If you’re like most of the population, it’s likely you’ve seen a home renovation show, marveled at the beautiful transformation of a space, and wondered how to do that for yourself. Even in a big renovation where walls are knocked down and the house is entirely rearranged, the reason that transformation wows you is because of the impressive staging.
What Is Home Staging?
Staging is both a marketing tactic and an art. It consists of adding decor, arranging furniture, and focusing on the details that will take a space from just okay to a bright, homey place that people are eager to buy.
While staging is a lot about decor, it is also about the whole experience. It touches on every detail, from cleanliness to lighting to scents.
Why Do You Need to Stage?
The easy answer to why you need to stage your home? It affects your bottom line. In a world saturated with home renovation shows, buyers are more aware of what they want and are pickier with small details than ever. Staging has the potential to take your home from hard to sell to flying off the market over the asking price. But let’s look at some statistics.
According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2021 Profile of Home Staging Report
, 82 percent of buyer’s agents said staging a house made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. 23 percent said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between 1 and 5 percent, compared to other similar homes on the market that are not staged.
Staging Tips and Tricks
Now that you know why you should stage your home before selling, you might be wondering how to make your home into a chic and inviting space that will make prospective buyers fall in love.
- Mind Your Curb Appeal: The critique of your home starts the moment your buyers get out of their car — from the flowerbeds to the patio furniture to the state of your mailbox. There’s no need to go overboard in staging this, but do make sure that you’ve created an inviting space to welcome them in. Things like clipping any dead blooms, painting your mailbox, and arranging your porch furniture will go a long way.
- Make it Spotless: The old Southern saying that cleanliness is next to godliness was probably spoken about staging a house. It’s like inviting people over for a dinner party, except you don’t know them, and you won’t be there to explain away the clutter on the counter. Whether you do it or hire someone to do it for you, your house should be spotless when it’s time for potential buyers to see it. The floors, the walls, the countertops, even the corners of your ceilings. This is less about them knowing it will be clean when they move in and more about setting the scene for them to imagine a life here. Stains, dirt, and dust are part of life, but you don’t need real life to intrude on their imagination when they envision living in your house.
- De-Personalize: This goes along with the last point. Depersonalizing your home means taking your family photos off the wall, putting away the finger paintings on the fridge, and giving them a chic space to envision their own family photos in.
- Eliminate Signs of Your Pets: If you have a pet, make sure their toys are put away out of sight, their hair is cleaned up, and there is no smell leftover from them before your home goes on the market. And when prospective buyers come to visit, make sure you take your pet with you.
- Arrange Your Furniture: Furniture can make or break the way your living spaces look. Pick the wrong couch or put the right couch in the wrong place, and your room feels small. Also, too much furniture is a common problem in staging. You need all that furniture to live; however, your prospective buyer doesn’t need to see all of it. A good rule of thumb is to eliminate one-third of your pieces when you stage. Arrange the remaining pieces to make your space look large and inviting.
- Play with Color: You’ll mostly want to stick with neutrals in your home staging because a house with too much color can be overwhelming or off-putting. However, adding pops of color throughout can bring in style and keep your neutrals from feeling bland or cold. It’s easy to add this splash with throw pillows, an accent chair, or a gorgeous area rug.
- Spice Up Your Walls: You’ve taken down your family portraits, but now you’re faced with blank walls. This is a great time to upgrade your walls with a gorgeous art print (or three). If you don’t already have art pieces and don’t want to buy them just for staging, renting art is a great choice.
- Upgrade Your Hardware: In your kitchen and bathroom, an easy and affordable upgrade you can make in the staging process is to switch out your hardware. From kitchen cabinets to bathroom drawers, having beautiful hardware is one of those little details that prospective buyers notice.
- Focus on Lighting: Lighting is all about mood. And just like humans, houses look different depending on the light. Create a welcoming space that feels full of light and warmth by adding lamps and exchanging your overhead bulbs for natural light bulbs.
- Tantalize the Senses: The classic picture of an open house is a real estate agent pulling a fresh batch of cookies out of the oven just before prospective buyers come in. This tried-and-true method evokes a cozy sense of home that will help them envision themselves baking their own cookies in this kitchen. But bringing in the sense of home can go beyond cookies, and there are other ways you can tantalize the senses of your prospective buyers. An easy one is to simmer a pot of water on the stove and toss in orange peels and cloves. This is a very cozy fall scent that will wrap your whole house in a blanket. If you want to be more hands-off with your scents, buy an essential oil diffuser and put lavender or eucalyptus in it. This fresh, natural scent is perfect to create a relaxing atmosphere that will put your buyers at ease.
The Delicate Balance of Staging
Staging your home to sell is all about return on investment, so it’s important to pick the right areas to invest your efforts into. The NAR profile mentions three of these vital areas. The living room was the most important to the stage (according to 46 percent of buyers’ agents), followed by the master bedroom (43 percent), and finally the kitchen (35 percent). Focusing your main efforts on these three spaces and then adding little touches to the rest of the rooms is likely to get you the best results.
There are so many ways you can increase the perceived value of your home through staging. Both large and small, it’s all about balance and finding the things that work for your home in particular. If you’re working with a realtor to sell your home, ask them for more tips and tricks. They will have a good grasp on the market and any staging trends you should know to get the most out of your efforts.
If you’re moving to a new home in Austin, let the Lindsay Neuren Group help. Like finding the balance of things that work for staging your home, finding a new place to live takes a lot of intentionality and care. With so many homes for sale in Austin, it’s nice to have some help figuring out the perfect balance of things you need in your dream home. Contact Us
today to get started.