Even in a down market, statistics show that home staging works to decrease time on market. The Real Estate Staging Association conducted a study of more than 100 homes that had been on the market in excess of 250 days – homes that were not staged. Professional staging companies were engaged to stage the homes and make adjustments in the homes’ presentations…and nearly all of those homes that had been sitting on the market for nearly a year sold within 60 days after being staged – and the average time on market after staging was 40.5 days!
Sounds expensive, doesn’t it? Some professional staging companies are, indeed, expensive and will recommend options that may be outside of the average person’s budget, but a truly competent Realtor® can make suggestions that are inexpensive, practical, and – most importantly – will enable you to sell your home faster and for more money. With more than 80% of potential home buyers beginning their search for real estate online, the listing images are the first thing they see – and you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression! To get you started with staging, our professional team at blue ridge real estate Properties offers the following advice:
Model homes are beautiful and inviting, allowing a potential buyer to connect emotionally with the home. A primary goal of home staging should be to make your home look like a model home.
Remove clutter. No one wants a messy house, so make sure that your home is clean and free of clutter. Countertops and flat surfaces should be tastefully decorated, clean and dusted, and showcase a few small pieces that don’t demonstrate an emotional attachment to the home (for example, showcase a candle garden or some fresh flowers instead of family photos or keepsakes).
If your home has strong colors, you might consider a fresh coat of paint in neutral colors. Paint is a inexpensive option that can make all the difference in the sale time of your home, and neutral colors make it easier for potential buyers to visualize their own color schemes in a home. Paint like a pro, though…spend the extra money on drop cloths and painter’s tape to get nice, clean lines and to protect floor coverings.
Once you’ve cleaned and de-cluttered, consider adding decorative accents to your home. Having plants in a room makes it feel more alive and welcoming, and fresh cut flowers in the entryway invite potential buyers to come in and be comfortable. If you’ve used neutral colors on your walls, vibrant fabrics are an excellent way to brighten up a room without clouding a potential buyer’s ability to connect to your home.
Check the remnant tables at your local craft stores. They will often have lovely fabrics that are perfect for re-covering pillows, banding drapes, making window treatments, or creating a splash of welcoming color in any room at about 1/3 the price of retail.
Lighting can make or break a room! Consider adding some decorative lamps with low-watt bulbs to provide a soft and welcoming glow in any room, and remember that lamps and other decorative items don’t have to break the bank.