Set the “Stage” for Successful Home Selling
Ever walk into a furniture store and see those beautifully staged rooms that just make you want to say, “I’ll take it all”. The successful home retailers from high- end stores like Ethan Allen to bargain superstores like Ikea, all merchandise their goods in a manner that leaves the guesswork out. They pair perfectly coordinated rugs and pillows with the sofas, add occasional tables and even lamps to create an entire space that makes you want to put your feet up and call it a day. On the flipside, other stores, usually not as well known, place their furniture in a haphazard manner scattered throughout the store with no rhyme or reason leaving you confused, anxious and saying “get me out of here”. Well, staging your home correctly and for your target market can have the same positive effect on a prospective buyer while a house with a poor furniture plan and inappropriate furnishings can have a devastating outcome.
There are many steps to staging a home successfully and only a professional can do it effectively and in a cost efficient manner. However, here is a list of a few things that sellers can do to give them an edge on the competition.
1. Curb Appeal
If they keep driving by… they will never buy!
If the exterior of your home looks like no one cares about it, a prospective buyer will think the same of the inside and say “No thanks” and keep driving without ever giving your property a chance. Doing small things as simple as changing that rusty mailbox, a fresh coat of paint on the front door and some new shiny house numbers can make all the difference. And don’t forget those untrimmed hedges or grass. Look at your property from across the street and ask yourself, “Does your exterior look inviting? Does it reflect the same care and attention you have given the interior?” The answer should be “YES!”
One mans junk is not always another mans treasure. Enough said! But I will elaborate. No one wants to have to look past toys, books or anything else that shouldn’t be on the floor in order to see your beautiful hardwood floors. Nor should a prospective buyer have to push aside your collection of coffee mugs from around the world (no offense) to see the color of your countertops. If you have precious collections, pack them up as you will have to eventually anyway when you sell. Just leave the bare necessities. In this case, less is so much more. Too much stuff is distracting and takes away from the architecture, which is really what your selling, right? Which leads us to the next helpful hint.
3. Find a Focal Point
Every room needs a focal point for impact. Find the most positive part of every room and make the most of it. For example: the magnificent mantle in your living room or the beautiful bay window in your kitchen. By focusing on the positive you prevent wanderings eyes from getting stuck on the small stuff they aren’t so crazy about.
4. Color Palette
You may love red and your husband may love hunter green, but your prospective buyer may think it just looks like “Christmas”. Color is a very personal choice and evokes very different emotions in all. So, keep it neutral. This does not mean it has to be boring. Choosing the right hue (that means lightness/darkness or saturation) of a neutral color to balance the other elements in the room is key. For example, if you have very dark wood floors you don’t want to go too light with your paint color or else the contrast will be jarring. Think balance. Having a paint-friendly house is one less thing the new owners will have to think of doing and this makes for a sweeter sale.
Realtors and designers alike do not like to show houses or designs on rainy grey days. The reason? It does not showcase their job in the best light. And it’s a proven fact that people don’t make positive decisions on these days. Obviously, we cannot control the weather, but there are a few tricks to bring some sunshine into your home even when the sun isn’t shining. First, make sure you have enough lighting to start. There should be a variety of lighting in every room. Utilize overhead lighting, table lamps, floor lamps and accent lighting (for your special areas where artwork hangs or above your mantle). Use light bulbs that emit a warm glow to mimic natural light. Stay away from fluorescent! Be careful of energy efficient bulbs that can give off a bluish light, the earth will forgive you and you will be selling your house so fast anyway that it wont make a difference.
Natural light is best, so if you have it –flaunt it! Clean the windows, pull back drapes, open the blinds and let the sun shine in!
Now back to those furniture stores. The staged stores give the furniture a sense of worth and value. It says the store cares enough about their product to represent in the best way possible. If you present your home in this manner it will say that you’ve cared for this home, loved it and want to sell. It’s a gesture that puts you and your property in the best light possible.
Visit LeConte Realty at 200 Boulevard, Hasbrouck Heights NJ or at LeConteRealty.com for all your real estate needs. List your home with us and receive a free home staging consultation with our in house designer Andrea Ackermann.
Get a personalized estimate on the value of your home.