Importance of Prepping and Home Staging for Sellers
House hunting is an emotional process. Buyers prepare for marathon home viewing sessions armed with their lists and descriptions of a dream home, but the reality is falling in love with a particular property will have little to do with these lists. To enhance buyers’ visceral connection to a home for sale, sellers need to be proactive about preparing their home. The property should grab potential buyers and lead them to their “I could live here” moment.
Basic Preparation: De-cluttering
Stuff tends to expand according to the space available, and nowhere is this truer than in a home occupied by property owners for a long time. De-cluttering is a painful and complicated task because it involves discarding, donating or storing treasures accumulated over a lifetime, but it must be done.
Look at every piece of furniture and decorative item and segregate those that should be discarded. Make sure to get rid of this pile quickly. Arrange to have donations carried away sooner rather than later, and pack away items that are designated for storage. De-cluttering will open up the space and make staging the home easier.
Top to Bottom Cleaning
Dirt happens no matter how regular the maintenance schedule was for the property. Buyers are turned off by dust bunnies in the corners and any hints of a pest infestation. Engage the services of professional cleaners if you have to, but the house must look clean, smell fresh and feel inviting. Fresh paint and new flooring will root out decades of accumulated dust and odors, and potential buyers will sense the clean factor within the first 10 seconds of entering a home.
De-personalizing the Décor
Buyers who can be enticed into seeing themselves as the new homeowners will arrive at a buying decision sooner. This is difficult to accomplish if the property for sale displays your unique and personal flourishes, which may include that extensive collection of taxonomic marvels. It is difficult for buyers to imagine themselves as the new lords of the manor with life size portraits of the seller’s family staring at them. So pack up the personal photos, precious memorabilia and store anything that could be viewed as offensive.
Emphasize Space and Light
Homes for sale are staged to focus on their best features. Natural light appeals to almost everyone, so use the home’s floor-to-ceiling windows as a focal point. Replace heavy drapes, clean windows until they shine and use furniture and décor sparingly to show off the space.
The psychology behind minimalist decorating in home staging is to create an environment where potential buyers begin to imagine their own furniture in the house. When they whip out a tape measure or start diagramming on the seller-provided floor plan, it is safe to assume that in their minds, buyers have taken ownership of the property.
The Magic of Mirrors
Mirrors are important devices in home staging. Not only do they add light and expand visual space, mirrors are also visual aids that will help buyers see themselves in the home. Strategic placement of mirrors in the foyer will have an impact on buyers’ perception as they enter and leave the property.
Home staging is a strategy that will sell your home sooner while getting the best price possible.