Staged Homes Sell Faster – Statistics reflect that staged homes sell 30 to 50% faster in most areas. Remember that its also true that the longer a home is on the market the more likely it is that there will be a sales reduction. This thought has already crossed the buyer’s mind and they are looking to find out why … What’s wrong with this house?
Good First Impression – The first impression a home makes is more often than not the one the buyers walk away with.
It Doesn’t Take Long – It’s a well proven fact that buyers usually make up their mind in less than a minute on whether they want a home or not. With that in mind its critical that the outside of your home gets the same attention as the inside. If a buyer likes the home they are going to validate or reject that fact within the next 20 minutes. That 20 minutes is directly affected by the effort that went into staging (or not staging) the home.
Take Away The Guess Work - Staged homes help the buyers see themselves in it by appearing to be ready to move in. Buyers place a great deal of importance on this factor in light of all the other “work” that has to be accomplished in moving into a new home. A well staged home says … I’m ready for you!
Paint The Full Picture – The vast majority of buyers cannot visualize what a home can be. They only see what is in front of them and if its cluttered, dirty and outdated that’s all they see. Of if they can see what it can become the seller is going to be penalized in their mind for the work and cost it will take to get it into what they visualize it to be.
Beat The Competition – Staged homes just sell faster and for more money. Besides, agents love to show beautifully staged homes so you get more exposure. Staged homes have a competitive advantage over other homes that are not staged.
It Appraises Better - Appraisers see the home in a more positive light and are more likely to appraise the home higher than a similar one that is not staged.
Why Choose an AHS
The world of real estate is ever changing and never seems to remain constant for more than a brief period. But one thing has always been a constant – the home that is priced well and shows well generally sells well. No matter what the market conditions, how your home shows has a tremendous impact on the end result.
A key element in the selling scenario is how well a home for sale has been staged. The art of home staging has come into its own and has become “the” buzz word in the industry. But what does staging involve? What should be staged? How much should be done? How much is too much? How is it done to get the best results? All these questions and more should be on the mind of today’s sellers. The last question is always … Where can I find the answers?
The answer is the professional real estate agent that has taken the time and effort to become an Accredited Home-Staging Specialist (AHS). Agents with the AHS designation have a full understanding to the staging process and are fully equipped to answer those questions. Not only that, they have the tools to help you develop, budget and implement an effective staging plan. Their goal is to achieve your two most important objectives: 1) Sell your home for the best possible price and 2) Sell your home quickly.
Real estate professionals are expert facilitators of the real estate transaction – from beginning to end. Those agents that have earned the AHS Designation recognize the impact that staging can have on the sale of a home and have prepared themselves to provide that value added service for their clients. Who better to work through the issues of staging with you than the one that is assuming responsibility for the marketing of your home? Equipped with the knowledge and skills to ensure that your home is fully prepared to show itself in the best possible light, the AHS real estate professional will ensure you have an edge on the market.
Tips for Home Sellers
But, if your agent seems unwilling or unable to assist you in staging your home or if you plan to sell your own house, FSBO (for sale by owner), here are some tips and suggestions, starting with the cheapest and least labor intensive and working up to what might be prohibitive on either or both counts. But then, if you are clever, you might find a way to do even the most spectacular staging on the cheap. Tips on how to fix your house up to sell.
Let In The Light – The last thing buyers want to see is a home with all of the doors and windows covered. Let the light in and it’s also a good idea to open a window or two and let in some fresh air. It’s much better than some heavy room de-odorizer.
Your Window Should Sparkle – Now that you have the windows open be sure they are sparkling clean. Buyers are very interested in what view they have from every room and if they are constantly looking out of dirty windows the impression isn’t going to be a good one.
Attend To Your Yard – Curb appeal starts the moment the buyers drive up to your house. While you may have gotten used to overgrown bushes, shrubs and trees, you can bet the buyers haven’t. Everything in the yard needs to be trimmed, watered, manicured and living. Clean up all that “stuff” you have lying around the yard and that includes sports equipment, boats, trailers, toys and the like. If your lawn furniture is not in great condition you need to paint it, replace it or get rid of it. And while you are at it, add some color by placing some annuals in planters in the back as well as in the front.
De-Clutter - This one is simple – de-clutter everywhere; inside and outside. All that personal memorabilia you have lying around, posted on the bulletin board, attached to the refrigerator or sitting on the piano … pack it up. Anything that is taking up space is a potential candidate. Your job is to make your home look as big as possible and make the buyers tour through it as easy as possible. You want them to be able to visualize their own belonging in your home.
Deep Clean The Kitchen & Bathrooms – These two areas of the house need to sparkle. Just cleaning up isn’t going to be good enough – you need to “deep clean”. Deep cleaning means all counters, floors, cabinets and all the fixtures in the bathrooms. Nothing is a greater turn-off than dirt and in these two areas it’s a deal killer. In the bathrooms consider new fixtures or countertops and perhaps a redoing the shower and tub enclosures. If new fixtures are not in the budget you may want to consider having them refinished. Think about having all the tile steam cleaned and make sure all grout is free from grease and dirt.
Hardwood Floors - Be certain that you hardwood floors don’t look like they have gone through the war. A great selling feature is to have them all refinished or at least given a great shine. This is not a job for the amateur so it might be a good place to expend part of the budget. Beautiful hardwood floors are a huge drawing card.
To Paint Or Not To Paint – A fresh coat of paint on the outside or inside is an excellent way of freshening up your home. Just a couple caveats: 1) Use neutral colors and watch any accent painting as you can be sure your taste is not going to be the same as the buyers and 2) This is an area that may be better left up to the professionals. Sometimes sellers will elect to take on this responsibility and not realize just how big a task it can be until they get into it.
What Furniture To Use – Take a long and realistic look at your furniture and be sure that it isn’t detracting from the way you want your home to look. If need be – borrow or rent the furniture you need and put yours in storage. The bottom line here is the same as elsewhere … less is best. Remember you are putting your best foot forward and the goal is to stage your home “for sale” not for “living in.”
Fixed & Repair. Buyers expect the home they purchase to be in good repair – they are not looking for perfection. On the other hand dripping faucets, broken windows, leaking roof's, damaged walls and doors, etc, beg the question in the buyer’s mind … What else is broken or doesn’t work? Take the time to complete all minor repairs and ensure everything is in working order. If there is a button, switch or a knob that controls something you can expect a buyer to pull, push or twist it and it better work.
Get Rid Of Odors - This one is simple. Remember that some buyers will not even walk through a home with cigarette or pet odors. They leave and go to the next house. It’s best take the time and cost to have the drapes, carpets and furniture professionally cleaned. If there is a smoker in the home, make sure to air it out and allow no smoking inside while the home is on the market. It’s also a good idea not to cook when showing the home. What is a natural odor to your family may be a repulsive one to the buyers. This goes for the pets as well – remove all of their bedding, food, litter boxes, etc. and ensure plenty of fresh air in the rooms they inhabit. Strong pet odors are an absolute deal killer because most buyers think they can never be eliminated.
Stage a House in 5 Steps
AHS Course Shows You How To Quickly Stage a House In 5 Steps
The course gives you a step-by-step process for staging a house. It takes you from the outside and moves you through the house room by room. Each room is covered with a comprehensive checklist so everything is easy to follow. You will be able to give a homeowner a complete action plan to get their home staged to sell fast.
The AHS course goes through a logical 5-step sequence for staging a home both inside and out with each step broken down for every room. You’ll learn the do’s and don’ts plus the best way to deal with the client to avoid the potential for hurt feelings...
Step 1 – De-Cluttering
This is the single most important action you can take in preparing the home for sale. Your goal is to remove as much visible clutter and turn disorder into order. This includes removing any excess and unnecessary furniture so the rooms look bigger.
Guiding your client through the de-cluttering process and identifying what items should be removed is a delicate situation and one that you need to handle with great sensitivity. The AHS course teaches you exactly what to do for each room and how to best handle the client during the process.
Step 2 – De-personalize
You will learn why it’s important to remove everything that provides any information about who lives in the house. That means removing all photo frames, clearing off all information from notice boards, kid’s schedules, invitations and photographs, religious symbols and even prescription drugs.
These items only act as distractions for the house hunter and you don’t want to lose the naturally curious prospective buyer to a display of family photographs. And perhaps more importantly, you don’t want to expose your seller’s personal information for any potential illegal use.
Step 3 – Repair
The AHS course will show you how to find problems with a listing that need repair. The kind of repairs we are referring to are what the eye can see…not major electrical or plumbing issues. We’re talking about leaky faucets, broken tiles, damaged hardware, etc.
A home that is in a good state of repair indicates to potential buyers that the house has been well maintained and is not hiding something that will cost them down the road. It’s important that you learn how to take each room step-by-step and look for items that need repair. The AHS course gives you easy to follow checklists that make this step a no-brainer.
Step 4 – Cleaning
The rule here is clean and then clean some more! This is without a doubt most critical to your success. Consider the impact to a potential buyer that gets the impression they will have to spend days and days cleaning a dirty home before they can even unpack a single box. Dirt puts buyers off faster than anything!
So what's the correct way to make sure this happens? The AHS course teaches you several ways to address this step with your client. The most important thing to remember is to be delicate. It’s very easy to offend your client if this is handled badly.
Step 5 - Decorating
Decorating is accomplished mainly from repositioning the existing furniture, revamping certain pieces, adding accent pillows, replacing or adding art, and maybe incorporating other accessories. The AHS course will show you exactly how to do this and also give you resources that you can use if you need to add some items.
The hardest part about decorating is creating symmetry. The AHS course gives you several easy to learn strategies to ensure that every room is decorated correctly.
Why does Home Staging boost the selling price of my home?
Emotion is a big part of the home buying process and the impact of how your home is staged plays a big roll in affecting those emotions.
Does Home Staging really make that big a difference?
Most buyers can't look past unattractive or disorganized rooms or figure out how their furniture might look in an empty room. When a home is staged it creates a fantasy environment that helps the visualization process.
So if it’s just de-cluttering then why do I need a stager?
Can you effectively step back an view your home through the eyes of the buyer? Can you really distance yourself from your comfortable living environment to create an effective selling environment? Can you really look at your home with a very critical eye, noting everything that is wrong? It goes way beyond just de-cluttering; that’s just a piece of the staging puzzle. It’s very difficult to set aside your emotions and truly be objective. You're emotionally involved in your home and the contents so it's hard to be completely objective. It's hard to see your collection of beloved family photos the way a stranger will when they're trying to imagine themselves living in your home. A home-stager is able to provide you with a very clear third-party view and guide you accordingly.
Is Home Staging really that big of a help in selling my home?
A recent study asked several professional home stagers this very question and their answers were all very similar. It’s hard enough to compete in a balanced market but in a buyer’s market you have to work even harder to get a competitive edge over the other similar houses for sale. Home owners need to do everything possible, leaving no stone unturned to take out the competition.
Why spend money on a house I'm selling?
Staging a home and the costs the go along with it are a great investment to ensure that you are getting a higher return when you sell your home. Look at it this way – you are not putting money in to your old home, you are making an investment that will give you a great return. Why would you try and sell your single largest investment without first making it look as appealing as possible?