What is home staging?! 10 years ago I think a lot of people would have no clue what a “home stager” does. Today when I tell people my job is to stage homes, I think 80% of people have heard of a stager, but they’re not entirely sure of what we do. I thought it might be cool to share a little bit more about what I do since I love my job so much. Basically a home stager helps their clients prepare their home to be sale ready. The goal of staging is to make your home appealing to the highest number of potential buyer’s; it is a fact that staged homes typically sell faster and for more money.
Most people could benefit from a home staging consultation at the very least. When we go into a clients home for the first time we basically go room by room and give the homeowner homework to do to get their place in tip top shape for sale. If the homeowner has great decor and taste they don’t need to go any further than the consultation. If their place could use some “fluffing’” up we come back with rentals such as art, throw pillows, lamps and accessories. Typically a home stager would come back the day the photos would be taken for the listing and arrange all the rentals to make the clients home look its best, kind of like a show home. People love seeing the “before” and “after” home makeover and that’s why shows on HGTV like love it or list it and flip or flop are so popular. As easy as it may seem on TV, its harder then it looks. It’s one thing to see a home makeover show on TV and is whole other beast to try to do it yourself on your own home.
The main difference between decorating your home and staging your home is that decorating is how you would like your home to look to suit your personal taste. The end goal of staging is to make your house more neutral and appealing to a wide variety of buyers. You may love leopard print pillows in every room and pink walls but that is not what the typical buyer wants to see when they come to your open house. Stagers gently nudge clients to tuck away special decor and treasures for when they move and leave a more neutral space for potential clients. It’s a fact that most buyers have no imagination and they need to be shown how to arrange furniture to maximize a small space or to turn rooms back into their intended purpose. Here are my top 5 tips for getting your home ready for sale.
1. Clean your house from top to bottom! Buyers do not want to think about having to clean once they move in. Nothing will turn off a buyer more then seeing dirty windows and moldy grout in your bathroom. Take the time to deep clean your house before it hits the market, or better yet, hire a professional cleaner.2
2. Declutter your home. It’s hard to see a space for what is it if it’s full of clutter. Before your home hits the market, take a few days to get rid of stuff you don’t need and want. Then pack up extra treasures that are overcrowding your bookshelf or room so the space feels light and fresh.
3. Lighting makes a big difference. If you have a light bulb out, replace it. All rooms should have good lighting. If they don’t have a large window, make sure there is overhead lighting and lamps to make the room feel inviting and cozy.
4. Painting goes a long way. If your home is fairly new, you probably don’t need to repaint. If your home is over 10 years old, you should probably consider re-painting the most used rooms. A fresh coat of paint can make a HUGE impact on a home. If the walls are dark, lighten them up. Make all the rooms on the main floor the same color. The top 2 paint collars right now are light grey and off white.
5. Refresh your home. Not everyone has the budget to go out and buy new decor, but simple things like new white fresh towels in your bathroom and new crisp white sheets in your bedroom can make your home feel clean and fresh and will make your MLS photos look much better.
There are definitely more then 5 things to do to get your home ready for sale, including re-arranging furniture, replacing flooring, power washing your house & deck to name a few. I think it’s well worth the money to have a professional stager come and give you a list of things you should do to get your place ready for sale. Some of you are design inclined and you might be able to get your home “sale” ready on your own, but the majority of people need a fresh set of eyes to see your home from a buyers perspective. I like to call real estate shopping online a little like online dating, you only have one chance to make a good first impression! That’s why staging your home is so important.
Here are some Before and After photos of an occupied home I staged last week.
Before – Storage
After – Office
Bedroom – Before
Bedroom – After
Living Room – Before
Living Room- After
Note: The before photos are not great as they were taken on my iPhone at night. The after photos are taken by the talented professional photographer Stacy Thomas. 🙂