If you’re planning to sell your home, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of home staging. Used to set your home apart from the competition, house staging is a handy way to get the attention of potential buyers as they search online and get them thinking of the possibilities when they come to view it.
But what exactly is home staging, and how can you make it work for you?
What Is Home Staging?
The fundamental principles of home staging are to depersonalize the space and make it as appealing as possible to the largest number of people. It’s a process designed to ensure you can market your home to a wide variety of buyers, enabling you to get a great price when you sell.
Professional home stagers do this by blending interior design with marketing and psychology to create welcoming yet functional spaces.
Is Home Staging Essential?
You don’t have to stage your home when selling it, but studies show that staged homes sell faster and for more money than those unstaged. This might not be important in a seller’s market, but if you’re selling in a buyer’s market, it’s worth doing all you can to stand out from the crowd.
A well-staged home is more likely to catch house hunters’ eye while browsing online listings but can also spark their imagination while viewing it in real life. Done right, staged homes highlight the numerous possibilities and potential each room has to offer.
Is It Worth Hiring a Home Stager?
Professional home stagers can work wonders with any property they visit, though the level of service they offer depends on the house in question.
For example, a relatively modern, clean, and functional house probably doesn’t need much work. In this case, a stager will offer basic consultancy and may suggest various tweaks and decor items that can give your home a bit more oomph. Meanwhile, if you plan to live in your home while it’s on the market, they’ll need to factor that in and provide you with an occupational staging report.
Either way, a stager will visit your home early in the listing process. They’ll typically tour the property before giving you their full staging report, which details the various tasks, such as cleaning and repairs, needed before listing your house for sale. Finally, they can also rent out furniture and decor to help you present your home while it’s on the market.
How Much Does It Cost to Stage a Home?
Prices vary considerably depending on several factors. Consultancy fees typically start at around $200 but can be higher. Meanwhile, if you plan to rent furniture and decor, this can soon cost upwards of $2,000. Generally speaking, it’s more expensive to stage a vacant home, with prices starting at around $2,500 per month.
How to Go About Staging a House
There are plenty of things you can do yourself when staging your home. From cleaning and decluttering to repairs and renovations, you can save a lot of money by taking care of these things yourself. If you’ve got an eye for design, you might even forgo the professionals altogether. However, if you’re stuck for ideas, it’s worth having a consultation, during which a What is a home stager? While some sellers use DIY tactics to stage their homes,... More can offer their professional perspective and highlight things you might have missed.
Whichever route you decide to take, here are some essential things to keep in mind:
1. Start Early
Staging a home is a time-consuming process, and many sellers make the mistake of thinking they can get it all done over a single weekend. In reality, you’ll typically need at least a few weeks to clean, pack and renovate properly.
Your first task is removing as much clutter as possible from your home. The idea is to leave a blank canvas for potential buyers. If you leave it cluttered, it’s much more difficult for them to envision your house as their home.
You can pack items away to go to your new home or sell or donate the things you don’t want. Either way, aim to clear as many surfaces and remove as much stuff as possible, leaving only the bare essentials behind.
Carrying on from the previous point now is also the time to remove your personal items and break the attachment you have to your home. Pack away all your family photos, clothes, and any other items that stand out as yours.
4. Move Your Pets to a Pet Hotel
If you’re arranging viewings and open houses, it’s a good idea to move your pets out of the home a week or so in advance. Not only does this give you time to clean up after them and remove any animal odors, but it’s also less stressful for your pets to only move once rather than being relocated every time you have a viewing.
If this isn’t possible, you can also find apps to help you find local pet sitters as and when you need them.
5. Deep Clean
With a clutter-free house, now is the time to start cleaning. You’ll want to give it a really good, deep clean, taking care to remove (not just cover up) any foul odors. Think about steam cleaning your carpets, vacuuming from top to bottom, and scrubbing any stubborn stains. Washing your curtains and upholstery can also work wonders.
A clean home is great, but a functional one will sell for more. Now is the time to repair any of the annoying issues you’ve been living with all these years. From leaky taps to squeaky hinges and creaking floorboards, take time to fix anything that might bother people as they walk around your home.
With everything in ship shape, you can now redecorate as a final touch. You might not need to paint every room, but it’s worth ensuring your home has a mostly neutral palette. So, remove any bold color schemes and instead aim to create a blank canvas.
This way, the new owners can put their own stamp on things. Otherwise, you might wait a long time to find a buyer who shares your taste. Now is also an excellent time to replace fixings such as old door handles and light fittings.
The next step is to play around with each room, rearranging the furniture in an attempt to make the most of the available space. Ideally, you want each room to look as large as possible while remaining comfortable and inviting. Use natural light to your advantage and install mirrors to magnify and enlarge your rooms.
At this point, it’s a good idea to try and give each room a specific purpose. An empty room may be a blank canvas, but one with carefully placed furniture can really spark the imagination. Regarding spare rooms, think about who you’re trying to sell to. If you’re targeting families, creating an extra bedroom is a great idea, while a home office might better suit young professionals or retirees.
9. Create Incredible Curb Appeal
Finally, ensure that potential buyers don’t just drive on by. Get your front lawn nice and tidy with trimmed grass and well-maintained borders, complete with potted plants and flowers. Keep your driveway in good repair, and fix any other exterior issues, like broken fences or peeling paint.
10. Take Photos and Arrange Viewings
Now, all you need to do is take some high-quality photos for your listing. It’s worth hiring a professional for this, and you might also consider a video or virtual tour. Finally, prepare for viewings, ensuring potential buyers can explore the entire home.