Everybody loves a well decorated home that boasts new appliances, crown molding, new kitchen counter top and cabinets and other favorable accents, which all combine to help a home sell faster and for more money. Called “home staging”, a house that looks good will sell a lot faster than an empty or lived-in house.
Homebuyers can better envision themselves in a staged home the moment they first walk through the door, while fixer-uppers usually lead to, “We can do this, or we can change this…” Their conversation isn’t as elated or excited with fixer-uppers, either, which can hinder a sale. It’s also hard for homebuyers to imagine what the house could be like since they tend to only focus on what they can visually see at the moment. So if a house is turnkey ready right from the beginning, homebuyers are willing to pay more to have their new dream home. Staged homes typically take only 11 days to sell versus those that weren’t which could sit for up to 90 days or longer.
I’m a firm believer that staging homes can be quite beneficial to those who want to sell their house fast and for a better price. I’ve seen many lovely houses sit on the market for more than six months, whereas similar but staged homes brought in multiple offers. Staging is one of the most cost-effective ways to secure a high offer.
Staging professionals have a wide arsenal of tools – from upgrading carpet floors to tile, a paint change to make a room look larger, landscape updates and renting of high-end furniture and appliances. If, however you are not prepared to commit to professional staging, here are some tips on how to beautify your home to provide it with a great look that will attract new buyers:
- Curb Appeal
Your front yard is the first thing that potential buyers see when they visit your home, so it’s important to make sure their first impression is a positive one. To make sure the front of your house looks great, make sure that your lawn is cut and that your garden in in tip-top shape (if you have one, of course). Remove any trashcans or bikes and make sure that the house numbers can be seen and aren’t fading or missing. Updating the hardware on your front door or painting it can also do wonders for curb appeal. Make the outside of your house as inviting as possible! If your driveway is pretty dirty, think about power washing it and wash any front windows if you can.
- Decorate Your Foyer
You want to wow homebuyers the moment they walk through your front door and having a decorated foyer can do that. Have coats on racks, keys in their proper place and everything nice and organized so that guests feel as if they’re already at home in your house.
- ¼ To ½ Rule
No, this isn’t a math lesson! It’s actually a helpful tip on how to arrange your home so that it’s aesthetically pleasing to anyone who steps food inside. A lot of homes are packed with unnecessary furniture. So this works by putting at least ¼ of your furniture in storage, some of your books away in boxes and some of your random knickknacks in the garage until you sell your house. Do the same with your jam-packed closets since overstuffed closets can make it seem as if they’re way too small for many people. Make sure to apply this rule to any outside furniture you have, too.
- Highlight Architecture
Decorate your home so that furniture and pictures complement great architectural details. These are great selling points and you don’t want to obscure them with random pieces. Let your fireplace steal the room or accentuate tall walls with tall objects like vases, plants, etc. Think like an interior designer who is about to feature your place in a design magazine so that you think about your home’s architectural highlights and not just about the furniture.
This should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t give the house that they’re selling a good cleaning. Before you even stage anything, get your house sparkling clean and really get it shape. Clean in places where you don’t normally clean and make sure your floors shine and your toilets are crystal clear. You should even consider hiring a professional to give your home a deep cleaning it most likely needs.
- Do Some Updating
Although you might not want to really update anything in a house you’re selling, it still is a great idea to update what you can. If you can redo your kitchen cabinets or update a light fixture in the bathroom, invest that extra money and do it because that only means you’ll be able to get more than your asking price.
Selling your home isn’t an easy task even though it’s a seller’s market. If you want top dollar for your house, then you’ll have to make it look like it’s worth top dollar. Doing some staging can help you sell your home faster and for a lot more than what you originally asked for.
If you have questions about staging, or would like a recommendation for a Marin County area professional with whom we have worked, please give us a call at 415-793-3040 or use our contact form.