Selling your home is all about grabbing the attention of home Buyers. How can you grab the attention of a home Buyer, you ask? There are a number of ways to draw a Buyer in, for them to want to see more, to want to know more, to want to consider your home, as being perfect for them and/or their family. Today, I’m going to help home Sellers set the stage for the home they’re trying to sell. You’ll also hear tidbits of advice from a few professional Home Stagers, who share their expert opinion on how you can benefit from staging your home.
Staging a home is all about how you will present your home to the sea of Buyers. It’s just one part of the home selling package in getting a home sold. It’s one thing you check off your list in getting ready to sell. It’s not an option, it’s a requirement, if you want to compete and win a Buyer over from a nearby competing home.
Staging a home can mean hiring a professional like those quoted here in this home staging article who you can hire depending upon your individual needs and budgets or it can mean taking the advice of a skilled Real Estate Agent who can tell you how to set your home up or set the stage for appealing to the most Buyers possible. If you’re fortunate enough to find a Real Estate Agent who also has such knowledge, you’ll be that much better off in working towards getting your home sold. So where do you begin?
“By properly showcasing and preparing your home for sale, you are giving your buyers the vision and the emotional connection needed to motivate them to buy. If they cannot feel or see themselves living in your home, they’re off to the next showing.” –Red Barrinuevo | Property Stylist, Interior Decorator
1. Allow Buyers to imagine themselves living in your home.
Below are easy ways to do just that. It’s all about getting a Buyer in the mood to want to buy your home. Put yourself in the Buyer’s shoes and imagine walking into a home and visualizing you and/or your family living there. It’s pretty easy to do when you’re so excited about buying a home. 81% of Buyers are able to visualize a home as their future home when it has been staged*.
Many Buyers or should I say most, don’t have the ability to look through your personal stuff to picture their family living there. Why not make it easy for them. The more you have to make them work, the harder it will be to sell your home.
It reminds me of a time when I had gone to a Seller’s home, here in South Florida, as I was getting ready to list their home for sale and it seemed like every wall was covered with photos of their young children. I thought that they must have had their own little army as there were dozens of hanging photos. Come to find out they only had three children. I’ll be the first to tell you how wonderful our children are to us. I only have one child, well, he’s no longer a child, he’s a young adult, but he will always be the joy of my life, so I understand completely the love for our children. Now here comes the “but”; but, when you’re selling a home, we have to wipe our children from our home’s canvas, almost as if they don’t exist! It’s only temporary, until you sell your home and then you can bring them back to life!
“The less your home displays your own personal signature when selling, the greater the chance that buyers will have the ability to emotionally connect and envision themselves living there. It is in this magical moment that the offer comes in.” –
Make it Light and Bright
It’s incredible what light and brightness can do to one’s mood. Just try searching the internet to discover the effect of light on one’s mood. It has been known to lift the spirits of depressed and melancholy individuals and you’ve likely heard of the reported cases of people living in climates where bright light is at a minimum: it’s a real downer! With this in mind, it only makes sense to open up your blinds & curtains to reveal the sunshine and turn on all the lights in your home when a Buyer’s showing is scheduled. Got those burnt out, missing light bulbs that you’ve been meaning replace? Do it now before that first Buyer’s showing.
Shine on! Shiny clean will bring a smile to any Buyer’s home, even if the Buyers themselves are not such neat & clean freak themselves. Nobody likes to discover another’s dirt and grime. Their own dirt and grime is another thing, as that’s okay once they own your home, but until it becomes their own, they don’t want anything to do with your uncleanliness. If it’s there, they’ll offer you less money for your home: a lot less than the cost to clean it up. Pretty simple.
Put your stuff where it goes. Don’t let your home be overwhelmed with clutter, clear it out. Have your home’s things neat and orderly where they go, whether visible to a Buyer’s eyes or tucked away inside cupboards, cabinets and closets. Buyers will look inside. Show them that your home offers just the right amount of space for their stuff! Don’t let the illusion of being too small with not enough storage, blind them when you’re home’s not organized. You’re not usually an organized person? You’re selling a home, so you’d better become one or hire someone to organize for you.
“Homes that are properly staged before listing stand a better chance of appealing to potential buyers and thus selling faster, since staging helps buyers imagine “themselves” living there. Spending a little time and money to ensure that their house is viewed as “move in ready” will provide an excellent ROI (or return on investment) to the sellers.” – Maureen Bray
- Open up pathways
Allow buyers to meander effortlessly through your home. Like that gentle creek flowing through a meadow, let the prospective home Buyer experience the same
calming feel. Buyer’s should be able to walk from one room of your home to another without worrying about tripping or running into a piece of furniture or fixture.
Recently, when I was visiting a Coral Springs Florida home Seller, they took me on a tour through their home when all of a sudden the tour came to an abrupt stop. There was this large piece of furniture blocking, what should have been, an easy flow through the room. We rearranged the furniture to open up a pathway in the home. Road blocks in a home are uninviting for a home Buyer, particularly if everything was great up until the point of them be blindsided by that chair in their pathway.
3. Accentuate positively
Perk up your home. If your home has any special features, accentuate them. Accentuate the positive. We’re always told to accentuate our own personal positive features and the same holds true with our homes. Focal points in our homes are the positive features of our home. When we accentuate the focal points, it enables the home Buyer to imagine how they’ll likely benefit from the focal point or enjoy it. For example, I recall another home Seller that had a beautiful, brick fireplace with a lovely wood mantel that this home Seller really didn’t use and certainly didn’t accentuate, so it appeared as if it was just tossed aside having little or no value. I recommended that we move some furniture around to have the fireplace “set up on a pedestal” so to speak. It was as if the room was now smiling with the fireplace being framed as a beautiful feature in their room. The home Sellers actually, said, “… wow, isn’t that lovely….look at our fireplace…”. The fireplace had a brand new light focused on it. Fireplaces can be beautiful focal points of a home and it’s best to let the Buyer see the focal point in it’s optimum setting; setup and highlighted ready to welcome the new Buyer.
How about beautiful windows you have in your home. Are you blocking them or accentuating them?
You can also accentuate a home for sale with fresh, neutral hued paint on walls and trim. Put out fresh linens, new bedding, new towels, new throw pillows and the list goes on and on of what will perk up a home.
“The reason you want to stage your home is so Buyers can see the possibilities and “livability” of your property. Removing any distractions or detractions, and enhancing your home’s assets will go a long way in putting your home on a Buyer’s short list of must-see homes and in improving its perceived value.” – Kathy Streib
After you’ve empowered your home and set it up utilizing these 3 ways, how does your home feel now? How do you think prospective home Buyers will feel about your home? I’d bet that their eyes will likely open up a bit more, once stepping across the front door of your home; success, you’ve made your home stand out. Making your home stand out is the goal of any home staging effort When selling a home, making your home stand out from the other homes for sale, gets you one step closer towards selling your home.
To assist you in setting up your home for sale, I’ve included some additional home staging and home selling articles to prepare you to sell your home.
“A Neutral Color Palette in Home Staging” by Karen Highland
“The How and Why of Home Staging”, [infographic] by Househunt
“5 Inexpensive Home Improvement Projects” by Andrew Fortune
“Home Staging Home Sale Preparation” by Bill Gassett
“How to Stage your Kitchen for a Home Sale” by Laura Gaskill at Houzz
*2015 Profile of Home Staging, Reported by National Association of Realtors