Staging Your Home before you Sell Your House
Real estate is an increasingly demanding business. Just when you think you have figured it out, someone has learned a better, and more profitable, way to do it. If you are about to put your house on the market, staging it can be a great advantage to set you apart from other sellers.
Confused about what staging is? Staging is the act of styling a space in order to enhance its qualities. Usually it entitles using greenery, artistic pieces and lights in order to transform an ordinary property into a desirable home. In an era where the visual reigns (and sells) live and through social media, this is an investment worth making.
Staging became hugely popular, after the millennium turn, in countries like Sweden, Britain and the United States. More than giving potential buyers a better understanding of the property’s potential, staging has been proven to increase the property’s value and diminish the time the stays on the market. In fact, studies have shown a price increase from 6% to an astonishing 20%, from an empty house to a staged one.
In a 2017 survey, by the American National Association of REALTORS, most real estate professionals believed staging increases the price a property sells for. And, they say, if the price does not increase, then the amount of time listings are on the market is dramatically reduced.
The interest shown by real estate agents when it comes to staging is easily perceived by the boom in staging workshops. Having a basic understanding of the staging dos and don’ts, makes real estate agents better able to advise property owners on what they definitely need to invest and explain the return on investment. Talking to your real estate agent is a great first step in deciding how to stage your home and how much you should invest.
When starting to stage a space, you can expect some basics to be nonnegotiable. Fresh paint, replacing light fixtures and hardware and, many times, bringing outdated floors and countertops to modern times.
There are different levels of staging that fit different needs and, of course, different pockets. The first level is the simple, yet underrated, gesture of decluttering. It seems like a no brainer really. If you wish to make your home desirable, you can’t show it full of clutter. The problem is – can someone really identify their own clutter? Let’s be honest, the beautiful ornaments you collected on trips abroad, and proudly displayed on the living room walls, are probably just stealing the focus from the gorgeous fireplace. Sometimes, all it takes, to make a home more desirable, is putting a few things on storage and rearranging the furniture.
It is also imperative to increase the quality of the infrastructure. This can be a bit costly, but it also brings tremendous value to the property. It is important to fix what may be broken and modernize the space. In doing so, it should be kept in mind that less is more. Colors should be neutral, and the floors should be kept natural. The idea is to show potential buyers a well-kept space where they can envision their own tastes displayed.
When it comes to modernizing, kitchens and bathrooms are essential. At times, painting cabinets is enough, but every so often, you must take it to the next level and replace the whole kitchen and bathroom.
Depending on the state of your property and the furniture you have available, it might be easier just taking everything out and trusting a professional with renovating and refurnishing the property. More and more homeowners trust staging professionals to completely redecorate their homes in order to sell them in a shorter amount of time at the best possible price.
Staging companies may provide temporary furniture or you may decide to invest and buy the furniture in order to sell it with the property. Younger generations are keen on buying already furnished properties, so they can move in right away. Millennials, in particular, love to renovate the energy of their environments, by leaving everything behind and starting fresh, with new surroundings.
If staging is completely out of budget, there is another solution – virtual staging. There are companies dedicated to transforming pictures of empty spaces into images of tastefully decorated spaces. This is a low-cost alternative, that can work wonders on attracting potential buyers or when selling to long distance clients.
However, if you are ready to go through with physical staging, there are some 2019 trends you should keep in mind:
Paint with whites and creams and then add a pop of color through artwork and accessories;
Get rid of carpet floors and embrace your natural wooden floors or install some faux wood flooring;
Granite countertops are no longer in. Instead, concrete seems to be taking over, as more designers are playing with the industrial look;
Use long skinny tiles on your bathroom.