Houses are selling fast, so it’s essential to make a great first impression. For desirable homes, that is all your Buyer is going to get. One look before they have to make an offer. In these cases, that means you as the Seller also only get one chance. One opportunity to make your house look its best in order to secure the highest possible selling price. With staging, you minimize the negatives and accentuate the positives of a property to leave the best first and last impression.
So far this spring, desirable homes are receiving multiple offers in record time. Notable is the fact that the ones selling the highest above ask are the ones that have been staged, as they stand out next to the competition. What we are seeing is that staging gets you more money in every kind of real estate market. Homes may be selling faster, but the right style can help earn the highest ROI.
Eighty-two percent of buyer's agents said staging helped their clients visualize the property as their home, according to the National Association of REALTORS
Here are four key things to do when staging your home, so you can sell for a higher price. This is just some of what I do when staging homes for my Fairfield and Westchester clients.
Neutral Paint Colors
One of the goals of staging is to get your potential Buyer to think about how they would decorate to suit their likes and lifestyle. If your walls are painted colors very specific to your taste or what was considered the latest and greatest from years ago, you’ll benefit greatly from a paint job.
You want to give the buyer a palette they can work with and do not have to think about painting!
Fresh paint makes your home look clean and crisp and can hold its own next to any new build. Remember that redoing anything costs time and money. Buyers still prefer move-in-ready homes. Also, more money spent on projects once moved in will leave less money in their budget for the initial purchase.
Neutrals are best because they are the most agreeable to the largest number of people. That means more potential offers and more potential dollars in your pocket.
Here are two cheat sheets, you can download, that will help you pick a neutral paint:
New lighting can make a home look luxurious and current. Today’s fixtures aren’t just functional. They can be exceptionally beautiful and can often take center stage in a room. Think oversized fixtures, twin chandeliers, and modern materials.
Out-of-date fixtures make an out-of-date impression. Instead, get your Buyer excited with carefully chosen and well-designed lighting that you thoughtfully place in key areas. You always have the option to take these with you when you leave, as long as you inform your Buyer by writing it into your listing.
Back to first impressions, the first thing your Buyer is going to see, online and in person, is the front of your house. This is a great opportunity to set the stage. Make sure your beds are defined, weeded, and mulched. The entry is spotless and in excellent condition. Spider webs and dirt get trapped around the lights and door surround as buyers are waiting to get inside, they are taking mental notes of this- -so keep it spotless. Think about adding a new entry mat, soften with some pretty planters, update the lighting.
We tend to overlook things when we walk by them every day. Does your door need repainting and is the hardware old and scratchy? If so, perhaps purchase a keyless lock and if fresh paint is in order, select a color that will suit your house. In what condition is your walkway? Is your mailbox in good shape, or does it look like it got hit by a baseball bat? Look at the front of your house with fresh eyes and make the changes necessary to entice your potential Buyer.
Make your backyard a sanctuary and an extension of your living space. Keep your greenery neat and trim, removing any unattractive or dead plantings and replacing them with new ones. Everyone loves colorful flowers, so be sure to add some planters in strategic spots.
Create an atmosphere that will get your Buyer thinking about how they will be relaxing in your backyard. Space permitting, have a furniture grouping for dining and lounging with fresh cushions. If you don’t have an outdoor kitchen, have a grill. Lights, heaters, fire pits, and accessories, all add to the appeal.
Staging for sale has become the norm, not the exception, even in the current market. For the best chance to outperform the competition and sell for the highest possible price with the most favorable terms, stage your home. Remember, Buyers need to act quickly, and you'll likely get left behind if you don't.
Home staging brings in an 8-10% return on investment. A staged home spends 73% less time on the market than a non-staged home. Staging a home on the market increases the sale price of the home on average anywhere from 1-10% according to 50% of home real estate agents.