Think Home Staging Isn't Important? Think Again.
Preparing a home for sale can be a daunting task, and hiring professionals to assist could make all the difference between having your home sit on the market for months, with little or no interest, or having an immediate stream of prospective buyers, potentially resulting in a bidding war. Staging isn’t simply about renting nice furniture and artwork for an upcoming open house; it’s much more about the targeted steps required to enhance a home’s salability, curb appeal and first impressions when viewed.
What is Home Staging & Why is it Necessary?
To break it down, home staging is the process of assessing and preparing a home for maximum salability and curb appeal to the largest number of potential buyers in the market. Effective home staging will increase your overall profit margin and expedite the sale as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Ron Neal and The Neal Estate Team at RE/MAX Alliance understand that the process can be overwhelming for the seller, and our goal is to make the sale of your home as smooth, stress-free and profitable as possible. We start with a complimentary exterior and interior inspection and consultation. This can include recommendations of cleaning, decluttering, repairs, moving or removing items in certain rooms; and in some cases bringing in select furniture and complimentary décor, with the intention of showcasing your home in its very best light, especially those awkward or challenging spaces. Our optional services include assistance with any of the recommended steps required to enhance your home’s salability.
Steps for Effective Home Staging:
- Determine the specific target audience for your home.
The first step of staging is figuring out who the likely buyer is. This will often be determined by your property’s price range, location and layout. For example, a condominium in the downtown area with no outdoor living space on a busy street will be less appealing to a young family, while a large house in a remote area with substantial acreage may be less appealing to an older, physically-compromised couple. The reality is, there are certain features of your home that cannot be changed, no matter how effective the home staging, so it makes sense to stage for the right fit - potential buyers who will be attracted to the unique features of your home.
- Increase your home’s curb appeal.
As the age-old expression goes, “first impressions are lasting”, and those initial impressions immediately determine interest. First impressions are formed as soon as potential buyers drive up your driveway. Many people will change their minds about even going to a viewing or open house if the right curb appeal is not there. This could include everything from the aesthetics presented by attractive landscaping to the knocker on the front door.
- Perform a visual audit of all interior & exterior spaces relating to the home.
A thorough walk-thru both inside and outside your home is needed, and would include an assessment of all inside rooms and outside property. Recommendations would include necessary repairs, landscaping enhancement, clutter removal, painting, cleaning, rearranging and/or replacement of furniture and accessories. The home stager may also offer safety and security recommendations such as removing valuables and personal items from view while potential buyers are going through your home.
- Discussion of next steps & allocation of tasks at hand.
We are happy to assist with implementing the suggestions we’ve made, or you may choose to do the legwork and implementation yourself. Either route, or a combination of the two, is absolutely fine. While you may feel comfortable taking care of the repairs and painting tasks at your end, you may wish to contract a home staging specialist to rearrange the furniture and/or shop for more suitable furniture and accessories to attract the right buyer. Whether the home stager is “hands-on” in regards to the implementation, or simply functions as a consultant giving you detailed advice, the choice is yours.
Now that you know the general steps involved in the staging process, how do you know if your home really needs to be staged? Sometimes, all your home needs is just the subtle placement of a few key items in a room, and other times, it's more extensive repairs and extreme decluttering.
There are several stages necessary to prepare a home for sale and to help you determine how much staging you really need:
The 7 Steps of Home Staging:
Repair & Fix Up
This is the first, most obvious stage of getting your home view-ready. It’s time to repair that raised floorboard, that crack in the ceiling or that crown molding that is slightly askew. While you were able to turn a blind eye to it over the last decade, a potential buyer may not be able to do the same.
Although that bold red in the family room may seem warm and inviting to you, it may elicit a less positive response from a prospective buyer. A neutral colour pallette is key here. Colour is extremely subjective and you don’t want to turn off a potential buyer and have them fixate on a colour that they may not like. Lighter neutral colours will make the house seem larger and more airy. The same goes for wallpaper; if it’s not subtle and neutral in tone, it may be best to remove it
Time to De-Clutter
You want to make sure that potential buyers can see the great “bones” of your home, rather than the “stuff” you’ve accumulated along the way. Make sure surfaces are clear, and if your rooms seem overstuffed with furniture (which will make them appear smaller than they really are) it’s time to put away those pieces which don’t lend any value to the room or those trinkets that only have sentimental meaning to you. Your life-size, fertility statue from Africa or your bell collection from around the world may be precious to you, but may be distracting to a potential buyer.
Furniture that is too worn, too large, dated or ornate may be best put in temporary storage and replaced by something lighter and more contemporary. Remember the object is to have furniture complement the room rather than overpower the room. Same goes for threadbare area rugs, light fixtures, etc
Highlight Special Features
If your home has special features or unique spaces, take the time to draw attention to them. Enhance that cozy reading nook with a stylish floor lamp and chair and a half; finish that large walk-in closet by adding organizational shelves and racks.
Although your family photos mean the world to you, buyers want to visualize themselves with their own families in the home. You may want to consider removing family photos and other personal items
Add Accents & Special Touches
The right kind of lighting will warm up the ambiance, while fresh flowers will add some colour and life to your neutral palette. Scent is also very important to the human psyche and baking a fresh batch of muffins or cookies before an Open House is pure genius for creating a warm, friendly and inviting atmosphere. Too busy? A scented candle or subtle air freshener will do the trick.
Home staging doesn’t have to be expensive. As discussed above, it really depends on the suggestions given and the stager’s level of involvement. One thing is clear though -staging can be a critical component to the success and turnaround time of your home’s sale
Contact The Neal Estate Team at REMAX Alliance now for your Free Marketing Assessment and Complimentary Home Staging Consultation at 250.386.8181 or RonNeal.com
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The Neal Estate Team is your #1 source for all of your Victoria BC real estate needs. Get in touch with us online or by phone at (250) 386-8181 to speak with a Victoria real estate buying or selling expert today. With decades of experience as a top selling Victoria REALTOR® and ranked in top 1% globally with over 4,000 transactions and $1 Billion SOLD, Ron Neal & The Neal Estate Team have the industry experience and market knowledge to help you make smart and informed buying or selling decisions.