The Details That Make a Difference When Staging Your Home
By Dianne CassidySource
The concept of staging a home for sale to make a good impression on potential buyers is a growing trend in real estate. A survey of agents by the National Association of Realtors showed most realtors believe proper staging can increase a home’s value up to 10 percent. Another study by the Real Estate Staging Association claims staged homes stay on the market for 23 days compared to 184 days for non-staged homes. Denver is currently a sellers’ market, so staging your home can maximize your profit.
You can do the staging yourself or hire a professional. Fees for professionals vary, usually based on the size and value of the home. If you hire a pro to do a complete staging overhaul, plan to spend at least $2,000.
If you take on the task yourself, here are the details you need to keep in mind:
Curb appeal is everything when staging a home. The exterior is the first thing people see when they drive by or look at an online photo. These improvements are crucial to getting buyers in the door.
- Repaint if the old coat is weather-dulled or chipped. Many homes in Denver are stucco, brick, or stone, and a good power sprayer will make them sparkle.
- Wash all windows and replace cracked or broken panes.
- If your front door is worn or outdated, replace it or paint it. Front doors make a huge impact on buyers. Do the same with garage doors, especially if they face the street.
- The first impression a potential buyer will get of your home is from the street, so your yard must be perfect.
- Mow, trim, rake, weed, and prune away dead branches from trees and shrubs.
- Get rid of dead bedding plants and replace them with season-appropriate new plants in freshly mulched beds.
- Repair or replace cracked walkways and driveways.
- If you don’t have time to keep up your landscaping while your home is on the market, hire a local Denver professional to help keep it in shape.
After a thorough cleaning, apply fresh paint. Go with a neutral color on walls because a would-be buyer may not share your taste in bolds.
De-clutter, especially personal effects. Potential buyers want to imagine the house with their things in it — not yours. The same is true of furnishings, especially if there’s too much of it. The buyer wants to see the space, not your furniture. Keep your rooms open, spacious, and simple. Consider renting a storage unit for excess belongings while your house is on the market.
Keep things in order. Unmade beds, dirty dishes in the sink, and clothes strewn about make a bad impression. Police your home thoroughly before a showing.
Even if you stage your home yourself, hire a professional stager to do an assessment. If you have a good broker, they’ll probably have one on speed dial. A walk-through and report may cost a couple of hundred dollars but will be well worth the price to have a trained set of eyes on your property. Your home may be elegant, tastefully decorated, and sparkling clean, but it reflects your taste and your style of living. A skilled stager looks at homes objectively from a buyer’s perspective and recommends ways to sell it quickly and maximize profit.
Consult with your broker about having your home professionally photographed with both still photos and video. More potential buyers in all price ranges are doing their initial home-browsing online. If you’ve gone to the effort and expense of staging, you don’t want the first impression of your house to look like a poorly made home video on YouTube.
Take time to do the math and determine how much staging you can do and still get a good return on your investment.
Dianne Cassidy stages home renovations for today’s housing market. She enjoys creating computer-generated animations and building three-dimensional models.