Staging Success: Is it just another moving expense?
Your home is your castle, decorated to your liking, a place to relax, be comfortable and enjoy meaningful surroundings. When it comes time to sell though, it's time to ask yourself if your potential buyers will feel the same way about your home that you do. That answer is typically no and that's understandable. The problem with this is that more than likely you'll end up leaving money on the table if you don't do something about it. That's where staging comes in.
Staging will help you overcome obstacles that prevent buyers from seeing your home and it also encourages the right buyer to make an offer at the right price. Remember the saying "You never get a second chance to make a good first impression"? Never is this so important as in real estate because it makes the difference between someone seeing your home or not at all.
95% of buyers search for their home online* which gives them access to property information, photos, videos, aerial shots and neighborhood walk throughs. While the Realtor does make suggestions, it is most often the buyer who asks to see specific properties that they have chosen after seeing pictures online. When a Realtor does recommend a specific home, the first thing that the buyer will do is look at the online listing. So the pictures must look enticing enough for a buyer to want to make the effort to see it.
Look at your home through the eye of a camera lens. How will it appear? Is it cluttered? Will your potential buyer perceive it to be stylish or does it feel dated? Do the attributes of the architecture shine through? These are all pertinent questions to ask yourself and if you want to get top dollar the answers should all be yes. Here's an example of how staging can change the whole look of a room. The home below was on the market for over a year with two different Realtors. The third Realtor finally called in kellydesigns and it sold in 48 days.
A buyer can list all of their criteria and a Realtor can find them a house that meets all of it but if they walk into the house and it just does not feel right, they will pass on the house. Naysayers think that buyers can visualize a home they way they would want it but realists know that this is only partially true. In today's fast paced world most buyers do not want to do the work or see past faults.
In order for a buyer to imagine themselves living in your house they need to see themselves (real or imagined) in that space. Your home is a very personal space so its essential to declutter and remove evidence of your life there. This way the buyer will not be walking around looking at your things. They will be imagining the possibilities of how their life could be. The furniture, wall color and surroundings should be selling a lifestyle. Vacant homes are very important to stage. Sometimes rooms look larger with furniture in them and again staging helps gives a potential buyer a vision of how they will live in the space. The furniture also gives the buyers a chance to sit and look around and admire the beauty in the home. They will stay in a staged home longer which allows a better emotional connection to the property.
I first noticed Staging when I worked in California almost 25 years ago it was a new concept. Now, West coast sellers would not think of selling without staging! Staging initially gained traction in Westchester and Fairfield County during the market turndown but now its here to stay. Unfortunately when do you do not stage your home you are helping the competition to look better. Instead of thinking of staging as an expense consider it an investment that will give you a positive return. I've seen average homes that look luxurious, simply because of the furnishings. Its all about perception! When it comes time to sell, its time to detach yourself emotionally, regard your home as a product and make that home the best possible product you can sell. There's plenty of time to be sentimental after the contract is signed and during the final move. In the meantime staging will help you get the most possible amount of money for your home! Staging also helps to sell it in the least amount of time so you can stop living in flux and get on with your life. If you look at it from monetary view, staging costs less than your first markdown, for sure! And if you add up what it costs to maintain a home; mortgage, gas, electric, insurance, etc and multiply it by number of months on market, wouldn't it be better and smarter to move it faster by staging? Again, it is usually less than the cost of running expenses for 3 months.
For more information about the benefits of staging download my free report. You can also follow kellydesigns on Facebook and kellydesignsofct on Instagram for updates on why staging matters and to see my staging projects as they happen. Looking forward to seeing you there.