There are two rules when it comes to selling a home: price it well and make it look amazing. In order to catch the eye of Mr. or Mrs. Buyer, you will have to grasp the importance of home staging.
Staging and professional photos for online viewers leads to less time on the market and a higher sales price. In the National Association of REALTORS® 2017 Profile of Home Staging, 62 percent of sellers say that home staging decreases the time a home is on the market. In the same report, 44 percent of buyer agents reported that staging a home increases its value by up to 10 percent.
Felicity Gardner, a co-owner of the Gardner Group Luxury Home Creations, knows what it takes to create an environment where buyers can envision a home as their own the moment they pull into the driveway. She shares five tips that can quickly enhance the beauty of a listing and move it off the market faster and at top dollar.
#1: Enhance Curb Appeal
In Felicity’s experience, buyers won’t want to go inside a home if they don’t like what they see from the car. Create a good first impression by power-washing siding, walkways and windows, and repainting or staining the deck. In the winter months, remove snow and ice from the driveway; in the springtime, mow the lawn and plant flowers. Consider a new front door and doormat, as well as a potted plant on the porch.
#2: Make it sparkle.
Dust surfaces, polish floors and shine the windows. “I think this is a really inexpensive way to make your home look its best,” Felicity says.
This includes removing unnecessary furniture because each piece “needs room to breathe,” Felicity says. Clear floors and surfaces to create the feeling of more space. Tidy closets, leaving 20 to 30 percent of open room and adequate storage – a common top requirement on buyers’ priority lists.
#4: Clean, comfortable, contemporary and fresh.
According to Felicity, furniture and accessories should be all of these things. Choose a few large and colorful focal points. For darker homes, use materials like chrome, silver and crystal to give the illusion of space and light. “And also,” she says, “fresh flowers can bring a space to life and add a feeling of occupation.”
Felicity stresses the importance of removing family photos, hunting trophies and celebrity or political fanfare. “If you have a photograph with a top Republican leader and the person looking at your home is a Democrat, they might not see themselves living in your home as readily.”