When it comes to putting a house up for sale, the process can get pretty complicated. Staging is one step that homeowners must take special care to do well.
We spoke with four real estate experts from Boulder Bay Realty, Realty Executives, Century 21 Alliance Group, and McColly to get their insight on what it takes to stage a home well and why it’s important. They all agreed that the way a house is staged can have a profound impact on how quickly the house sells and for how much.
Jeanne Sommer, owner and broker of Century 21 Alliance Group, explained that staging a home is especially important today.
“Staging makes a home look more desirable,” she said. “The buyer’s first impression, whether it be through an internet search or by previewing the home, is essential to what the seller is going to net from the sale.”
Sommer also made sure to point out that sellers should stage a home as early as possible.
“Staging a home before pictures are taken is important since over 95 percent of the buyers start their search online,” she said. “The pictures need to entice the buyer to schedule a showing. With all of the television shows out there that offer tips on decorating your home or tips on selling your home, sellers are more educated and more homes are staged before we arrive.”
Paul Boyter of McColly, also acknowledged that the trends in staging a home are highly influenced by popular culture.
“I think just because of TV shows like HGTV, people kind of expect the house to be show ready, and with staging, it helps to make it look a bit better,” he said.
Boyter advised that most efforts should be put towards cleaning and decluttering a home.
“Avoid overdoing it. I’ve seen flowers in bathrooms and I think sometimes you can go a little too far,” he said. “Less is better for the most part, but you don’t want to have an empty house. A little bit of staging makes it look real nice.”
For Lynda Anderson of Boulder Bay Realty Group, staging is all about making a house look livable.
“Some buyers cannot see what their future home can look like,” she said. “Professional stagers help bring out the best in the home. When you put your home on the market it needs to speak to the buyers. Clutter can be a distraction to the buyer. It is important to show your home at it’s best. It can mean you selling your home or not.”
She emphasized that it is important to choose the right stager.
“Sometimes too much of something will distract the buyer. They will not be able to see the potential your home has to offer. Avoid taking things personally when a stager comes in; it is their job to showcase your home to the buyer.”
Jodi Gheaja, agent and in-house stager at Realty Executives, said that a neutral palette is the way to go when staging a home.
“Take just one week and neutralize everything, even painting [over] bright bold colors specific to taste. Neutralize it to something that’s a soft gray or a soft beige, and anything taste specific is what they should avoid. Avoid just throwing a house on the market and not taking those extra steps; it can be a real difference in whether your house sells in days or months and for top dollar.”
She also advised that homeowners should use all of the techniques possible to make the space look as large as possible.
“Don’t have large pieces in a room. You always want to make a room appear larger. Have your closets cleaned out so it gives the illusion of space.”