House staging is a process where a seller stages or prepares a home for sale in order to make the best impression upon potential buyers. 

Many of the staging tips and techniques are common sense.  The challenge that many home sellers face is living in a home with their family and pets while the home is for sale.  There are studies that have shown staged homes sell quicker and for higher prices. 

View this beautifually appointed home. MLS 235334.

There’s the 3-second rule, and the 30-second rule and both impact how quickly you sell your house. Potential buyers will give your house 3 seconds in a photo and 30 seconds in person to decide if they like it. This means you have to impress, fast.  Home staging, whether you hire someone, or do it yourself is key.  We hear most about getting the inside ready. No clutter, neutral colors and as few personal effects as possible.

However, staging starts on the outside. That’s the first impression, and it’s easy to make it a good one. So cut the grass, trim the hedges, rake those leaves, sweep the sidewalks, clean out the carport and power-wash the driveway. Hardly anyone wants to live in the most unkempt house on the block.

Tips for staging:

Make a Great First Impression – Realtors often talk about “curb appeal.” Homes with it sell more quickly and those without it can languish on the market longer, further eroding the price buyers are willing to pay. Many Buyers know the house is ‘the one’ when they see it the very first time.  For this reason, doing what it takes to get your house in selling-shape is one of the most important factors if you want to get close to your asking price or sell as quickly as possible.

Clean – The property must be extremely clean inside and out.  Areas to focus on are kitchens and bathrooms inside and the front yard and entry outside…a home for sale can never be too clean. 

Think spacious – People often move because they want more room, so make your house feel as spacious as possible. Closets should be half-full, and you should be able to see the bottom of the closet. Show people a jam-packed closet, and they’ll think it’s too small for them, too. Similarly, bedrooms should contain only a bed, nightstand and dresser — or perhaps a comfy reading chair in the master bedroom. Want to make the master bedroom feel even larger? Swap out the king-size bed for a queen-size bed.  When possible, allow the corners of a room to be visible. 

Balance – When staging a particular room, it’s essential to have a good balance of hard surfaces, such as a coffee-table top, and soft surfaces, like a carpet. If you have hardwood floors but no rugs, it’s too hard, so you want to add a rug, for example.

See your home as a Buyer would – Look at your home from the doorways since would-be buyers will get their first impression of each room from the doorway, homeowners should use that perspective to plan and evaluate their staging.  Make homebuyers experience your house the way you want them to.  The front door, porch and entry area is where Buyers will linger as they wait to enter the home.  This is where you want to wow them now…make sure the paint is a creamy neutral and fresh, and the flooring looks great.  This is a great opportunity here in Hawaii to take advantage of the wide variety of tropical flowers available. Fresh flowers work great as centerpieces in rooms or where you want buyers to focus in a room and they work especially well in the entryway.

Brighten and Neutralize – Light definitely sells, allowing more natural light into the home helps, and if you have dark colors on the walls, painting them an nice neutral color is the ideal, in addition light colors will make a small room look larger — an objective for the home Seller, since space is valuable commodity when you are selling a home.  When the Buyer looks at the home, they’re making a mental list of what needs to be done to it. You want to eliminate that list.  It helps to paint dark or brightly colored walls a light neutral shade — a color most everyone could feel comfortable living with. Painting can be one of the most economical ways to get your house in selling shape.  Lighten up; you want as much light to come in as possible. You want people to come in and say, ‘I could live here. It’s nice and bright.’

Depersonalize – Many of today’s Buyers wants to move into a Pottery Barn home.

When you look in a magazine or a catalog, there’s no clutter in those pictures. That’s not the way we live, but it’s how Pottery Barn and companies like them sell furniture — and how you can help sell your home.  The first thing you do when selling a home is to remove as many unnecessary objects as possible. Tchotchkes on the mantelpiece, boxes piled in closets, the clutter of daily living that lands on the kitchen counters — out it goes. Streamline the kitchen counters, too, you can have a coffeepot, but put away the toaster and the toaster oven. You don’t need it. You want sleek, clean lines. Moreover, you want the Buyers to say, ‘Wow, look at the counter space.’  Remove everything in your home that marks it as yours, a potential Buyer needs to be able to visualize themselves in your home and you want to make it as easy to do so as possible. Another name sometimes used for staging is blanding, now is the time to sell your space, not your personal tastes, because you never know what may turn off would-be buyers.  It helps to appeal to a broad audience.

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