If you’re looking to sell your home for the most amount of money in the least amount of time, you’ll need to stage it.
Here are the facts about staged homes according to the Real Estate Staging Association:
- They spend 73% less time on the market.
- They sell for 5-25% above the list price.
If you take nothing else away from this blog, remember these two key points when beginning the staging process for your for-sale home:
- You need to change the way you think about your home. Repeat after me: My home is now a product for sale. Every wise decision you make from here on out centres around this new reality. Every facet of your home’s appearance and functionality needs to be viewed through the lens of a potential buyer to maximize the amount of money you will net from your home sale and minimize days on market.
- Expect to invest time, elbow grease, and probably a little money. If you do all of these strategically, it will pay off, and if you don’t, you simply won’t earn as much or sell as fast.
Here are eight home staging tips to help you sell your home faster and for more money:
#1 Get a professional to create a plan
We’ve worked with clients who have beautiful, Instagram-worthy homes. In fact, homes that are regularly featured on Instagram. But staging a home for company, your personal tastes, or even for social media is not the same as staging it for sale. Hire a real estate team whose services include an in-depth, detailed consultation from a professional home stager. Before you start tearing your kitchen out or picking up a paint brush, get an outlined strategic plan from a professional. Your Realtor’s service should include this (ours does). This will not only save you time and money, it will earn you money in the end.
A staged home is useless unless it’s clean. We’re talking toothbrush-on-the-grout clean. We’re talking baseboards, ceiling fans, walls, closets and hidden corners spic-and-span clean. We’re talking make-your-mother-in-law-happy-clean. It should smell fresh and pass any clean test from your pickiest family member. Here’s a great tip to preserve your sanity and keep the stress down: take the kids out for a fun day and hire professionals to do a deep clean for you. Reach out to us for our preferred vendors list if you’re looking for a recommended home cleaner.
It doesn’t matter whether you “Marie Kondo” your place or use one of the many other decluttering systems out there, the bottom line is that you’ll need to tackle every room, drawer and closet because, yes, buyers will be looking there. Start four piles: throw away, give away, store and keep. The last category includes items you and your family need while you’re living there and things you’ll need when staging your property.
Here are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind:
- Reduce what’s in your closets by about 50% to create visual space.
- Keep everything off the floor in closets.
- Only ⅓ of your bookshelves should have books on them – the rest should be empty space or strategically-chosen items for staging.
- Your drawers and cupboards should never appear full or messy. Take the time to pare down and re-organize each one.
Photos of your family, religious relics, and highly eclectic and colourful choices in art and colour schemes are very personal and reflect you. Your new goal as an owner whose home is a product for sale is to make your house as appealing to as broad a demographic as possible. That means depersonalizing and neutralizing your space so that when a potential buyer walks through, they don’t see you, they just see themselves.
#5 Room to breathe
After you’ve gone through steps one through four, most people need access to off-site storage to put things they want to keep but can’t use for staging. This will definitely be the case when you start reviewing ways to make your rooms open and airy. “Negative space” refers to the deliberate use of empty or open areas in a room when staging a home. It’s important because it can help create a sense of balance and flow in a room, making it feel more spacious and inviting. Negative space can also help draw attention to key focal points in a room, such as a fireplace or a piece of artwork. By strategically using negative space, you can help potential buyers better envision themselves living in the space. This is why most home stagers will “edit” a room by removing furniture.
#6 Lighten and brighten
There are a few simple steps you can take to help lighten and brighten a home when staging. Opening blinds and curtains to let in natural light can make a room feel instantly brighter and more inviting. Adding extra lighting or replacing old light bulbs with brighter ones can also improve the overall brightness of a space. You may need to remove heavy, dark curtains and invest in new, light-coloured blinds or airy curtains. Paint is always the best way to transform any space, so you may need to bust out those paint supplies and consider using white, “greige” (somewhere between grey and beige), or other light, neutral paint colours to create a blank canvas that can appeal to a wider range of potential buyers. If you’re looking for paint colours that are known to provide the best payback from buyers, check out the results of this study. Did you know that people will pay 1.6% more for a home with light blue walls? That’s $5k in your pocket for every $290k of home value just by picking the right paint colour..
#7 Update & Repair
Don’t start busting walls down until your Realtor® and home stager have weighed in on the strategic improvements that make sense for your home and neighbourhood. Dropping $20k in renovations may make sense for some homes where you can double or triple the investment with a home sale but not in others. However, here are a few rules of thumb:
- Anything that’s broken
- Old grout
- Anything that’s making noise that shouldn’t (e.g. hinges)
Updates that may require consideration:
- Flooring – this can range from replacing carpet underpad to tearing carpet out altogether
- Lighting – you can get updated lighting for great prices at clearance outlets
- Bathrooms – anything from replacing a pink toilet to an entire overhaul of a key bathroom
- Kitchen – may be as small as replacing hardware or a more significant renovation
Most of us aren’t buying indoor flowers unless it’s an occasion or we’re in the doghouse, but spending money on decorative accents when staging a home can have a big impact on how potential buyers perceive the property. Small, well-chosen accents can add a touch of elegance and sophistication, making a room feel more polished and put-together. Fresh white flowers with greenery or succulents can bring life to a space, while tastefully stacked books can make a room feel cozy and inviting. New white throw pillows on beds and sofas and white towels in bathrooms can create a sense of luxury and cleanliness, enhancing the overall aesthetic of rooms. These small details can make a big impression.
We’d love to speak to you about how much more your home could sell for when properly staged. Book your free consultation now by clicking here.