Remember the good ol’ days when all that was needed to achieve a quick house sale was to tidy up and put up a For Sale sign?
If you were looking to sell your home say, 20 years ago, there was no such thing as ‘staging’ a home to appeal to buyers.
Times have changed.
Buyers are more sophisticated than ever, and the real estate market is competitive. You need to stand out from the rest.
In fact, research shows that homes staged in the US can reduce their listing time by as much as one-third to even half!
Today’s buyers are looking to invest in perfect, well-kept and ready-to-move-in homes where very little needs to be done in terms of decorating and fixing.
So if you want the best price, you need to show your property in the best light!
How Can Staging a House Help?
Since most sellers see their houses as homes, they are not able to keep an objective eye and get the most out of their property listings.
You probably know that your home has to be neat and clean before you start showing them to prospective buyers.
In fact, you may have already decluttered, cleaned, and packed away most of the stuff that is not really needed.
But staging a house goes a step further and makes your home look even more cozy, comfortable, inviting and colorful.
It’s also about giving a personalized and unique look so it stands out from the rest of the houses on the market!
But It’s Not Only About Decorating!
Staging a house is not only about decorating. It’s also about selecting the right props, moving furniture around, getting rid of worn out furniture, and renting/investing in new furniture to accentuate each and every room.
If you were to hire a professional home stager, they will go through each room of the house and suggest changes to make it more appealing to the buyers.
This may mean investing in color-coordinated accessories, luxurious linens, table settings, cutlery, window treatments, painting, lighting fixtures, and any other repairs that may be required to showcase the best aspects of the house.
Beyond the Interiors…
Staging a house goes beyond the interiors – the exteriors also need to be perfect!
You need to make the outside and entry of your house pleasing too.
When prospective buyers come to have a look, the first things that will greet them are your porch, lawn, and main entrance. If you have broken fences, an unkempt lawn and garden and broken tiles on the walkway, it will instantly put them off.
You need to ensure that everything is fixed, right from mending the fences and painting them, mowing the lawns, planting a few colorful flowers and plants, to patching up the walkway and installing more light fixtures, if needed.
You can also go one step further and accessorize your lawn by placing a few garden gnomes or even hiring a professional landscaper to do up your lawn entirely.
But, if you don’t have the time or the inclination to stage your house, you can always hire a professional house stager.
What do Professional House Stagers Do?
Professional house stagers take the emotions out of the process because they’re not attached to your house. Hence, they are able to look at a home objectively and suggest changes without bias.
Since this is their job, they are more hands on and familiar with the latest interior design trends, as well as what buyers are looking for in the current market.
Most home stagers have their own unique methods and routine, but a professional house stager is likely to follow the steps outlined below.
First, the stager will come over to your house and meet with you. They will do a consultation where they will explain the entire process.
Next, they will observe and evaluate your house. This process involves taking measurements to draw rough floor plans, taking notes of large pieces and taking a lot of pictures of the entire house in different angles.
The stager will then prepare a detailed and comprehensive report, which includes the following:
- Positive and negative features
- Suggestions and ideas for improvement
- Tips and tricks
- Thorough outline of the steps to take
- How to complete each step
They will come back to your house and explain the report in detail and walk you through the entire plan room-by-room.
Of course, this will come at a cost. Most stagers offer package deals or they can charge you by the hour, half day or full day.
So, staging a house definitely comes with a ton of benefits and seems like the best thing to do if you’re looking to sell your property and get the best deal.
But – Is it Worth It?
But… is home staging the only way to go?
While effective home staging can no doubt influence first impressions of a property, there is no guarantee that the strategy itself can convince buyers to pay more, or even that you’ll sell the property faster!
Staging a home and getting it ready to show prospective buyers involves a lot of work. Not to mention the additional cost of refurbishing the entire home by painting, landscaping plus paying for rental furniture and accessories.
If you’re not very careful, the cost of hiring a professional home stager can spiral out of control!
This is a reason to consider looking into investors to buy your property.
Why Consider an Investor?
If you’re looking to sell your house quickly and don’t have the time to wait up to a year for a listing to sell, then contacting an investor would be the best way to move forward.
Investors don’t really need ready-to-move-in houses. They are more interested in the property, not the aesthetics. If they like what they see, they can make you an offer within a few hours, even if your home is in a bad condition.
If you and the investor agree on a price, many can give you the cash within a few days of contacting them. It’s a quick, smooth process.
There’s absolutely no hassle of renovating your house or making it look ‘pretty’ for the buyers.
It’s a great option if you don’t want to spend the extra dollars staging your house and waiting for that perfect buyer.