With a robust housing market in Colorado and around the nation, several folks are jumping on the bandwagon by selling their homes with hopes of a good profit. Undoubtedly, an upmarket is always helpful when selling a home, yet, it is still important to make certain you are doing everything on your part to maximize profits. One of the best ways to secure a top price, and potentially attract an offer quickly, is by having a home that is staged well.
STAGED HOMES PERFORM BETTER
According to stagedhomes.com, homes that are staged well sell 83% faster. They also report that 81% of buyers said a staged home is easier to visualize as their own, and 52% admit they are willing to pay more when they see a staged home.
In the past, staging a home was thought to be for the house models or higher end properties. Now staging has become so common, nearly all realtors recommend it. The question remains: do you stage the home yourself or hire a professional?
HIRING A PROFESSIONAL
The cost of having your home professionally staged varies greatly based on your needs and the size of your home. On average, staging costs $3000 – $5000. Accredited Staging Professionals report 95% of staged homes sell in 11 days or less and typically sell for 17% more. Several thousand dollars may seem like too much to invest in your home to make it look nice, but with the high chance of your home selling quickly and for more money, it may be more than worth it!
- Find an Accredited Staging Professional (National)
- Lifestyle Design by D’Alessio Interiors (Colorado Springs)
Although paying to have your home staged well is financially beneficial, there will always be those who can’t bring themselves to spend money for staging or they prefer to do the work themselves. For those DIY-ers, we offer a few suggestions below.
DIY STAGING TIPS
The whole point of staging is to create a space that connects with people when they walk in the door. The moment you list your home on the market, in a sense, it is no longer your home. Now you have to transition a space that was livable for your family into a “lifestyle vignette” for someone else’s imagination. Let’s start with the basics:
- Deep clean every nook in the house.
- Declutter (rent a storage unit if need be.)
- Replace or shampoo carpets
- Fresh paint (neutral)
- Brighten and lighten (remove heavy window coverings and replace with sheers, etc.)
- Remove odors (bathe pets, move litter boxes to laundry or garage, no smoking indoors, etc)
After a good cleaning and de-cluttering, you are ready to start thinking about actually “staging”. There are several simple solutions to liven up your home for a presentation that won’t be a burden to your pocketbook.
Get creative and remember that “less is more” when it comes to staging a home. Small changes make a big difference! As you begin, imagine creating a place that has the feeling of a hotel, a spa, or getaway. Fresh, clean, relaxing…you want to engage the senses, in a good way, of the people who will walk in your door.
- Old, plastic blinds and dark, heavy curtains.
- Carpet dents left by furniture (Tip: a carpet rake or an ice cube placed in the dent will spring the pile back to life)
- Drab, faded, spotted, frayed towels.
- Family photos
- Extra and bulky furniture.
- Clutter from shelves and counters. Don’t forget the closets!
- Worn out lamp shades
- Dated wallpaper and accessories.
- Sheers hanging from above the windows (create height)
- Movable colors: After you paint your neutral walls, use colors in pillows, vases, candles, or flowers to make a bold statement.
- Dramatic fabrics as accents or to cover dated bedding.
- Fresh flowers or twigs in a vase
- Updated lamp shades
- Boutique shopping bags displayed on closet shelves: Pick out your favorite local shops that have cute shopping bags with logos, fill them with tissue, and display in the closets (adorable!).
- A tray of goodies or individually wrapped snacks/candy for prospective buyers.
- A letter of what you loved most about living in the home/neighborhood, and/or display photos of the views or other attractive places near your home.
- Fresh towels (from the dollar store!) in the bathrooms and kitchen.
NEXT STEPS: STAGING WELL
A professional can take a drab space and transform it into a visually attractive room in ways we didn’t think was possible. There is definitely a talent that goes beyond moving a few pieces of furniture and displaying a vase of flowers. While it would be difficult to replace the job of a professional, we will cover more ideas to help you take your home staging from the basics and “OK”, to well done.
SCENTS: A big mistake by many people is to light lots of candles to mask odors or “make the house smell nice”. You DO want to have a scent in your home, but avoid strong odors, air fresheners, essential oil diffusers, fabric sprays, etc. Remove bad odors first and then add light scents such as vanilla, cinnamon, or citrus. Some folks are sensitive to smells, so stick with something subtle. (I even recommend staying away from florals. There are some allergic to rose scents, for example.) Even essential oils can cause a strong, negative reaction from people. Other good scents would be an aroma that smells like someone was just baking in the kitchen, like apple pie, snickerdoodle, etc.
LIFESTYLE SPACES: The most important spaces to stage are the Living Room, Kitchen, Master bedroom, Dining Room, and Bathrooms. Invest a little money to put updated linens and accessories in these rooms. Think how people live today. Including creating a place for the work-from-home family. 24% of the population did some or all work from their home in 2015. Every year that number increases by 10-20%.
Also, this would be a good time to follow current design trends. Pick a few items that reflect top trends and incorporate into the decor. In the master bedroom, invest in a new, luxury bed set.
Define the space and create one focal point in each room. The use of bold fabrics or towels can break up the monotony of a neutral room. Use tall bookcases or vases with twigs to bring height to the space.
OUTDOOR PLACES: Pay attention to your outdoor areas and capitalize on the views you have. Clean up your porch and patios and don’t forget to stage those as well. If you are selling during the cold season, display photos of your outdoor spaces as they look in the summer (if available).
Rugs, mirrors, interesting side tables, and more all add to the interest and draw of your home. To save money, hunt through your local Goodwill or other thrift stores for inexpensive finds.
Even with great tips and resources to stage a home, there is definitely an art to it. Obviously, a professional will give you the best return on your money. Either way, no matter if you hire a professional or choose to DIY-it, your efforts will pay off!
Need more ideas or help with selling your Southern Colorado home? I’d love the opportunity to meet with you and discuss the possibility of serving you in this way.