Staging Your Home for Buyers
Staging your home is exactly what it sounds like – ‘setting the stage’ for potential buyers. The goal is for the buyers to walk through the door and imagine themselves living in the home.
How your home appears in photos can determine whether a buyer skims over your listing or schedules a showing. According to a 2017 National Association of Realtors study, “Among buyers who used the internet during their home search, 89% of buyers found photos … very useful.” Listing photos provides buyer’s a highlight of what your home has to offer- and first impressions are everything! Staging your home will put you ahead of the competition and can potentially provide a quicker and easier sale. Professional staging can be costly. In the Akron, Ohio area the cost of staging a listing ranges from $150 for a consultation to $2,000 or more with additions. Staging a home yourself is feasible and more cost-efficient. Here is your step-by-step guide on how to stage your home.
Step 1: Cleaning
Deep cleaning is top priority in the home staging process. A clean home will sell much faster, Ginger Brokaw of Town Residential Real Estate tells Tim McKeough in the Market Ready column of the New York Times.
“It really does pay off,” Brokaw states, referring to deep cleaning and staging a home. “I’ve seen the response of people walking into a home that hasn’t been cleaned, staged, or prepared for showings, and one that has… (the difference is) night and day.”
A home that is move-in ready is more appealing to this generation of homebuyers. A deep clean will help portray the home as move-in-ready. A deep clean will consist of things you may not do on a regular basis, such as:
- Dusting baseboards & trim
- Scrubbing out bathroom stains
- Residue around the toilet
- Bathtub buildup, soap scum
- Re-caulking around the tub and sink
- Wiping down the inside of cabinets and appliances
- Removing food stains
- Cleaning stains and smells out of the carpet (You may overlook the wine stain on the carpet from 2010 but the buyers inspecting your home will not – so deep clean your carpets!)
- Wash and dust furniture
- Layers of dust can show up in photos
Cleaning is an essential step in the staging process. However, cleaning may not be easy or feasible for everyone. For those who do not have the time, are in poor health, need some help, or just don’t like to clean, hiring a professional cleaning service might be a better option. We would love to introduce you to our favorites.
Step 2: Appeal to all the senses
When preparing to list your home, you want to appeal to all of the home-buying senses. The first thing that hits a buyer in the face is the smell of your home. You do not want your house to have an unappealing odor. Bad odors include, but are not limited to:
- Dirty Litter Box
- Moth Balls
- Animals (some people have allergies)
- Bad air fresheners
Deep cleaning can help improve your home’s odor. Kilz Paint also kills strong odors. Ask your realtor, your best friend, or a trusted family member to tell you what your house smells like.
Step 3: Declutter and Organize
Similar to cleaning, decluttering your home can make all of the difference when taking listing photos. Remove unnecessary clutter. For example, the pile of mail on the dining room table should be put away. The stack of Amazon boxes in the corner should be dismantled and recycled. Counters should only have a few items if any. This will make your home appear larger, cleaner, and more open to potential buyers when they come through.
Lauren Patrick, broker of Vincent Patrick Realty, stated:
“When you live in a home it is 80 percent full, when you sell a home it should only be 20 percent full. If you are moving anyways, start packing! The buyers should be able to envision their stuff in the home, not yours.”
Decluttering helps the buyer see your home clearly for all it has to offer.
Step 4: Remove Personal Items and Family Photos
When someone is looking to buy your home, they want to feel like they could live there. Personal items and photos could create a mental block for a buyer trying to imagine living in the home. We suggest putting away family photos, and removing notes and mementos off of the fridge or corkboard. Think of any items associated with your family, hobbies, and events and remove them from view. Depersonalizing your space will help create a neutral feeling for buyers, and can make a huge difference in the sale of your home.
Step 5: Make Space Cohesive to the Eye
Cohesiveness in a home is a huge selling factor. Use color palettes to open up the space so that each room flows into the next. Choose a color palette that will continue throughout the whole home. If you are unsure of what colors work best, it never hurts to see what colors are trending. Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams, and PPG all chose a gray-green, also called Sage green as their 2022 color of the year. In other places, such as Southern Living, warm neutrals are more popular for 2022. Whatever color palette feels right to you, make sure it travels through each room. Additionally, opening up the space by removing excess furniture and other items can bring everything together quickly.
Staging your home is an important step in selling it. Putting in the effort provides satisfaction and potentially financial gain. Ask your realtor if they offer staging materials. Vincent Patrick Realty offers the basics of staging. Ask us about how we would stage your home today! 330-577-3546
National Association of REALTORS® 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Wilfrid Laurier University Scholars Commons @ Laurier. https://scholars.wlu.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1031&context=lib_pub.
Words Versus Pictures: Leveraging the Research on Visual Communication: https://scholars.wlu.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1031&context=lib_pub#:~:text=Pictures%20are%20not%20only%20more,in%20the%20brain%20(Paivio).
Market Ready – Q. Is there a particular cleaning regimen we should follow before opening our home to buyers?
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