Before you show your house off to prospective buyers, make sure it’s in its best light by preparing and “staging” your home.
“Staging” is the act of getting your house ready to show to potential buyers so that they see it at its best. While normally thought of as something agents do exclusively for sellers, their staging skills are also beneficial to buyers too.
Take a glance at both sides, staging for sellers and staging for buyers.
If you’re a seller, you’re obviously going to want your house to look its best. Buyers tend to choose emotionally and then justify their decision logically. This is exactly why the cars are so clean at car dealerships; imagine paying $29,950 for a car that has dirt on the seats and dust on the dashboard…it’s hard to look past that even when it would only take 5 minutes to clean. Staging, done well, can make an emotional connection with a buyer – providing them with a “wow” experience when they open the door to your house.
With staging, start with the no-cost and low-cost strategies and then work towards the more expensive arrangements if necessary.
Ridding your home of clutter is a simple way to get buyers to focus on the bones of the house, not the titles in your DVD collection. Furthermore, no one wants to look at a dirty, smelly home. So make sure your house or condo shines from top to bottom.
Accessorizing is another great way to add flair. Those costs will be totally under your control. Those same accessories that you purchased can then be packed up and used in your new home.
Making more substantial improvements is often necessary. New floor coverings, countertops, plumbing fixtures and lighting could help. Even remodels of kitchens and baths can make financial sense in some cases.
It’s best practice to be picky about the more expensive stages, however. Just ask yourself if the time and effort are worth the return.
Staging for buyers? How can knowing about staging possibly help a buyer?
1) Consider the greater number of homes poorly staged (if at all) compared to ones that have been staged properly. Look beyond the current cosmetics to the underlying home and visualize how a different arrangement of furniture or some low-cost improvements will make the space shine. Often you can get a better deal on this type of home as most buyers and agents have trouble seeing beyond the current conditions. Here’s another car metaphor; it’s like being a mechanic and buying a used car from someone way under it’s normal value because it has trouble starting, but you take a look at the engine and realize it won’t cost much money at all to fix, and the mechanic wins.
2) You will need to sort out and be wary of the emotional impact you might feel from a well staged home and make sure that you are paying attention to the house itself. You want to feel an emotional attachment if it is a house you are going to live in. Knowing the practice of home staging gives you a more objective view.