It's time to put your home on the market. You've hired a real estate agent. You've signed all the papers. You've been given the typical remarks about keeping your home neat and ready for potential buyers. And now you wait. Or do you?
Instead of waiting the typical 4+ months and then taking a reduced price on your home, why not invest in a home staging professional! Doing so will drastically decrease the amount of time your home spends on the market - up to 20 times faster - as well as increase the amount you get for your home - six percent over listing is typical!
What is Home Staging?
Home staging is simply the art of preparing your home for sale. Basically, there are five steps to home staging:
- Getting rid of clutter
- Decorating and accessorizing
In days gone by, home staging consisted of advice by your real estate agent to "clean up" and "de-clutter." If you had a savvy agent, you may have even been told to add fresh flowers or fresh linens in the bathroom. However, being a real estate professional is not the same thing as being a design professional.
Professional home stagers know exactly what to do to create the right atmosphere. They not only tell you to de-clutter, but know exactly what to do in order to create a clutter free environment. They can walk through your home and know immediately if you need to remove or rearrange furniture. With just a quick visit, they can tell you what will enhance your homes curb appeal.
Why Does Home Staging Matter?
When it comes to sales, first impressions are everything. A potential homebuyer will often decide to enter a home based on the outside appearance. And once inside, they make up their mind about a home within about 10 seconds. This means that you have 10 seconds to create an atmosphere that entices the imagination and creates a longing in the buyer.
Home staging is the way to create that desire and longing. Through home staging, you can put your home's best foot forward.
Professional or Do-It-Yourself?
Professional home staging services are not free and many people believe that they can save money by doing it themselves. However, there are many pitfalls to the "do-it-yourself" mentality.
1. You obviously like the look of your home or you wouldn't have created it, right? Making changes can be downright difficult when you love your things and feel that your home is comfortable "as is." A professional can help you step back and see your home in the same way that a potential buyer will see it. They help you take yourself out of the home so that the homebuyers can see themselves in it!
2. What do you know about color, lighting, and traffic flow? If you are like most people, you know very little about these things. Although the colors or the traffic pattern worked for you and your family, a professional can see issues that will keep your home from having that "instant appeal." Remember, buyers are not buying "your" house - they are buying "their" house!
3. Can you walk through your home and instantly list 10 inexpensive ways to increase the value of your home? Home stagers can. They know how to make the changes in a timely manner so that you can get your home on the market quickly. They view your home from the buyer's point of view and can tell you what to store, what to keep, what to move, and what will add that pizzazz that will make your home sell.
Is Home Staging Cost Effective?
One of the most important things you can do to sell your home quickly and for the highest possible price is to "stage" it. The proof is in the pudding:
- According to the National Association of Realtors, for every dollar sellers put into staging, they get $4 back
- The average increase over the listing price is 6.32%. On a $500,000 house, that is nearly $32,000 and will more than pay for your professional real estate agent! Think of home staging as a way to get your real estate agent for free!
A real estate professional has the knowledge, experience, and qualifications to sell your home. A home stager has the knowledge, experience, and qualifications to prepare your home for the sale. Although professional services are not free, the cost of the services more than exceeds the benefits received!