The Art of Home Staging
How many times have you seen a property that's a mess and visually unappealing with so much furniture and furnishings that it is impossible to see anything? There are cracks that need spackling, walls that need cleaning, and floors that should be polished. The lighting is dreary and the color questionable. There’s plenty of clutter, but no warmth, and perhaps, even a strange smell.
More often than not, potential buyers/investors will be turned off by a property that looks like this. If you ask them what they remember about it, they are uncertain. Too many colors, furniture and possessions make it difficult for people to concentrate on the property. Our eyes tire very quickly; the more we see in a room, the less we can process—it’s called stimulus overload. When there is too much to see, we don’t see anything. Selling or buying a property is possibly one of the biggest investments anyone could make. How the property is presented and perceived should be given as much importance and consideration as any consumer product on the market.
Some Rules to Follow
No matter what is happening to the real estate market, when you want to sell your home, there are two simple rules to follow to assure a quick sale: price it well, and make it look amazing. Whatever the asking price, its appearance needs to be flawless.
One of the costliest mistakes made by home sellers, and even inexperienced real estate agents, is to ignore the visual psychology involved in gaining a buyer’s immediate attention. Potential buyers become interested in a property when they walk in and feel, "I could live here." They imagine it as their home. In order to gain an edge in today’s real estate market when buyers/investors have so many options, a property must be priced right and look better than the competition. One of the best, proven methods to faster sales is a process known as "staging". It is not a new concept for showing a home, but is extremely important and properly prepping a home for sale, can help sell your home faster and at times for more than the asking price.
Staging uses design and conceptualization techniques. The objective is to have potential buyers walk in and envision the property as their home. They can see themselves living and entertaining there. It’s all about creating a space that makes buyers connect emotionally to it. They should feel as if they were the owner, not a guest. As a seller, In order to do this effectively, you need to make your house as impersonal and attractive as possible to stimulate the buyer’s visual acuity.
Home staging is effective because it emphasizes a property’s strengths and minimizes its weak points. It allows your home to be shown at its maximum potential. Presenting a well-cared for home and creating a property that gives a positive first impression. It attracts the attention and admiration of prospective buyers, and encourages them to consider how your property fits their requirements.
Some Helpful Tips
A potential homebuyer needs to picture herself in your rooms, and quirky decorating or pictures of the kids hurts the illusion. Remove all family photos and, if necessary, paint brightly coloured walls a more neutral shade.
No torn screens, cracked plaster or burnt out pot lights. You may have gotten used to seeing them, so tour your house with a critical eye (or ask someone else to), and repair anything that needs it.
Kitchen counters should be clear and clutter-free. A single bowl or vase holding cooking utensils is okay, but that's about it. Store small appliances in cupboards if you must.
If your kitchen doesn't have a backsplash, this is a weekend job that a reasonably handy person can tackle for little money. INVEST in some gorgeous tiles (since you're doing such a small area, it shouldn't cost too much) or consider glass mosaics, mirror tile, or plain tile interspersed with a few fancy ones.
Make sure any visible linens (tea towels, chair cushions, oven mitts, etc.) are brand new or at least look brand new.
In the bathroom, an ugly builder's mirror can be replaced with a pretty framed mirror for under $100. For a little more, you can buy an antique or higher-end model from a housewares boutique. Switch out the lighting for a nice chandelier or some attractive new sconces and the bathroom will look as if it's been renovated.
Give your master bedroom that LUXURY HOTEL look by sinply adding multiple new pillows with shams or toss pillows in front, crisp white linens and a throw at the end of the bed. Keep end tables uncluttered, with matching lamps and nothing else except, perhaps, a tiny vase of flowers.