What is Home Staging?
Staging is the process of preparing your home for sale, regardless of price or location. When you place your home on the market for sale it becomes a product. Similar to a product on the shelf of your local store, the product has features and benefits as well as pluses or minuses, and competition.
Why should you stage your home? To compete with the competition in the marketplace you must be priced right and look better than other products. Your home is no different, it is one of many homes for sale and you must present it to the buyers in the best possible light. You should detail your house like you would detail your car if it were for sale.
Home Staging has proven to help sell homes faster and/or for more money. Based on a recent survey of over 1000 homes (55% vacant and 45% occupied) across Canada and the Continental US prepared for sale by an accredited Staging professional, it was found that Staged Homes spend 80% less time on the market and 94.6% of professionally Staged Homes sell on average in 33 days or less.
Very few people are vision people. A buyer will form an opinion within 90 seconds, and if they see a cluttered space that is not arranged very well, their mind shuts down. People cannot imagine what a room might look like. They need to see it. Buyers only know what they see, not what it is going to be. People just do not have the imagination to walk into a house and see their own things there. Buyers respond to visual stimulation. If it looks wonderful, they will think it will look just as wonderful when they move in. Since buyers often don’t have the vision of what a home could look like they usually pay more for the property when they see what they like.
Selling Vacant Homes.
Selling a vacant home will usually take twice as long (or more) to sell, and are the most important homes to professionally Stage. If a home is empty it echoes and gives a negative vibe. The following points should never be overlooked:
People Don’t Buy Houses, They Buy Homes. The number one reason a buyer purchases a home is because it "felt like home". It was warm, inviting and the buyer made an emotional connection with the home. When have you heard of an empty room described as warm and inviting? Sterile, cold and uninviting are the 3 most popular words to describe an empty room.
Without Furniture, There Is No Frame Of Reference. How big is the room? Without furniture it is incredibly difficult to tell the scale and size of a room. If a room looks dark, long and narrow it raises questions and they walk away. What is this room for? Many times a buyer can’t even tell if it’s the living room or the dining room in an unfurnished room. Don’t keep them quessing, it only distracts them from considering the home as a purchase.
When A Room Is Kept Empty, Buyers Focus On Negative Details. Can you imagine a brand new Mercedes without a paint job? Do you think people would notice the beautiful car or the missing paint job? It’s so much easier to notice the crack in the wall or the chip in the tile when there is nothing else to look at. Home Staging capitalizes on the positive aspects of a home, while de-emphasizing the negative aspects in order to position a home that will make an emotional connection with buyers.
The cost of staging your home is a lot less than you’re first price reduction. If your home sells faster it sells for more money, as it is a well known fact that the longer a home sits on the market it usually becomes "shopworn", causing buyers to believe something is amiss. My experience has been that the cost of Staging a home is recovered in a higher selling price and the seller usually receives from 2 times to 5 times his investment. If your Investment Advisor suggested he could double or triple your investment in 30 days, you would not hesitate to consider his recommendation.
Home Photos, Staging And Marketing
By now most people are aware that homebuyers start their search online. According to the National Association of Realtors that number is currently 87% and growing. And 80% of people using the Internet rate photographs as the most important feature of their online search. In fact, these days, with the large supply of homes available, most people see online photos as the easiest way to filter all the listings down to a manageable number.
The process of Staging a home and taking professional pictures go hand-in-hand. No matter how good the Photographer is, if the home does not present itself well it is hard to produce those "alluring" photographs. If a buyer sees a messy disorganized home or bad quality photos or no photos at all he may discount the property immediately, and look no further. A well Staged home looks far better in the marketing and advertising pictures, which predisposes a potential buyer to at least take a look. Once the buyer is in the home, the Staging of the entire home, every nook and cranny, becomes part of the emotional data base, often subliminally installed, for getting the buyers to purchase the well Staged property instead of the others on the market.