Real Estate Trends: Staging To Sell
Setting the scene for buyers can make a sale
I will admit to being an HGTV junkie. In fact, HGTV is probably the only reason I consistently offer for not cutting cable in our household. Even if there seems to be nothing else to watch on television, I can be certain of finding an episode of"House Hunters" worth viewing.
One of my favorite shows on HGTV has always been "Designed to Sell." The crew usually transforms three rooms of a house to improve their appeal to prospective buyers. Thanks to a production company based in the region, we've had a couple of episodes filmed right here in Del Ray.
The suspiciously quick turnaround on "Designed to Sell" not withstanding, there can be no argument that staging your home when you are ready to put it on the market is key to getting buyers through the door and getting offers on the table.
Let's review five steps to follow when staging to sell:
1. "Simplify, simplify, simplify," says Jen Walker of McEnearney Associates. This step is probably the most important. Seeing past someone else's clutter can be difficult for buyers. Too many objects or belongings can also hide beautiful features of a home that should be spotlighted, such as moldings and trimwork.
2. Remember all of those family photos you carefully arranged in coordinating frames on your stairwell wall? Take them down. De-personalizing your home by removing objects and knick-knacks that mean something to only you will help prospective buyers picture their own items hanging on the walls or placed on the counters. Realtor.org says it best: "Hide your Star Wars collection!"
3. Pare down your furniture selection. Your family of six may depend on that huge sectional for movie-night seating, but if it blocks the path to the backyard, then choosing a smaller piece may be your best option. Staging furniture to sell your home is a tricky balance between making a room seem spacious and keeping it from seeming empty.
4. Make repairs. Not every homeowner can afford to invest money in a home they'd like to sell, however, taking care of obvious maintenance issues is a must. Paint the chipped baseboard and replace that one missing tile so that buyers don't automatically see work they have to do when they walk through your home.
5. One of my favorite tips came from an open house where the sellers had placed Post-it notes throughout the rooms pointing out the lovely original features their home offered. I think pointing out smaller details that may get missed in the rush of an open house or showing is a great idea. This is of greater importance in a neighborhood such as Del Ray, where our bungalows and cottages are filled with original doors, hardware and millwork.