What Does Staging a Home Mean
Staging is the process of preparing a home for sale, regardless of price, condition, or location. Geni Manning and Angie Rodriguez are Acredited Staging Professionals, using a proven set of guidelines, they will work with you room by room, inside and outside your home. Each step helps transform your “home” into a “property for sale” and ultimately a marketable product. The end results will earn you TOP DOLLAR and allow your property to sell in the QUICKEST TIME possible.
Why Is Staging Your Home Important?
When you get ready to place your home on the market for sale, it becomes a product, and similar to a product on the shelf at your local store, the product has features and benefits as well as pluses and minuses, but most importantly it has Competition.
To beat the competition in any market, your product must be priced right, and look better than the other products on the shelf. For example; imagine you are walking through a grocery store and you see two cans of green beans. Both cans are exactly the same, except, one is dusty and dented, while the other appears to be in excellent condition. Which can would you chose? The clean well maintained product, right?
Selling your home is no different. Your home is one of many homes for sale in the marketplace, therefore you must present it to potential home buyers in the best way possible… the first time… and every time. That’s why it is so important to Stage your property first, before putting it on he market. Any real estate agent can tell you that the majority of showings happen within the first 2 weeks of putting a house on the market. Since you only get one chance to make that first impression, does it not stand to reason that you want every person who walks through your door to see your property in it’s best light?
In today’s competitive Real Estate market, properties that are not “move-in ready” are often crossed off the potential buyer’s list, even though your house may actually be the perfect property. While all potential buyers have their own style and taste, buyers today live extremely busy lives and are often two income families looking for “move in ready” spaces. Equity Enhancers recommendation will help transform your property to “move in ready”. Potential buyers will see that they can move in, and then slowly make changes to fit their personal taste and lifestyle.
Now that you’ve made the decision to sell your home, you’ll want to look at it differently. It’s now a house for sale. Packaging - or staging - your house to appeal to more buyers can help you put the sold sign up more quickly and bring you a greater return on your investment.
The Dress Your House for Success program is an easy to follow staging program that can be tailored to fit your house, your time frame and your budget.
By the time buyers arrive at your front door, usually your house meets their basic criteria for location, price and style - the more rational side of home-buying. The purchasing decision is generally based on an emotional connection that begins when a buyer imagines living in your house. Each step of the staging process is designed to help more buyers imagine life in your house.
Dressing or staging your house doesn’t need to be expensive or overly time-consuming. Purchase items that can be used in your new space or borrow or rent the “extras” - from accessories and furniture to artwork - to help build a series of positive first impressions. And, if you’re short on time, we can assist in getting the work done.
As you make your Dress Your House for Success plan, take advantage of our professional experience and objectivity. We can help you prioritize your efforts and concentrate on the areas that will set you apart from other houses on the market.
Staging your house begins with gaining objectivity. That’s not easy when it’s home. So, get “buyer’s eyes” by looking at other houses for sale that are similar to yours in both features and price. How do they make you feel? What negatives do you notice? Stop in model homes and experience “move in condition.”
Now tour your house. Use this checklist to make a master list of everything that could be an obstacle to showcasing the full potential of your property.
Start with curb appeal - the first glimpse of your house that forms the most critical first impression. Curb appeal has been known to sell a house before the buyers even get out of their car! What can you do to improve your all-important first impression?
Next, go through your whole house as if you were a buyer seeing it for the first time. Be on the lookout for subtle signs that say, “There’s work to be done her.” Remember, if you think it’s too much work, potential buyers will probably think so, too!
When your list is complete, assign tasks, develop a timetable and reward yourself along the way.
Keep your goal in mind - to sell your house at the best possible price in the least amount of time. Investing a little time and money now will payoff when the curtain goes up and your house takes center stage!
To package your house in the best manner, you have to completely detach yourself from your possessions and look at your home like you're seeing it for the first time. Look at your house through a “buyer’s eyes”. Buyer’s eyes let you evaluate whether your house will make a strong impact and encourage a sale or be crossed off the buyer’s list. You should approach each room in the house as if the door frame was a camera lens. The photograph you take – a buyer’s first glimpse of the room – forms the first impression of that room or area. If you can’t see your home objectively, you can’t package effectively!
Look at model homes that are professionally staged to appeal to buyers. The paint is fresh, appliances are shiny, there is artwork arranged around the house, and fresh flowers stand on the kitchen counter. Mirrors are sparkling, towels fresh, and there are no toys on the floor. The rooms look spacious and the furniture comfortable. The kitchens and bathrooms are polished, smelling fresh, and clutter is not to be seen. The closets are empty or organized. The garage floor is clean and neat and looks much larger than you'd need for two cars. The house was completely clean, no cluttered rooms or closets. There is a sense there is no work to be done. This “model home effect” is exactly the look & feel you want to create in a buyer’s mind.
No matter how many great elements you have in your house, people’s eyes are drawn to negative features first. Buyers are inspecting - looking for clues to uncover hidden costs. Negatives cause buyers to stop looking for what’s right with the house and start wondering “what’s wrong?” Buyers also tend to exaggerate in their minds the amount of work required and the cost to make repairs.
Create a Welcoming Entrance
Creating first impressions begins when the buyer arrives at your house. This is what real estate professionals refer to as “Curb Appeal.” Remember the outside of your house when you're getting ready for buyers. After they see your home from the street, they'll notice the front door and porch. Within 15 seconds buyers develop an attitude toward your house that is reinforced by everything else they encounter.
“Staging” Neutral, Relaxing Areas
Think of each room as a "set" that you can decorate any way you please to increase your home's sense of peace, warmth, and order. Each room provides an opportunity to create many indelible first impressions that position your house as a home and Buyers start to connect emotionally to it and begin to imagine living in your house. Consider some of these ideas:
Set up a tea service at a small table by a window overlooking a garden.
Place an open book and cozy throw on the upholstered chair in your bedroom.
Pile an attractive bowl with fresh fruit on the kitchen island.
Display a vase of fresh (very fresh) flowers in the entry hall.
Arrange some beautiful cookbooks on the countertop or desk in your kitchen.
Can You Do It Yourself?
If you're a homeowner with an objective point of view, you may be able to clear out and rearrange by yourself. After all, you'll eventually be packing up all of your possessions to move, so boxing up unneeded items and clutter shouldn't be too much of a problem. However, if you find it hard to edit your own stuff, then either ask a friend to help or hire a professional home stager.
Plan to do one room at a time. Remove anything and everything that is personal, shabby, soiled, or crowded. Clean all surfaces thoroughly, then replace only the pieces that look wonderful. In this case, less is more.
Home staging is a professional service. You can hire professional home stagers or interior redesigners who charge by the scope of the work, anywhere from a few hundred dollars for one room to a few thousand dollars for an entire home. It will depend on the size and scale of the work involved. Most will empty one room at a time then begin to bring back your furnishings and accessories to make a more cohesive design statement. If you decide to do the work yourself, approach the job the same way. As your real estate professional, we can assist you in identifying the areas to focus our attention on to get your home prepared for a quick sale. We also keep lists of professionals who can do everything from cleaning a home to repair a leaking kitchen faucet. Many times we can make incredible changes just by redesigning with your existing furnishings and perhaps purchasing a few new items. Remember for a minimal investment in the staging process, you may gain tens of thousands of dollars on the sale of your home.
Are You Ready to Commit?
Get out the cleaning supplies, boxes, and get ready to sell your home fast! You'll love how easy it is to transform a languishing, slow-moving home into a quick sale with just a bit of elbow grease and an eye for beauty. You may be lucky and just need to do some long-neglected simple home repairs, get rid of clutter and add fresh flowers. Or, you might have to repaint or re-carpet your home to give it a fresh look. If you're handy, you'll be able to do most things yourself. Or, you can ask us for a referral of some of the professionals who’ve done a great job for us in the past.
Spend some time and money making your house beautiful and welcoming. It could very well help sell your home in record time and for a higher price! Following is a summary of the five stages to prepare your home and checklists to assist you in the process. Don’t forget to use these checklists and you’ll be more organized and finished in no time! It will also be helpful to give to cleaning service or contractors if you require their assistance. And, you can even enlist the help of your children! After you’ve completed the cleaning, removed the clutter and made your repairs, call us to assist you in the staging process!
Setting the stage of your home not only makes for a great sale, it provides a great send-off for the next chapter of your life. You’ll be organized and ready to move to your next home!
The Five Steps to Dressing Your House
Uncluttering – Architectural features become lost when clutter overtakes a house. Clutter makes rooms and the entire house feel smaller! A bonus of uncluttering is that it will make your upcoming move smoother!
Cleaning (Inside & Out) – This step is beyond spring cleaning – you will dig in and attack dust, dirt, odor in every room on every fixture! Homes with pets or smokers may require extra attention to odors. The uncomfortable feeling of an unclean house causes apprehension and the buyer will start to disengage.
Repairing – A house cannot sell for top dollar if any detail is in less than perfect shape! Even small repairs or maintenance needs send out a warning signal to buyers – work! Work means time and money. When a house is in need of repairs, buyers will feel justified in making low offers since they’re likely calculating an inflated repair cost in their offer.
Neutralizing – A house with neutral paint colors, décor and carpeting will accommodate anyone decorating style. Any strong decorating element, whether attractive or not, stops buyers so that they notice and remember the statement…rather than the house! Creating a clean, new feeling can make your bottom line shine! Distracting colors and accessories prevent a buyer from visualizing their things in your house and can cause the buyer to ignore the really positive aspects of your house. Most people are not particularly good at visualizing different furnishings or furniture arrangements in a house, so they tend to think that what they see is what they get. While you may love a certain color of paint, if it doesn’t fit the buyer’s taste or décor, it’s another reason for them to look elsewhere. Neutralizing your house increases the number of potential buyers for your house by appealing to as many different lifestyles as possible.
Dynamizing – The goal of dynamizing is to create a memorable feeling that lasts beyond the tour and makes the buyer want to come back to your house…to live! It reaches the psychological needs of buyers to feel comfortable, a haven from the stress of daily living. It appeals to all senses, not just visual, but touch, smell, hearing and even taste. By staging little areas throughout your house, you ensure that buyers are constantly surprised and pleased at what they find...such as the aroma of fresh baked cookies or fresh flowers, carefully arranged animals in a child’s playroom. What you spend on dynamizing is up to you. You can minimize costs by borrowing props. But don’t be afraid to invest in this crucial step, it pays for itself many times over. Remember, you can purchase items now that you can take with you to your new home.
Home Selling Fact: Curb Appeal Deserves Top Priority
A large percentage of home buyers decide whether or not to look inside a house based on its curb appeal--the view they see when they drive by or arrive for a showing. You can help make sure they come inside your home by spending some time to freshen up its exterior appearance.
Curb Appeal Exercise
The next time you come home, stop across the street or far enough down the driveway to get a good view of the house and its surroundings. View the property from the same position as a home buyer who is doing a drive-by.
What is your first impression of the house and yard area?
What are the best exterior features of the house or lot? How can you enhance them?
What are the worst exterior features of the house or lot? How can you minimize or improve them?
Park where a potential buyer would and walk towards the house, looking around you as if it were your first visit. Is the path clean and tidy?
Start making a list of your positive and negative feelings about the property's appearance.
Take photos of the home's exterior. Look again through a buyer’s eyes.
Evening Appeal is Important
Do the curb appeal exercise again at dusk or just after dark, because it's not unusual for potential buyers to drive by houses in the evening. Is there appropriate outdoor lighting to showcase your home?
Curb Appeal Starters
Start with these basic curb appeal tasks:
Kill mold and mildew on the house, sidewalks, roof or driveway.
Stow away unnecessary garden implements and tools.
Clean the windows and gutters.
Pressure wash dirty siding and dingy decks.
Keep sidewalks and driveways clean.
Edge sidewalks and remove vegetation growing between concrete sections and bricks.
Mow the lawn regularly. Get rid of weeds.
Rake and dispose of leaves, even if your lot is wooded.
Trim tree limbs that are near or touching the roof OR that are obstructing the view of the front of your home and it’s features.
There are times that adding elements to your landscaping can help curb appeal, but there are also times when removing something is more effective.
Bad Landscaping Can Delay a Sale
We had a listing for a large brick house with white columns in front. Tall evergreens, planted in front of each column, had grown taller than the roof. They obscured the columns and windows and made it difficult to see the front of the house. We suggested that the owner remove them. She trimmed them back, but it didn't do the trick—they were unattractive and still kept potential buyers from seeing the true character of the house. I sold the house to a couple who could see past the trees. One of their first tasks after closing was to yank them out of the ground, instantly boosting the home's curb appeal.
The Moral of the Story
Most buyers cannot visualize changes, and often won't take a second look at a house if the first isn't appealing to them. Those who can visualize changes, and are prepared to make them, expect YOU to reduce the price of the house to compensate for the work. The seller was comfortable in the house and couldn't understand why leaving the trees in place made a difference. She forgot that you have to show buyers the best aspects of a property—you cannot expect them to imagine improvements on their own.
Lighting is Always a Plus
String low voltage lighting along your drive way, sidewalks, and around landscaping elements.
Add a decorative street lamp or an attractive light fixture to a front porch.
Solar versions of outdoor lights are quick and easy to install, but only work when they receive full sun each day.
Lighting that's visible through front windows should enhance the home's appearance.
Don't Forget the Rear View
Buyers doing a drive by will try their best to see your back yard. If it's visible from another street or from someone's driveway, it should be a part of your curb appeal efforts.
More Curb Appeal Ideas
If you can budget it, a fresh paint job does wonders for a dingy house. Drive around your town to find color schemes that are appealing.
How about a more attractive front door, maybe something with leaded glass inserts?
If you can't justify the cost of a new door, consider replacing plain doorknob hardware with something more attractive.
If new hardware is beyond your budget, how about repainting or staining the door and polishing the hardware?
If you brainstorm, you'll find that there's a solution to most problems—one that lets you stay within your budget. The trick is to find the areas where improvements are needed, then follow through to complete the tasks as best you can.
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"HOW TO PREPARE & DRESS YOUR HOME TO GET TOP DOLLAR!"