t is widely accepted that home staging is a great way to improve the chances of selling properties for more. However, there is a common misconception that home staging is optional. This is wrong. High-quality home staging is not optional if you want to get what you know what your listings are worth out of your sales. The simple reason for this is competition. If you do not have properly staged homes, you will not have the same “wow” factor that homes that are properly staged will have. You will lose those high-quality sales, and you will not make the grade.
The fact is that home staging is not optional if you want to present a listing that really stands out in today’s extremely competitive real estate markets.
But why? Let’s look at the numbers.
Staged Homes Sell for More
According to industry studies, 40% of buyers surveyed said that high-quality home staging swayed their decision to buy. As professionals, we know most buyers are imagining themselves living in a home when they walk through it. They want to be able to realistically imagine how they will use each space. Eighty-three percent of buyers said that home staging made it easier for them to imagine how they would use each space in the home.
According to these same surveys, the most important room for staging is the living room, at 47%. After this, the master bedroom came in at 42%, and 35% of respondents said the kitchen was the room where staging had the most effect.
Similar reports also show that 25% of buyers claim that professional staging raised the effective resale value of their homes by as much as 5%. In many cases, that’s enough to completely recoup the cost of marketing.
Call Your Home Stager First
The key to getting the most out of home staging is to understand what home staging is meant to achieve. Think of a supermarket. The interiors of these establishments are designed to draw the shopper around the store in a controlled fashion, encourage them to work from the outside to the inside and be exposed to as many sales opportunities as possible.
The idea behind home staging is similar. It isn’t just to give buyers the impression that the home is in good condition, clean, and nice looking. Those things are important. But home staging is also an important way to draw potential buyer’s attention to the real selling points of the property.
We want them to see the most valuable aspects of the home, like a particularly well-placed and high-quality window with an amazing view, a beautiful master bedroom with access to an outdoor recreation area, a pool, recreation room, a tricked-out kitchen, or what have you. In other words, the idea is to build value in the mind of the buyer by displaying the value of key assets of the home.
Free Home Staging Consultation
Professional home staging makes investing in your properties by adding valuable additions and add-ons so much more worth your while. We stage homes in order that the seller gets a full return on the investments they made, plus some.
We make a profit by helping you make a profit. That’s what high-quality home staging is all about. That’s also why we can afford to offer free consultations to all of our first-time customers.
When the job is done, you just might be so impressed- you might even consider moving in yourself!
Home staging will give you a measurable advantage over the competition. By reducing the amount of time you are on the market and raising sales prices- we can demonstrate a marketable advantage- that is, an advantage that you can actively market and sell.
Because real estate is like a race to attract the largest amount of potential buyers, you can think of home staging as analogous to the spoiler on a race car. When spoilers were first introduced, drivers and fans thought they were unnecessary. They thought spoilers spoiled the look of the cars, which is not they reason they are called spoilers by the way. But soon they started to notice that at high speeds, a spoiler actually make the cars move faster by giving them better traction from downward pressure.
Staging is like this. It gives your seller more traction with buyers through a seemingly superficial add-on. And like spoilers, they work best when the property is already performing well.
Home Staging is More Than Just Decoration
Ask yourself, why do clothing retailers showcase their wares on mannequins, and why are menu items at some restaurants displayed using images? It’s because seeing a facsimile of a thing engages the mind of the buyer in a more salient way. It allows them to skip the imagination phase- which could work against you. They may imagine an empty floor-plan as hostile to their chosen method of habitation. Home staging offers “proof” that ‘yes, after all, this room does work well when fully furnished.’
A National Association of Realtors survey showed that 40% of sellers home staging had a positive effect on the buyer’s perception of the home- and that it made selling the home easier. Eighty-three percent said they believed staging made it easier for the buyer to perceive the property as a future home. They found that staging home raised the dollar value of the sale and that the living room was most important room to furnish and stage. Twenty-five percent of brokerage agent reports showed that staging raised the sale value by between 1 and 5%.
Staging the Buyer’s Perception
Human beings are not rational. They are emotional. They rationalize their desires and their intentions using logic and reason. Yes, most of us like to think we base everything we do on facts, figures, and evidence. But by and large, we put the emotional cart before the logical horse. Buying a home is a heavily emotional process. Home is, after all, where the heart is.
If you think about it, that is rational- because why the hell would you want to live in a place where your heart is not on board? It’s madness. That is why staging matters- and why it works.
That National Association of Realtors survey shows that 10% of buyers said homes should look the way they do in the listing or advertisement. Forty percent of buyers said they brought their families with them when they looked at homes, and that they consulted their family members before buying.
Including family amplifies the positive effect of staging. This is because the buyer is thinking with the group, rather than thinking as an individual. An individual is always more rational then a group- making staging more effective on groups.
The survey said that buyers expected to see around ten homes on average, and that the more they viewed, the more positive the effects of staging became.
Sell Faster by Staging for Families
The lesson we can take from this is that you should be staging all of the homes you list, and invite buyers to view them with their families. Make an event of it- like an open house. You are stimulating the nesting instinct of the buyers. You’re helping them to perceive a house as a home- and frankly- that’s the best seller-agent job description there is! And it’s your job as the broker to facilitate this.
At Intext Staging, that’s the idea we keep in mind with every home we stage- make this place a home. At the end of the day, it’s just good sense.
When it comes to the art of interior design, one could write books and books about the subject and still not have said all there is to say. There really is no end to all the many ways that interior design can play on the subconscious, and that is precisely the point of home staging, the main service that we offer to the people of Redmond, Kirkland, and other surrounding areas.
Home staging is essentially the process of rearranging a home so that it will appeal to prospective buyers and show off the home’s true potential. As such, it’s important to follow tried-and-true rules of interior design, and although these vary greatly depending on the home, the furniture at hand, and the size of the rooms, there is one consistent principle that should pretty much always be followed — you want rooms to feel as big as possible.
When people are buying homes, they want the most bang for their buck. If they feel like every room is small and cramped, it’s only natural that they’d seek an alternative that feels more spacious and open. That’s why it’s important to employ special tricks which create this illusion, even if the room itself doesn’t have very much square-footage.
Here are some tricks to making the rooms in your home feel bigger!
DRAW THE EYE UPWARDS
There’s nothing that feels more claustrophobic than a ceiling that’s seemingly closing down on you. People don’t want to feel like they’re caught in the crushing ceiling trap in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and that’s why home stagers often employ tricks to draw the eye upwards toward the ceiling — this makes the room feel taller than it actually is, and therefore more spacious.
Here are some practical ways to achieve this effect with relatively little effort:
Simple Wallpaper On the Ceiling: If you paint or cover the ceiling with an innocuous pattern, it can be a good way to draw the eye up. Careful now, you don’t want to be too bombastic, otherwise, the ceiling could just end up being distracting, thus ruining the effect. But something light and simple can go a long way!
Shelves Near the Ceiling: In many home staging jobs, we’ll put shelves near the ceiling if they’re available, and line them with books. By making the contents of the shelf so high up (and more or less inaccessible unless you’re tall) it creates an illusion of height.
Floor to Ceiling Decorations: Finally, if you have decorations or furniture which reach from floor to ceiling, this is also a good opportunity to draw the eye upwards. Curtains are a good solution, as well as bookshelves.
MAKE GOOD USE OF COLOR
Colors have a profound impact on the look and feel of a room. As a general rule, darker rooms feel smaller, and brighter rooms feel bigger. When in doubt, it’s hard to go wrong with good old-fashioned white. If you ever have home stagers insisting that your home gets a new paint job, they’re not just trying to be excessive or inflate the price of the job — new paint can be the difference between feeling spacious or cramped.
As we already mentioned, white is a very safe choice, but you can also go with light pastel blues and yellows. The final choice will depend on how well it jives with your floor and furniture, but if there’s one thing you should absolutely say yes to in a home staging job, it’s the interior paint job. The difference that it makes simply cannot be understated!
CLEAR OUT THE CLUTTER
One thing that can make a space feel cramped is if it’s stuffed full of little things. You want to feel like the room exists to serve you, instead of feeling like you’re sharing the space with countless other permanent residents.
The first thing that home staging companies often do is finding a way to condense all the clutter into unseen areas so that the room feels more down-to-earth and spacious. There are a few clever ways to do this.
The Cantaloupe Rule: Many interior design experts claim that objects smaller than a cantaloupe have a crowding presence in a room. They recommend the “cantaloupe rule,” where you don’t have any decorative accents that are smaller than an average cantaloupe. If you’ve got little toys, gadgets, and gizmos lying about, it’s time to pack them up!
Hidden Storage: Many coffee tables, ottomans, couches, and more have compartments inside which allow you to inconspicuously store things. These are a lifesaver, because they eliminate the need for having separate boxes or crates for storage, while still functioning as a useful piece of furniture.
High-Rise Bedding: Space is wasted by blocky furniture, and beds are the guiltiest party. What difference does it make whether you’re sleeping one foot from the floor or five? Not much. However, it makes all the difference if you’re considering storage. An elevated bed can fit tasteful storage underneath, allowing you to “double dip” in the space it’s taking up. Two birds, one stone.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
This is in line with the same principles that we mentioned above in regards to the color scheme. Dark spaces feel cramped, and light spaces feel open. While paint is one way to achieve this, light can work just as well. Put the two together, and you’ve really got something cookin’.
Natural light is the best choice if it’s available. If you’ve gotten into the habit of covering up your windows with blinds or curtains, home stagers will probably tell you to change your ways and let that glorious light in. Sunlight is a boon to interior design, especially if you want to evoke spaciousness.
Of course, artificial light is always an option if you don’t have natural light at your disposal — it’s not really practical, after all, to carve a new window into the wall just for home staging purposes. A dark room should be brightly illuminated by tasteful lamps.
REDMOND HOME STAGING SERVICES
As useful as it is to learn about interior design, there is one easy way to make sure your home will look beautiful to potential buyers, without any effort on your part — hiring a home staging company!
At IntExt staging, we offer home staging services to homeowners in Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Issaquah, and other surrounding regions. If you’re in or around the greater Seattle area, we’d be happy to lend you our services. We know all the little tips and tricks that will make your home look appealing to buyers, and we’re ready to put them to good use.
Are you looking to get a higher dollar value for your home? Do you want to sell as quickly as possible? Home staging is the ideal way to make these things happen. Contact IntExt Staging today!