Think of staging the same way you would think about dressing for a job interview. Dress to impress!
You never get a second chance at a great first impression. Potential buyers start their search online, so you want your home to stand out for the right reasons.
Staging your home will help to make your home, now a commodity in competition with others, stand out in the photos. Staging also addresses the flow of the room to further showcase the best features and potential of the home.
Professional photos, along with the staging, are key to having buyers go through your listing online. Look at things with your buyer hat on! If you were looking at homes online and the photos for one home were all dark, or all you could see in a room was the bed, or the sofa, would you be inclined to want to go see the house?
If the photos were all bright and showed the room, not the furniture, would you be more inclined to want to see the home? Now add in an interactive floorplan and walkthrough and you get a real feel for the flow of the home.
The goals of staging are to showcase the home and allow the prospective buyers to visualize themselves living in the home
Recommended Home Preparations
De-cluttering. There’s a lot to gain from a lack of clutter. Getting rid of clutter is effective home selling 101, since it opens up the space and makes it look both bigger and more appealing. When you’re getting ready to sell, box up everything you don’t need on a day-to-day basis (including seasonal items, papers, and a majority of your home décor) and store it all away for your next home.
De-personalizing. It can be difficult for a buyer to picture themselves in a home if they’re confronted with actual pictures of a home’s current owners. The goal is to create a blank canvas, and for that, you need to stow away family photos and any other overtly personal items—including things like your toothbrush on the bathroom counter.
Thorough cleaning. Have a thorough cleaning done prior to listing your home on the market. Cleaning is essential to staging since it goes hand-in-hand with the goal of making a positive first impression. And if you don’t have the time to do it right, hire a professional cleaning service—it will be worth it.
Small repairs. Think paint touch-ups and a bit of spackling and caulking—should be done before the staging process. These little fixes are quick and cheap to take care of and can be glaring to buyers if they’re not.
When in doubt, go neutral. The four tasks above go a long way in most homes for sale. But if your home is painted in bright colors or if you have a very distinct decorating taste, then it may be worth going a step further with your staging by neutralizing the space for buyers. You may find darker colours, cozy, but to prospective buyers, they make the home look small. By painting over walls in white, gray, or another standard neutral shade, and consider swapping out bright carpeting for taupe or beige, the home will appeal to more buyers. You may also want to rent a storage unit to house bold and/or excess pieces of furniture. There is a cost, but not removing excess items could have a major impact on how fast a home sells—and for what price. If you have space in the garage and not many pieces to remove, they can be placed neatly in there.
How much (or how little) staging a home requires depends a lot on the current state of both the home and the market. In a seller’s market, for example, there might be more leeway in terms of appealing to buyers, with less stress put on the need for proper staging. In a competitive buyer’s market though, staging becomes even more crucial, since you need any advantage that you can get.