalize and clean to help your home sell. If you need more help, use a professional Home Stager.
6. Don't Take it Personally
Try not to take home staging personally. As soon as you decide to sell your home, you need to emotionally detach yourself. If you want to sell faster and for more money, you need to see it as a property and not your home.
7. Home Staging You Can Do Yourself
Selling a home isn't easy. It can be stressful and a lot of work. The more you can do up front to get your home ready to sell, the easier the process will be.
Spruce up your curb appeal. Potential buyers judge your home before they even enter it.
Manage clutter. Pack up stuff that doesn't contribute to the room like extra books, toys, furniture etc. to remove distractions and make the room bigger.
Clean, clean, clean. Make sure everything is clean and there are no odd odors.
Let there be light. A bright room is more welcoming so replace burnt out bulbs and add lamps to give more impact.
Remove personal items. Potential buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living there so remove personal photos, diplomas on the wall etc.
Remove big clunky furniture. Make space for buyers so they don't feel cramped and can visualize their furniture fitting.
Patch and repair. Time to do a few paint touch ups. If you can't do a great job than hire a professional. A bad touch up is worse than no touch up.
Go neutral. That bright accent wall might need to go. Bright paint colour can be distracting so best to get out the paint brush and repaint with grey, white or taupe.
Rethink furniture placement. Consider pulling furniture away from the walls. Reposition sofas and chairs into conversational spaces.
Erase signs of pets. Yes, you love your pet, but a buyer might be turned off, so remove evidence like that scratched door or kitty smell.
When you decide to sell your home, consider home staging to protect your biggest financial investment. Ask your Realtor if they offer a complimentary staging consultation and professional staging options when listing your home for sale.
The Marnie Campbell Realty Team has helped over 450 families buy and sell homes in Calgary, AB and surrounding area. We empower home buyers and sellers to make the most informed, "no regret" real estate decisions.