Do I need to stage my home in order to sell it? This is a question you may be asking yourself. Let me begin by saying that staged homes have been proven to sell quicker and for a higher price point than un-staged ones. This is especially true if your home is competing with several other homes in your neighborhood or if you are in an area with a lot of new home builds.
Of course, staging isn’t guaranteed to sell a home. Location is considered the most important factor in selling a home expeditiously. Pricing your home correctly is another huge consideration when it comes to scoring a sale. But staging is important and can really set you apart from your competition.
Still, there is nothing like having a stager actually tour your home. They can provide specifics about your actual situation. From hiding your garbage cans to putting away pet toys, a stager can hone in on things that are preventing your home from looking its best.
Last week I gave you 4 tips to help you get your home ready for a sale. This week I am sharing 4 more. These 8 tips are tried and true ways to prep your home for potential buyers.
Tip #5: Get Your Carpet Under Control
Believe it or not carpeting was one of the biggest issues I encountered during staging consultations. From too much carpet to smelly carpets, it is imperative that you get your carpet game together before hosting your first open house. Getting your carpets professionally steamed, having ripples in the carpet stretched out and patching up holes (especially near door thresholds) goes a long way in the eyes of buyers. If a professional steaming is not enough to remove stains or foul odors, including pet smells, have the carpets replaced altogether with a mid-range carpet. It is better to spend money replacing your carpet than to have it overlooked by potential buyers. Replacing carpet is such a big endeavor that most people do not have the time or energy to tackle this issue before they move in.
Tip #6: Clean Your Trim Work
When you stage your home, the expectation is that it will look like no one lives there. With children, pets and work schedules, that is nearly impossible to do but trying your damnedest to do it will be worth it at the closing table. One area that can easily get away from us is our trim work. Using Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to remove marks, scuffs and fingerprints from chair rails, wainscoting, crown molding or baseboards will keep your white molding look sparkly and new. This is especially important when you are in competition with brand new builder homes.
Tip #7: Pay Special Attention to First Impressions
Buyers make decisions about your home during the first 90 seconds of their visit. The first impression of your home will either encourage them to keep going or simply have them going through the motions. Be sure to pay special attention to the first rooms potential buyers will see. If the room is a flex space, be sure to stage it as an office or a formal dining room if that is the norm in your neighborhood. Buyers are not very creative and rooms that don’t serve a purpose can really become a turn-off.
Tip # 8: Consider Your Price Point
The higher your price point, the more buyers will expect done beforehand. The pool of buyers gets smaller as the price of your home gets higher. This means that these applicants are often maxing out their budget and cannot afford or are not interested in making additional changes before they move into your home.
Using comps in your neighborhood is a good way to ascertain if you need to make significant changes. For instance, do buyers expect wood flooring in all common areas? Do buyers want crown molding and window casing in your neighborhood? Do most homes in your area have granite countertops?
Before you put your home on the market, assess the competition. If you don’t meet those expectations you may have to make a few costly improvements before you compete with those other homes. Otherwise, potential buyers will perceive that they are not getting a good value when it comes to your home.
Nevertheless, staging a home involves much more than cleaning, de-cluttering and cutting some grass. A stager may suggest that you rent some furniture and accessories so that your house appeals to the masses. You may have to consider this option if your your furnishings aren’t making your home as marketable as possible.