February 23, 2022
What is the first thing people do when searching online for a home?
They look at the photos.
The difference between well done and poorly done photos of your home online, can not only make the difference between whether someone makes an appointment to see the home, but more importantly, it impacts their judgment on what your home is worth. It’s their perceived value. And that is EVERYTHING when it comes to selling your home.
That’s the amount of time you have online to make an impression on a buyer about your home. That’s it. If the home looks dark and cluttered, if it looks empty and cold, they are likely to move on to the next listing. Or, they are going to start taking discounts off in their head.
Staging is more popular than ever when it comes to selling a home. But, you might wonder if it’s really worth the inconvenience and upfront costs for you, especially in a seller’s market.
Even with a well-maintained (and well-decorated!) home, staging can increase the price you end up getting for your home and decrease the time it stays on the market.
When it comes to staging, we have two options. We can either hire a professional stager who can use their own furniture and décor for your home and stage it in a way that works for your potential buyer. ( Which I recommend if you have already moved, and your home is empty) Or, I can give you suggestions on how best to present your home with what you have already and even bring in some of my own items to supplement what you have.
Staging a home is not like “cleaning your home for guests” but rather it entails coming up with a marketing strategy that will showcase your home in a way that will appeal to the most buyers. It’s still important to make your home sparkle and shine by cleaning but it’s this next step that makes selling your home more of a “business” goal that has a clear-cut purpose. How you live is NOT how you sell! For example, that third bedroom which is part office, part storage closet? That probably needs to be turned into an actual bedroom. Really easy to do with an inexpensive bed frame and some stylish bedding from a discount store. Or, make it an appealing office space only if you think your potential buyers are searching for that right now.
Staging creates a positive emotional tug for buyers when they walk through your door. First impressions are so important and will linger after buyers leave your home. We want them to dream of their perfect life in your home, so sometimes we need to do some decluttering, sprucing, reorganizing, and some extra storage space to get buyers to think with their emotions. It can be easy and cost just about nothing. I can walk each room with you to tell you exactly what to put where.
Sometimes all it takes is a fresh eye. Your large leather couch or collection of pottery may be gorgeous and look great for your day-to day-life, but to buyers, it could mean your home feels tight and cluttered. Remember, don’t take it personally! When you are selling your home, it’s a product for sale, not the home you’ll be living in anymore!
When in doubt, go neutral. You may love that turquoise wall, but most buyers will be distracted and only see the wall and not the spacious room and everything else your home has to offer. Try to neutralize your home. Right now, the best colors are the whitest white for doors, trim, and ceilings, and a light grey for the walls. You want to present a soothing, modern, and clean slate for new buyers to imagine their life in.
Staging can give a room a purpose — create an office, a guest room, a reading nook that usually isn’t there. You don’t want buyers to wonder what they can use this room or space for while living there. Instead, you want to show them what life could be like there, even if it’s not currently the way you are using the space. Think about who the ultimate buyer of your home will be and cater to how THEY would use the rooms in your home and stage accordingly.
Take what you have and work with it by paring down, rearranging, or relocating furniture and artwork, and also reconsider paint colors. You can prioritize a list of things and then decide what you’ll do and what you won’t do based on your budget. Remember, you can take it or leave it since it’s your home for sale.
A carefully staged home looks more desirable in online photos. Your online presence can either encourage buyers to check out your home or could drive them away, so each room needs to look like it has a purpose and is ready to move right into! This will get you more people coming to look at your home, and the more people who come and see it means more offers and a higher contract price.
When staging my clients’ homes, it is mostly just a matter of editing some items out of the room and bringing in pops of color. I like to work with what my clients already have in their homes. I am not trying to “re-decorate”. Just to accentuate and highlight the best features of that particular room.
You don’t always need to do a top to bottom overhaul on a kitchen! This kitchen renovation only took some paint. We painted the 4×4 tile on the walls white, which made the small kitchen feel larger, and painted the cabinets a light grey for a more modern and updated look.
Painting the tiles and floor white along with adding a new pedestal sink and light paint color completely changed to look of this bathroom.
Strong colors can be a distraction to the buyer. This room had a fresh coat of paint which made it look brighter and larger.
Just by adding some pops of color with pillows on the sofa, adding some greenery, and a few colorful elements, this room has been transformed into an eye-catching delight!
This guest bedroom was a blank slate. Just adding a white bedspread and colorful throw pillows, brightened up the room and created interest.
This living room needed an area rug to anchor the room, as well as to define the seating area. All the white furniture made the room look cold and sterile. I added some colorful artwork on the walls, a few bright-colored throw pillows, and a couple of lamps. These changes created a contemporary classic and warm feel to the room.
in this family room, the location of the sofa blocked the view of the fireplace and made the room look smaller. The bookshelves were empty which actually drew more attention to them. The mirror above the fireplace only showed a reflection of the ceiling beams.
By adding in some bright colored throw pillows, and moving the sofa in front of the window, the room feels larger and brighter. Adding the artwork over the fireplace and accessories to the bookshelves creates interest and draws the eye toward the focal point of the room, the fireplace.
When it comes to staging and making your home look its best, don’t feel like you have to figure it all out on your own! Positioning your home for the market to get you the most money possible is my job and I’ll help you through this phase too.
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Regan Van Kerckhove is a real estate agent affiliated with Comey & Shepherd Realtors. Comey & Shepherd is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Ohio and Kentucky and abides by equal housing opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Nothing herein shall be construed as legal, accounting or other professional advice outside the realm of real estate brokerage