Home Staging: More Than Decorating
Of course, I want to add the “wow factor” to your home, but first and foremost, Staging is about condition. At B STAGED, our goal is to help you get the most money for your home in the shortest amount of time, and with the least investment on your part. Did I say condition? Let me say it again, a little louder… CONDITION.
Condition is the first element addressed in home staging for two reasons:
- Buyers want a move-in ready home. Buyers who are willing to tackle a few home improvements will be expecting a drastically reduced price.
- Buyers are looking for reasons to negotiate a lower price. Don’t give them that opportunity!
The illogical part of the equation is it doesn’t matter if your house is priced right. You may have already reduced the price to reflect the cost of new carpet; however, the potential buyer won’t see it this way. The buyer’s offer price won’t just drop by the cost of the repair; the price reduction will be considerably more- a time and aggravation component is subconsciously thrown in. Don’t let this happen to you. Maintenance is a seller’s responsibility, make the repairs.
Keep in mind, we’re not talking about remodeling projects. Unlike the scenarios depicted on HGTV, the cost of major home improvements generally isn’t returned dollar for dollar. Additionally, the budget is often exceeded and the time frame is always extended. Renovating the kitchen may help your house sell faster and for more money, but the cost will not be fully recouped and it will drastically delay putting your home on the market. A British saying comes to mind, “Penny wise, Pound foolish.” Completing major home improvements before selling would be pound foolish.
Let’s be penny wise. If your house looks dated, go ahead and spend a few dollars. You need to make a great first impression since the buyer will decide within a few seconds of entering your home whether your house has made the ‘short list’. The most bang for the buck is simply repainting.
Fresh, neutral paint throughout makes a house seem cleaner, and larger, than bold colors -or- worse yet, a different color in every room. Carpeting is another biggie. Worn or soiled carpeting, especially pet stains, will negatively impact the buyer’s perception of the OVERALL maintenance of the property. If the sellers can’t bother replacing the filthy carpet, what else have they ignored? Other easy fixes are replacing dated light fixtures and fans, especially rusty outdoor lighting and fans with drooping blades, or replacing faucets, especially the brass ones from the 80’s. Don’t just replace the faucet. Get rid of the brass towel bar and toilet paper holder as well. Home Depot may be your best friend for a while, but it’s temporary. Believe me, investing a little money and elbow grease will pay off. Don’t let repairs be a deal breaker.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the biggest considerations when buying a home are price, location and condition. You don’t want to reduce the price; you can’t change the location; so that leaves condition as the biggest variable in selling your home quickly for an optimal price.