Sell your Home Faster with Staging

by Frugal Brian

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Housing is one of those markets that people are still not sure about, but despite the economy and despite the impressions that many have of the market, people still buy and sell homes.  If you want to make the most out of your house on the market and you want to move it quickly, then you need to learn about this thing called “Staging”.

Picture yourself as a buyer coming with your realtor to look at a prospective home, when you walk in, things are neat and tidy, but the layout of the main entryway makes you feel cramped.  There could be ample space in the entryway, but because it was laid out improperly, you ‘felt’ cramped, you will likely remember that the entryway was cramped and chalk it up as a negative for the property when doing comparisons later on.

The best-case scenario would be to have multiple bidders that move your sale price above your asking price, which simply is not likely to happen unless you learn about and correctly apply staging.  For those wishing to make the most out of the experience of selling a home and not spend tremendous amounts of money hiring a professional to do the staging for you, there is hope.  Here are a few tips that might be able to help you move your home more quickly and for a better asking price.

It’s Not About You

One of the most important points to remember is that you are trying to make your home appealing to another person or family.  They really don’t care about your personal tastes, nor do they care about your family pictures as so forth.  You want to make the space a blank canvas for people to be able to image their own tastes in the mix, let them imagine their family photos on the wall or the mantle above the fireplace.  While this can be difficult for those who are living in their home while trying to sell it, it is still possible.

Pack up all of the things that are personalized about your home.  You are not hiding things away; you are preparing to move to your new location.  When you move, you are going to have to pack them eventually anyway.  So why not get the jump on that aspect and prepare the space for potential buyers at the same time?

This isn’t to say that you cannot have art on the wall, but just make sure it is neutral in taste and content.  For example, if you have artwork of animals hanging on the wall, it might send the message to someone that your house is a “pet house”, which could be a negative to the buyer.  It could also be that the buyer has a terrible phobia of the animal(s) you have pictured and could make them uncomfortable while viewing your home.

Less is More

You want people to be able to move freely around your home when viewing it.  This means that you need to have as little clutter around as possible.  Make the rooms flow together and feel spacious.  This might be a bit inconvenient for those living in their homes while trying to sell them, but it will help increase the likelihood of a quicker sale.  Keep in mind that you want people to feel at home.  This means that you will need to have some things in place to give your home a “homey” feel without cluttering things up too much.

Arrange and Re-arrange

Having the proper flow from one room to the next is very important in staging a home for sale.  You want people to have a natural flow from one space to the next.  You need a logical progression that leads them to the next room to discover how wonderful it all is and how well it all works together.  Take some time to think this aspect through thoroughly.  Talk to friends and family and see what ideas they have that might help.  You might even need to purchase some furniture items to help with this process.  The small expense of an end table or a desk can make the difference between a quick profitable sale and a long drawn-out process.

Curb Appeal is King

You have surely heard the saying that “You only get one chance to make a first impression.”  This is never truer than when trying to sell a house.  Again, remember to keep things simple and neutral when addressing this aspect.  There should be no glaring imperfections and nothing that is in obvious need of repair, otherwise, people will think the whole house is filled with uncompleted projects and in need of a lot of work.

Statistics show that a home on the market that has not been “staged” takes an average of nearly 150 days to sell, while a home that has been “staged” sells in an average of under 30 days.  That means that staged homes tend to sell 5 times faster than un-staged ones.  If you think that you are out of your depth when it comes to staging a home, then you can hire a professional to either help you or do it for you.  Prices will vary depending upon many factors, but the average costs can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to just over $1,000.  You will have to determine how much you are willing to invest to increase the speed and possible sale price of your home sale.

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