Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Home Staging & Home Sale Preparation

First impressions can be deal breakers for potential buyers, especially when homeowners do not grasp the significance of staging the home.  It's like missing the forest for the trees, meaning someone is looking at individual things (trees) and missing the big picture (forest).  In house terms, prospective home buyers can be distracted by odd art, personal belongings or loud things which attract attention.  The human eye is drawn to something that stands out, and a potential home buyer can miss an entire room for the visual impact of something very bright, though relatively small.

The National Association of Realtors reports that staged homes sell 80 percent faster and have offers up to 11 percent higher than non-staged properties.   According to Barb Schwarz, president of the International Association of Home StagingProfessionals (IAHSP), a home staged by an IAHSP member is on the market for an average of 29 days compared to 145 days for non-staged homes.  Another study by the Real Estate Staging Association indicates that staged homes sell, on average, 73 percent faster than unstaged ones.
Of course, all the staging in the world doesn't do much if the place isn't professionally cleaned and personally de-cluttered.  Lookers do poke in the oven, closets, dryer lint screen and under sinks.  Fresh coats of paint do wonders, as does carpet replacement, deep cleaning and power spraying the exterior.

Curb appeal (check out our past blog) is the first impression, and yet a fair performance outside can be overlooked for a stellar interior.   The hallmark of a home stage professional is a keen eye for arrangement, organization, function and color.   This person understands the kind of neutral environment that has broad appeal.   It's not about decorating or redecorating, but more about transforming the home from personally-you to impersonally-someone else.

Staging can be expensive, but the likelihood of recovering it and more in the final price is high.  It's akin to the business adage: "It takes money to make money."  According to a Duke University study on home staging, some of the most important things to be removed from sight are:

·      used soap, razors, toothbrushes, etc., in a bathroom
·      pet dishes, toys, beds, litter box, etc.
·      personal photographs
·      kitchen counter appliances including coffeemaker, mixer, etc.

Additionally, each room should be used as designed.  A dining room, for example, should having dining room furniture in it.  A spare bedroom converted to a home office works, as long as it doesn't have both bed and desk.

One of the most common stumbling blocks to staging is emotional.  The homeowner is defensive about his or her decor, and for someone to come in and remove and rearrange things in another way can be disheartening.  The home stage professional is not emotionally-invested in the house and simply sees how to present it in the best light, literally and figuratively.  The objective is to sell the house for a great price in a relatively short time frame, and keeping that in mind makes the home stager part of the sales team, not an adversary.

A home stage professional can take your home to its highest level of appeal to prospective buyers, those potential new homeowners who can comfortably visualize their furnishings and personal accoutrements in your attractive, neutral spaces.  Time is money, even in real estate, and a fast nickel is always better than a slow dime.  Who knows, with professional home staging, you might get one fast dime.

So when you get ready to sell, it may be worth considering a home stager as a valuable part of your team.  You may also consider getting your Tampa area dumpster rental from the folks at Bin There Dump That,  they will help you determine what size you need, their courteous drivers will be on time, they guarantee driveway protection, and best of all, their dumpsters are clean & green, you wont have a rust bucket sitting in your driveway detracting from your beautiful home.


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