Springtime evokes a feeling of renewal. For many of us that means spring cleaning; however, for others it means it is the time to put their house up for sale. With that is mind, it is imperative you understand the financial impact “staging” has over the resale value of your property.
Home Staging is a psychological art. The art comes in being able to transform an ordinary home into the most desirable property in the neighborhood! Most people have a strong desire to live in a clean, clutter-free environment…a desire usually influenced by culture, up bringing and a perceived definition of what a home should be. Today’s average homeowner is educated and savvy to the real estate market and aspires to sell their home for the most profit the market will allow.
Goals of Staging
The following tips can virtually eliminate your handicaps and increase the value of your property up to 30%. If you are willing to conduct a hard-nosed assessment of your property, you will financially reap the fruits of your labor at the closing table! This guide was prepared to take the fear out of the staging process and show you how simple it is to enhance your home’s resale value. Three significant goals to consider when beginning the process are:
1) You want to seduce a Buyer into wanting your home…no matter what the cost!
2) You want to sell your home for maximum profits in the shortest amount of time.
3) You understand that Buyers do not like to buy homes that appear to be someone else’s so you want your home to “mirror the effect” of a model home.
The top Elements of Staging
The Elements of Staging include room styles, furniture arrangement, dÃ?Â©cor themes and creative approaches to space and storage. There are many opinions as to what is the most desirable element of the Staging Process, but most agree the De-clutter of your home is the number one affordable way to enhance its value.
If you had to place a priority on one element that would improve the sale-ability of your home….it would be to De-clutter. This means that all unoccupied areas of the home….attic, basement, garage, closets and unused rooms should be turned into storage spaces for all your knickknacks, collections, out of season cloths and unused items. Before you spend needless money to rent a storage building, consider this…your problem may not be a shortage of storage but a lack of organization. Organizing your home will create a less stressful atmosphere and a much desired sense of control and harmony. To get started, you must remove store knickknacks, family photos, newspapers/books, collectibles, hobbies, over-grown plants, a percentage of your furniture, toys and pet paraphernalia. Second, you need to remove worn rugs and heavy drapes to enhance the illusion of space, highlight pretty floors and bring in lots of light.
If you were raised by a parent that loved to clean, you probably think the phrase “cleanliness is next to Godliness” is found somewhere in the Bible! Even though it is not the favorite element of the staging process, it is second only to de-cluttering in having an impact on creating value in the home. When a Buyer previews your house, your pride of ownership is demonstrated in your cleanliness and the way you organize the home. Spotlessness translates into higher profits at resale time. Your home requires extra attention before the resale process and should be spotlessly clean and fresh smelling. This means you will have to stay on top of problem areas such as the entry, bathrooms and pet areas. Because the entry is where the Buyer will form their first impression, you want to pay attention to the over all effect you are trying to impart in this area. Pay special attention to bathroom sanitation and the elimination of pet order. Nothing turns a Buyer off faster than foul odors.
3) COLOR IMPACT
Painting you home a neutral color will, undoubtedly, give you the most benefit from expenditure! Painting neutral shades of White, Cream or Khaki will visually expand the size of a room and evoke a feeling of newness. Neutralizing with color also means addressing other color issues. You will need to address the color schemes of your flooring, cabinets, counter tops, drapes and appliances. A trip to the local home improvement store will enlighten you as to the many affordable ways to remedy your color dilemmas.
Storage is of major importance to the prospective home buyer. You want to create the illusion of spaciousness, not only in your rooms but your closets. It is necessary to take everything out and only put back Ã?Â½ of what was in them to achieve this purpose. For the interim you will have the house on the market, it is advisable to rent a storage building to facilitate your storage problems; however, if you can’t afford this, then turn a corner of your garage into an area for neatly stack moving cartons. Remember, in doing this, you will already have half of your packing done when you do get a contract on your home.
5) COSMETIC REPAIRS
It is especially important to fix minor problems. Neglect breeds mistrust! You should fix leaky toilets, torn screen doors, squeaky hinges, loosen knobs, burned out light fixtures and holes behind door knobs.
6) CREATE A MOOD
Re-staging your home to evoke your favorite mood is quite easy! Try to recreate how you feel when you are in walking in your garden, riding in the mountains or relaxing on a beach. Your color theme and dÃ?Â©cor should reflect the personality of this mood and inspire others to feel the same. This trick is often used in Model Homes. Designers use this element to reflect ambiance and evoke the “nesting emotion” in the carefully designed and staged homes.
The most affordable way to create a mood is with the use of sounds and smells. The sound of peace and quiet can be a positive reflection on your environment, so make sure there are no sounds of mechanical problems from pipes and appliances in need of repair. Playing soft music in the background and putting out fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies or apple pie on the table will make your home more cozy and enticing. “Staging” these appealing stimulants will stir up pleasant memories and make the buyer feel right at home the minute they step out of their car.
7) CURB APPEAL
Maintaining the landscaping is not the only way to maximize curb appeal. You have to add other elements to the exterior of your home in order to grab the attention of Buyers & the whole neighborhood! Suggestions include, sprucing up the front door with new hardware, brass kick plate and paint, as well as, cleaning the general entry area. Remember to pressure wash your concrete drive when pressure washing the house. Plant bright flowers and add outdoor lighting so those evening window-shoppers can see how special your home looks lit up at night.
8) CONDITION OF YOUR PROPERTY
a) The visual condition of your property will have the biggest impact on how a Buyer perceives the overall condition of your property. If they feel you have neglected the little things, they will have serious doubts as to the maintenance of your non-visual systems. However innocent this might be, it will evoke doubt and mistrust in the buyer’s mind-eye.
b) First impression do count and your exterior and entryway are the “first impression” focal points of your home. You have the opportunity to either make a negative or positive statement in these areas.
c) The second most important area to keep in top condition is the Kitchen. It is, perhaps, the most important room of the house and its condition will have a major financial impact on the value of your house. It is very important that there are no sounds of mechanical problems from pipes and appliances. If it is outdated or in need of repair, you should concentrate a significant portion of your staging budget on this room.
d) Smell has more of an impact on staging than you could ever imagine. It can make or break the staged mood you are trying to create! Try to achieve the smell of “newness” in all your rooms.
e) Most people spend the large amounts of time in their living room and bathrooms so they are the first to show wear and tear. Make sure you concentrate on the condition of these rooms. Your bathroom plays a significant role in your home and there are many ways to improve deficiencies without spending a lot of money. Make sure you eliminate odors and dampness!
f) The condition of your basement and attic says more about the condition of your property than you realize! If a Buyer sees a neat, clean and organized basement and attic, they will have much more confidence in the overall condition of your property. It is imperative that there are no signs of pest infestation or water problems. You must eliminate all signs of dampness, including mold and mildew smells, with a dehumidifier. This can cost you thousands of resale dollars at the closing table if you don’t remedy this matter beforehand.
g) Garages are often problem areas of the home. Make sure you clean up oil spills, install a garage opener, hang up tools, and organize it well.
Just remember the whole process of staging is to achieve your goals of selling your home for the most resale profit in the least amount of time. If you incorporate these tips you will have gone the distance to foster the confidence in the condition of the home and your credibility.