Written by Patrick and Anne Furlow / Step by Stage Interiors

Whether a home is on the market or about to be, you want it to stand out and look its best for prospective buyers. Imagine your home is getting ready for its first date. You want it to be confident, attractive, pretty, and show its best vs. being unprepared, sloppy, over-personalized, and confusing. Insert home staging! The goal of home staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more quickly and for more money. Professional home staging is effective, growing in popularity, and has become the go-to marketing advantage for homeowners and savoy realtors.

It’s a common misconception that home staging is decorating. In fact, it’s the exact opposite! Home staging is depersonalizing a space to ensure features of a home are being showcased for their architecture, layout, and most impressive assets. This in turn helps potential buyers imagine themselves living there. Properly executed staging leads the eyes to a home’s attractive features while downplaying flaws and confusing spaces. Done right, you should have little trouble selling fast.  

With so much to gain, it makes sense for sellers to put time and effort into staging their home. A home is likely the biggest investment many of us make in our lives! Here are a few tips to help ensure your home is at its best and why utilizing a professional home stager can be a smart move!

Depersonalize your space

    • Depersonalizing your space can make a potential buyer feel more comfortable while viewing your home. Family photos, personalized décor, and too much clutter can make one feel like they are being intrusive while touring your spaces. This can lead to buyers feeling a bit uncomfortable and making a quicker exit.
    • Clutter eats equity and can be associated with deferred maintenance. The effect: Prospective buyers begin to deduct dollars here and there on your home’s list price or conceding price reductions. Have your home professionally cleaned.
  • A clean home is a cared-for home! When your home is clean, picked up, and free of odors (i.e., smoke, trash, animal hair/smell, mildew, etc.) it shows better! People tend to be turned off by unkempt and smelly homes! Don’t be that homeowner!

Make a good first impression

    • You only get one chance to make a first impression! Ninety percent of potential buyers begin their search on the internet. Staging your home increases the visibility of your property. If your home lacks that emotional and psychological connection, it will generate less physical traffic and less showings. If you’re not sure what to do, a professional home stager has the training and expertise you might need. If you go the pro route, due diligence is a must. Read reviews, check credentials, experience, website, and qualifications, etc.  Many homeowners and realtors consult their services to ensure a home has the best competitive marketing advantage to bring top dollar and speed to your home’s sale. A professional home stager can be worth their weight in gold and is frequently a popular decision for sellers, often fitting into most anyone’s budget. It’s always wise (at minimum) to consult with a professional home stager prior to listing. But, never fear! Even after a home has been on the market, it’s still common. Most consultations are complimentary, so there’s nothing to lose!Light it up
  • When selling a home, a well-lit space is your best friend. Natural light is a huge advantage and brightens up spaces, making rooms feel bigger and inviting. Most window treatments should be removed and blinds opened to bring the light in. In the absence of natural light, a space should have enough lighting from fixtures and lamps to avoid excess darkness which makes a room feel small, uninviting, and sad. Sometimes, simple and inexpensive fixes such as upgrading light fixtures can make a huge difference in style and appeal. 

Staging is always less expensive than a price reduction

    • Staging prior to listing gives a home its best chance of selling quickly and for a price that many homeowners are happy with, all while the property is fresh on the market. Putting a home on the market and taking the “wait to see what happens” approach can be risky. According to the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) unstaged homes spent an average of 107 days on the market. Homes that were staged prior to listing sell on an average of 18 days! If a home is listed and doesn’t sell within a few weeks, price reductions are common and can cost you $5,000, $10, 000 or more! Yikes!
  • 77% of buyer’s agents say that staging made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as their future home. A smart seller is an informed seller. We trust this information and knowledge will help you when placing your home on the market. Happy Selling!Step by Stage Interiors is a Lakeland and Polk County Home Staging company. Having been in business locally for 7+ years and helping stage and sell hundreds of properties, their services transform properties into homes that look both inviting and lived in. You can find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stepbystageinteriors , Instagram, Google and their website www.stepbystageinteriors.com