First impressions are critical when a buyer views your client’s listing. How the property is presented can make or break buyer interest. Professionally staging a client’s house can boost the chances of making a good impression.
The need for staging
Some of your sellers have tasteful décor in their homes, so you might be tempted to stick with their look. But staging is about more than aesthetic appeal. A professional stager is trained to see the home as a potential buyer would, and that vision guides the staging choices. A nicely staged home presents furniture in proportion to room size and arranges it to flow smoothly. Staging evens out crowded or sparsely furnished rooms and blends colors with eye-pleasing harmony.
Staging is even more important in a vacant house. Homes with little or no furniture are barren and cold. Staging restores life and warmth.
Staging can even create the impression that a home has been well maintained.
Benefits of home staging
First impressions are crucial when a potential buyer tours your home. Opinions begin to be formed with exterior curb appeal. Buyers then make a quick assessment of the home within the first minute of stepping inside. Staging is crucial to making that assessment positive.
Staging even makes an impression before the buyer visits the property by making the home more appealing in online photographs. It could make or break whether a buyer adds the home to the list of desired showings.
Staging creates a “welcome home” atmosphere that transports the buyer’s imagination to the day her own furniture is in the home and her family is building memories there.
That warm feeling translates into dollars as it bolsters the price you’ve set through your comps analysis. Certainly, the offering price must be derived from sound research. But good staging bolsters and even enhances that valuation by as much as five percent and shortens the days on market.
Rooms that make the most difference
When staging a home, you should prioritize the rooms where family members spend the most time: the living room and kitchen. Next would be the primary bedroom. The primary bath, backyard entertainment area, children’s bedrooms and secondary bedrooms finish out the list.
Even the best staging cannot overcome clutter, dirt and disrepair.
Before staging, clients should declutter their homes. An overly furnished, busy setting undercuts staging. Clear out shelves covered with knickknacks, piles of stuff on tabletops, walls with too much art and closets bulging with stuff.
Second, have the home professionally cleaned and deodorized, including carpets and upholstery. Pet and smoking odors are the two most offensive smells to prospective buyers.
Finally, make repairs. Staging cannot overcome the sense of neglect that comes from dripping faucets, peeling paint, or worn places on walls and woodwork.
Hire a pro, or DIY?
Unless you have real training and experience in home décor and design, hire a professional stager based on recommendations from your colleagues. A good stager has an inventory of furnishings and accessories, plus expertise you probably don’t have. Focus on what you do best in serving your clients.