Home Staging Tips
Much has been written about the power of home staging to visually present a home at its best for purpose of a quicker and more profitable sale. What a buyer sees in the first 10 seconds of their tour makes an incredible impact on the buyer’s impression of the property. If their first instinct is negative, they will subconsciously look for flaws in the home to support their hypothesis. If they like what they see in the first 10 seconds, they’ll look for reasons to buy the house.
But sight is just one of our senses at play here. Let’s not neglect sound, touch, smell, taste and that elusive sixth sense.
Sound – Road noise? Eerie silence? Both can be a distraction. Playing appropriate music during showings and open houses can help. Need ideas? Jazz and classical are good contenders — make the selection pleasant and happy sounding. Base your selection on your target buyers’ demographic. Be sure to play it at a background noise level. After all, there is no need to rock the house, just sell it!
Touch/Feel – Is the home too cold? Too warm? Either way the buyer will feel a negative sense about the home and not want to stay long. Keep the home at a comfortable temperature at all times. Resist the temptation to set your programmable thermostat to save on heating or cooling costs. Home showings can happen at any time. This is a particular concern for homes listed in Arizona in the summer. When it’s 110+ degrees outside, keeping the air conditioning in your home on and at a comfortable temperature can make a different whether the prospective buyer wants to spend adequate time to view your home or not.
Smell – When it comes to homes if you can smell it, you can’t sell it. Be sure no animal smells exist. As an owner you will not smell your pet the same way the visitors to your home will. Let’s repeat again – be sure there are no animal smells. Same goes for smells from teenagers bedrooms. Be sure there are no left over gym clothes or other dirty clothing lying about. Be sure the laundry room smells fresh and clean. Kitchen smells also need to be monitored. If you do a lot of spicy, or other smelly cooking, take steps to clear the odors after cooking each time. Do not try and cover up smells with artificial candles and such. More and more buyers are allergic to these sorts of smells and having them in your house is a sure way to cause them to leave right way, without spending much time to look around.
De-clutter – Sometimes simple staging is possible by merely getting the home de-cluttered. Get rid of anything and everything that takes up space and has no real useful purpose. All those old magazines that you have been meaning to go through and clip articles from, if you must plan on saving them to move to your new home when the current one sells, box them all up and put them into storage. Take down the gallery of photos lining the walls. You want the potential home buyers looking at your home, not your family photos. Same is true for all the boxes of infrequently used items that are stacked up in the garage and closets and cupboards. Make your home look like a model home. As they say “less is often more”.
Clean – Clean like there is going to be a “white glove inspection”, because in reality that is sort of what the prospective buyer is going to do when they come to view the home. Clean the baseboards, corners, crevices as well as the basic areas. Make sure the bathrooms are spotless, as well as the kitchen. Be sure to clean the refrigerator and oven and stove. And don’t forget to tidy up the yard. While listed the home needs to be near spotless all the time — you never know when the perfect buyer will come along.
Getting Your Home Ready for Photos and a Virtual Tour
Good listing photos and/or a virtual can do a lot toward selling your home. With more than 90+% of all buyers looking at photos on the Internet before they ever go inside a home to see it in person, the photos used to help sell your home are very, very important. When your home is staged well to look appealing to the new buyer, and the photos are done appealingly, and/or a virtual tour that shows your home in its best light is part of the marketing, it can be a powerful tool.
Unfortunately, if your home isn’t camera ready when the tour photographer shows up, you could end up with photos that make potential Buyers run in the opposite direction. As they say, “you only have one chance to make a good first impression”.
Another area of concern to many sellers and buyers is Feng Shui. Good staging goes hand in hand with the philosophy of Feng Shui. Click here for more information about Feng Shui for real estate.